3D printing and maker3D printing and maker

The term “Maker” is derived from the English word “Maker”, and refers to people who strive to turn various ideas into reality. The author defines it as “a group of people who like to make new things and turn ideas into reality.” 3D printing technology Make personal customization and processing of complex parts no longer out of reach, 3D printing into the home has further reduced the barriers to entry and cost of innovation and creation; meanwhile, the simplification of open source hardware (such as Ardunoi, PDdunoi, Raspberry Pi, etc.) Civilian, making the programming and use of hardware simple and easy to learn. Compared with the long-term and complicated creation and invention of the laboratory, ordinary people can quickly and easily design product prototypes as long as they have inspirational sparks. Ideas, transformed into real products; In addition, thanks to the development of the Internet (such as communities, technical groups, etc.), ordinary people of different cultures and professional backgrounds communicate and discuss through the Internet, and equipped with new technological means, Show their great talent for innovation.

I also like the maker culture. The essence of the maker is that a group of people who love to play together play creative ideas and innovation. Because the nature of scientific research is also fun! To enjoy the process! A good maker space should meet three conditions: 1) people: there is a group of people who love to play, not only can they play, but also a lot of ideas, curiosity about new things and new technology, and Like hands-on (hardware and software); 2) Ground: There is a physical space that provides various tools, such as printers, cutting machines, robots, circuits, welding guns, etc .; 3) Things: There are one or more clear and exciting Our common goal requires everyone to work together passionately and collectively to accomplish it.

In July 2015, the author constructed a “maker space” in the School of Mathematics of the University of Science and Technology, with the purpose of creating a public learning and innovation platform for undergraduates, mainly undergraduates from the School of Mathematics, and at the same time for undergraduates of other majors in the university , Training composite talents as the goal, participating in practical, creative, interactive and interdisciplinary challenging courses and research projects. The Maker Center can effectively stimulate students’ internal research motivation and practical ability, and create a good atmosphere of creativity and innovation on campus.

1. Student Makers: The “Maker Space” has no restrictions on the opening hours of students, and students are usually involved in related topics and projects. The source of the students is mainly the students of “Da Chuang”, the Graduate School, the undergraduate course “Computer Graphics”, and other undergraduates under the guidance of the author and other teachers. Most of the students are from the School of Mathematics, and a few are from the School of Computer, Information and Management.

2. Experimental equipment: In Makerspace, we have purchased many experimental equipment, including 3D digital acquisition equipment, such as 3D laser scanners and depth cameras (MS Kinect, Intel Realsense, etc.), 3D printers, flat laser cutting machines, industrial six Axis robot arm UR-2, mobile robot platform Turtle-Box, quad-wing aircraft, virtual reality device Oculus Rift, hardware tools, etc. are provided for students to use.

    3. Outcomes: Outcomes from Maker Space include

        1) Project results of the course “Computer Graphics”

The course project of “Computer Graphics” in the spring semester of 2017 is a maker project completed by 1-3 undergraduates within 3 weeks, including Rubik’s cube robot, drawing robot, gesture interactive control car, VR shooting game, action game, solution Puzzle games and more. Detailed introduction and video can be seen:

The course project of “Computer Graphics” in the spring semester of 2016 is a maker project completed by 1-3 undergraduates within 3 weeks, including laser engraving machines, floor sweepers, smart T-shirt, two-wheel balance car, five-link drawing Robots, etc. A detailed introduction and video can be seen:
The course project of “Computer Graphics” in the spring semester of 2015 is a video game project completed by 1-3 undergraduates within 4 weeks, including 3D minesweeping, 3D Super Mario, 3D virtual campus roaming, Kinect-based somatosensory interactive games, etc. A detailed introduction and video can be seen:
2) Scientific research results
Many undergraduates in the laboratory and maker space participate in actual scientific research projects and projects. The research papers that have been participated by undergraduates in recent years are:

(a) The material-saving 3D printing technology of Wang Luofeng, a 2010 student in Hualuo Geng’s Mathematics class, was published at Siggraph Asia, the top computer graphics conference in 2013. He is the second author. See report for details:
And the project page:

