We would like to thank all of the amazing applicants for our PinshapeU Scholarship. The decision to determine the winner was not an easy one, but we’re proud to announce the winning applicant as George Hahn!
George is an incoming junior at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He enjoys designing models that offer some kind of utility to the makers who print them. In his free time, he likes to design hardware, write software and manage his blog. He also enjoys hiking and traveling.
We sat down to ask George a little more about his 3D designs and what inspired him to become involved in 3D printing.
Pinshape: Describe how you got started with 3D printing, and your experience so far.
George: My obsession with 3D printing began just as I was finishing middle school. I saw one of the early [email protected] cartesian printers and fell in love with the idea. By the time I was in high school, I finally had the funds to build a printer of my own. Since then, I’ve built two more printers and helped build many more with friends and while visiting hackerspaces. At this point, it feels like I’ve owned a 3D printer for my whole life – I honestly can’t imagine not having access to one anymore!
Do you own a 3D Pinter?
SAE Prusa Mendel, Customized Mini Kossel, Original Delta-style Ceramic Paste Printer
What is/are the print(s) that you are most proud of?
I’ve never been more proud of a print than I was of my first ceramic print. The print was super ugly, but it was the first visible achievement on the long road of developing a ceramic extruder. This print proved the concept and justified building a 3D printer dedicated to ceramic printing.
What advice do you have for other students who are trying to get involved in 3D printing?
Dive in! 3D printing fundamentally changes how you think about creation and consumption. The bar to entry keeps getting lower, so there’s never been a better time to get into 3D printing!
How do you plan to use the scholarship money?
I’ll be using the money for tuition and for some fancy filament (Nylon filament is expensive, but it’s totally worth it!)
What has been the biggest obstacle that you’ve faced during your time 3D printing and designing?
Some of the most significant obstacles I face when creating new designs are the limitations of 3D printable materials. Among the PLA, ABS, and Nylon filaments I’ve used, it seems like you get to pick a small subset of: cheap, strong, durable, and reliable.
Plastic gets boring after a while! It would also be nice to be able to create food-safe designs. I’m fighting back against this by developing a ceramic 3D printer. This will enable me to create designs that are totally food-safe and environmentally friendly and will give me a fresh medium to work with.
Software poses another significant obstacle. As a fan of the open source movement, I’d rather use software that’s freely available so I can publish designs that anyone can modify. However, I find that Blender is often too limited to design robust physical structures and OpenSCAD too analytical to design creative pieces. Ultimately, it looks like I’m stuck with commercial solutions for the time being.
Which of your designs are you most proud of?
This one’s actually pretty tough. I wish I had some pretty pictures for you! My favorite so far is a drinkware set that I designed for the ceramic printer. I find ceramics very inspiring!
How do you think 3D printing will change the world?
The ability to 3D print anything I need has totally changed how I think about society’s future. Widespread 3D printing dramatically lowers the barriers to post-scarcity society! Through 3D printing, we can dramatically reduce manufacturing overhead, revolutionize recycling, and spur innovation across a slew of fields.
For example, consider the desktop phone mount I designed: it saved me $50 and a trip to the store, it saved a logistics company thousands of miles of travel across land and sea, it saved a manufacturer capacity on an injection molding machine, it saved an assembly worker a few minutes of time, and when I’m done with it, it can be shredded and recycled into fresh filament to live again. Now take all of those effects and multiply them by thousands of objects and millions of households around the world! There’s no question – 3D printing will change the world!
Just as software has ‘eaten’ many an industry, commonplace 3D printers will bring massive disruption across a wide range of industries. First, we’ll see plastic trinkets disappear. Whole companies built around the production of cheap injection molded junk will capsize before our eyes. As 3D printing advances, food safe and high-reliability capabilities will allow us to replace even more common objects. Food prep items will be printable, as will the plastic pieces for chair and other furniture. Companies like Ikea will start offering ‘3D-printable’ products that will contain digital models and non-printable items. This has further implications for product lifecycle, because when these parts wear out, new ones will only be a button away!
The era of software is ending, the disruption that will matter in the future will be totally physical.
What do you plan to do with your 3D design skills?
I plan to print everything from interior design elements to functional household accessories. With ceramics, I’ll be able to print everything from tableware to metal-smelting-enclosures!