How 3D Printing Will Change Your Life

How 3D Printing Will Change Your Life

The best thing since sliced bread.

Printing 3-dimensionally sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but I strongly believe that fantasy is about to become a reality. After all, 3D printers are already for sale at Walmart.

Previously, my only knowledge of 3D printing came from my experience of reading the occasional scientific headline or witnessing a printer in an engineering classroom, but this semester, I am currently enrolled in a class that has opened my eyes to the 3-dimensional printing world. The class is what we call an Honors 3000 course. These classes are zero credits and are designed for honors students to broaden their knowledge of diverse material without the pressure of homework and exams. The focus of this particular course is to become familiar with the process of 3D Printing. This includes the software programs, hardware, as well as the possibilities and opportunities it presents for creation and idea development. We have had many discussions of the practical applications as well as personal uses a 3D printer can provide.

My very first 3D printed object.

The applications of this technology at both a domestic and professional level are astounding. Not only are we making scientific breakthroughs by 3D printings organs, it can also provide the average consumer with various tools and toys. That individual also has the choice of creating new designs or expanding upon existing ones. The possibilities are endless! This will allow for personalization, as well as new invention. Just browsing online, there are many designs already being shared and improved upon in online communities such as and Autodesk 123D. If this sort of online community continues, then it will allow for even faster progression technologically. I imagine that in the next 20 years or less, it will be standard that 3D printers will be commonplace, and we will be able to print things that we need instead of going to the store.

My fellow classmates working on a print.

As an artist, it is fascinating to witness this growing trend. I imagine that this shift will cause people to begin thinking in a more spatial way, especially children growing up with these machines. I am sure will it change the art world because it will allow anyone no matter what skill level to produce exactly what they intend. As an artist familiar with working in traditional media, it is fascinating to design an object on the computer, and then hold it later on. Will artists use it? I believe so. Each artist has a different working practice, but I believe 3D printing software if diverse enough to allow artists to work intuitively or structurally. Some programs allow designers to "sculpt" while other programs allow one to build with shapes.

A face that I sculpted with online software and 3D printed.

At my institution, I believe that 3D printing could be easily integrated into the 3D Design Foundation class, as an introduction of turning a 2D object into a 3D one. I believe it would also allow for sculpture and ceramic students to create very specific objects of their own design without having to account for human error or a difficult medium, and could also be useful for students to make models of sculptures that they are planning to do.

In any case, we are living in a progressive time, and I am excited to see where 3D printing takes us as a culture.

Cover Image Credit: Julianna Wells

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To the guy that shot my brother...


To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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