(b) The 3D printing technology of large objects, which is a combination of square meter cutting and 3D printing, was participated by Wang Ziqi, a 2013 student from the School of Mathematics. He was the third author at Siggraph, the top conference on computer graphics in 2016. See report for details: And project page:

(c) Huang Yijiang, a 2012 student from the School of Mathematics, and Guoxin Song, and Hu Xin, a 2013 student from the School of Computer Science, independently completed the 3D printing of robot space. It was published at the 2016 top computer graphics conference, Siggraph Asia. Huang Yijiang is the first author.
Project webpage: http://staff.ustc.edu.cn/~juyong/FrameFab.html


(d) The work of dynamic clockwork toy design completed by Wang Xiaofei, a 2013 student from the School of Mathematics, and Tang Xiao, a 2014 student from the School of Computer, was presented at the top computer graphics conference Siggraph Asia in 2017. They are the second and third authors, respectively.
Project webpage:

X. Future Outlook

3D printing technology has developed rapidly in recent years. It is foreseeable that 3D printing will play a very important role in the fields of intelligent manufacturing, Chinese manufacturing 2025, Industry 4.0, and cloud manufacturing. In the future, it will have a wide range of applications in various industries. There are many online reports, which are not described in detail here.

From the perspective of scientific research, there are still many new problems and new directions in geometric design and optimization in 3D printing that are worth exploring. The author enumerates a few issues and directions we are thinking and engaging in research for discussion and communication.

1. The expression of 3D geometry: the current expression based on point and triangular mesh, or the 3D shape based on NURBS surface expression is suitable for NC machining (reduced material manufacturing); we believe that the implicit surface has the advantages of additive manufacturing Good advantages of series, fast slice calculation, simple geometric calculation, etc. We are studying a wide range of applications for 3D printing based on the geometric representation of implicit surfaces.

2. Combined materials: different combinations of materials can obtain objects with different physical characteristics. The combined optimization is also the optimization of geometric spatial distribution. The design and optimization of different combined materials, functional materials, and gradient materials. The use of multiple materials for hybrid printing is worth exploring. Direction.

3. Dynamic mechanism design: The mechanism design research of 3D printing is still in its infancy. Compared with other manufacturing methods, the mechanical structure of 3D printers is relatively simple. People’s longing for robots is not only the research direction of 3D printing mechanism design. An opportunity is also a challenge. How to design dynamic 3D printing models and even 3D printing robots more simply and efficiently may become the focus of future research in this area.

4. 4D printing: Smart materials can automatically complete the corresponding response (such as expansion or contraction) under the excitation of external environment, such as temperature field, electromagnetic field, humidity, light, etc. 4D printing technology refers to the intelligent material structure manufactured by 3D printing technology. Under certain environmental incentives, it can produce changes in shape and structure over time. Compared with 3D printing technology, 4D printing technology adds an extra dimension: time t; in a broad sense, t is generalized in 4D printing, which is a total of the variable parameters that can characterize all intelligent printing materials representative. 4D printing will bring profound changes to the manufacturing industry and has a very broad application prospect.

[Follow-up] As the author pointed out earlier, 3D printing (additive manufacturing) is not a panacea. We need to look at this emerging technology dialectically. 3D printing is just a new type of molding process technology, which is different from the existing molding processes (isomaterial manufacturing and subtractive manufacturing) and is also complementary. These different manufacturing process technologies have their own advantages and disadvantages. In many cases, a variety of different processes need to be reasonably used to shape the product.

There are five periods of triggering period, expectation expansion period, disillusionment period, recovery period, and maturity period for any science and technology (see Gartner Emerging Technology Maturity Curve). As a molding process, 3D printing technology has its unique existence value, and it will definitely have a wide range of applications in the future; but there are also many deficiencies, and people in all fields still need to work hard to improve (from equipment to materials , To software). As a researcher, we must soberly understand and understand the advantages and disadvantages of this technology, and continuously improve and solve some problems in this technology. I believe that these technologies will one day play an important role in the development of this field! I encourage you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *