MakingThingsClass

Making Things Class Shoots Videos

Last week's class focused on shooting professional videos for each of our product teams. These videos were shot by John Tubbs and his crew from the eLearning Office at the College of Business and are intended to help market our products and/or seek additional funding for large scale manufacturing. It was awesome working with a very talented film crew and being the stars of the show! In addition to shooting our videos, we also started working on our marketing plan for each of our products. This semester is going by very quickly and it is exciting to see our work come to fruition! Here is an example of a video by one of the other groups in our class. They are developing a iPhone speaker that doesn't require either electricity or batteries.

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Written by Colin Korst

Making Things Class Nears the Finish Line!

This week's class was focused on refining and finishing up our final models. Many of us were finalizing details and were able to make progress on the scripts for our video pitches as well. We had another video conference with John Tubbs to work out the final details of our upcoming video recordings. As you can see in the pictures below, the our product (Mr. Jam) is nearing its final design and our prototyping is nearly complete. This latest prototype of our doorstop includes rounded edges to make it easier to handle and the addition of our logo. We believe that our product provides a unique and more versatile solution compared to currently available doorstops. Mr Jam Side

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Written by Kendall Cox.

Visiting Scholar Attends Making Things Class

alex-mitchell Our “Making Things” class was excited to host Alex Mitchell for the past two weeks. Alex(@MarketTheory) is a PhD candidate at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada and is researching how 3D printing in specific and the hackerspace movement in general is impacting both academics and business.

According to Alex, “In most business theory, we tend to drift towards pessimism; that is, we assume that people only pursue what is in their own best interest. On the contrary, the hackerspace movement is one where the ethos is very positive – it’s all about sharing.”

This sharing orientation fits well with the mission of the Makerlab and the credo of our class – “Learn, Make, Share.” Alex was present to see how many of our ideas are in the final stages of prototyping and are beginning to come together in preparation for the end of the semester.

During his 10-day visit to our Lab, Alex interviewed all of our Gurus as well as several of our users, attended a number of events, including the recent Hack Illinois, and did some 3D design and printing of his own. Thanks for visiting, Alex!

Written by Adam Fifeld

Making Things Class begins Developing Videos

This week's Making Things class began with a lecture from John Tubbs, a digital media specialist from CITES. John discussed the process of promoting one's product using video appeals, a la Kickstarter. Video is an especially important means of promoting a new product idea and making appeals for obtaining the resources needed to bring these products to market. We are fortunate to have John's help and expertise in developing these videos for each of our products, which we will then broadcast trough various social media outlets and digital manufacturing sites such as Shapeways. We also continued to work on our product prototyping and prototype testing. After the lecture, some groups went downstairs to the BIF atrium and tested their prototypes among students and faculty. Most groups continued prototyping and making changes to their designs in an iterative manner. This is where the true strength of 3D printing lies, in the ability to quickly make changes and test them out on a week-to-week basis. Thus, this class allows students to learn in an iterative and hands-on manner.photo-67

Written by Brady Salz

Making Things Class Refines Prototypes

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Throughout the week before spring break, the teams in our Making Things Class worked on refining our product prototypes. Based on feedback from our instructors as well as fellow classmates, we have all created several iterations of our prototypes. For example, our latest iPhone speaker (called "Boost") prototype features a deeper dock for the phone to sit in. This should improve both the fit of the phone as well as the level of sound amplification. In addition, we also redesigned our product’s legs by making them longer legs and placing them at a more relaxed angle. This new design should enhance the product’s overall stability.

Looking forward, we have also been investigating various ways to manufacture Boost at both larger volumes and a cheaper unit cost. 3D printing is a great for rapid prototyping, but has some limitations, such as low volume output for manufacturing purposes. Thus, we are considering injection molding our product because of this technique's advantage of cheaply and quickly producing mass quantities.

We had a week of rest with the Spring Break and are back to Make Things! Find out more about what our class has been doing over the semester so far.

Written by Jon Prinz

Making Things Class Refines Product Designs

In this week's class, the teams in our class conducted a peer review of each others' designs. Our team reviewed Team 2’s design. Their product (currently unnamed, although we suggested the name “Easy Keasy”) is a key ring holder that fits conveniently in your pocket and can perform functions such as opening bottles. We provided this team with a number of suggestions for improving their design. Our team was critiqued by Team 7. The product we are is a smartphone acoustic amplifier called "Boost." We are currently working on our second design, and so far, it has been very well received. The feedback provided by Team 7 helped us refine our design, which we plan on prototyping tonight. We still need to perfect the weight distribution, the volume, and the size, but are making great progress.Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 7.58.07 PM

Written by Sadie Tepper

Find out more about what our class has been doing over the last few weeks.