The main teacher is Aric Rindfleisch, but the course so far has brought to us many different views from professionals in the area. I have already learned some very interesting things, and considered facts regarding 3D printing that I had not considered before.
For instance, 3D printing is considered an additive construction, as opposed to subtractive construction; that sounds pretty intuitive, but when you stop to think of what that actually means, it's pretty incredible... additive construction virtually eliminates waste from your prototyping! Subtractive construction, such as laser cutting or wood working, has a lot of leftover parts, and a lot of wasted material. You also need a lot of space to store a variety of wood pieces. On laser cutting, while you can quickly cut a wood board (in seconds, instead of all the time it takes to use a 3D printer), you also have to assemble the pieces together, which is an added negative on top of the waste. On one of the lecture videos, we also saw an injection molder (pictured above), which I had never seen before; it transforms plastic beads into a single object, and can create each object in a super short amount of time; their example, a poker chip, could be done in 16 seconds! The same object would take twenty minutes in a 3D printer. But, an injection molder only builds ONE object per machine. That is a huge disadvantage -- unless you have a poker chip factory, that is.
My favourite discovery so far has been the existence of Hacker Labs. These are places around the globe where tinkerers can pay a monthly fee, and basically use all the tools and materials, as well as have the opportrunity to network and find guidance from other people who tinker. These hacker labs have everything! EVERYTHING, I mean, they are amazing. They have sections with 3D printers, circuitry, metal work, wood work, injection molders, sewing machines... and they have one right here in Vancouver as well. Their monthly fee is $30... if I had more extra time, I would probably join them. Maybe someday?
As my first assignment for this course, I finished this video with my plan for my final project in this specialization. You can watch the video below! Wish me luck, everyone!