Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Building the Builder of Tomorrow

So, the quarter's almost out.

The super glue is half-empty, boxes have been opened, and within all our lungs there has accumulated soldering smoke. Unto blogs, posts have been made. Contacts reached. Parts lost and found and shipped and broken.

And we're not done yet.

The most surprising thing to me about this whole project is how a grad student, several seniors, and me -- a lowly junior -- can come together with our various skills, and not be "above" any other person. We're all new, I know I certainly hadn't heard of a makerBot before this, as hadn't some others. I haven't felt for a moment that what I had to offer the team was unneeded, or that our academic levels of experience set anyone either ahead or behind. I think this is a kind of educational system that just works.

Sure, it's slower. In the back of my head the whole time, I'm like, any of us could totally whip this out if there weren't 5 other folks also wanting to learn this thing at the same time. It's like 7 people all trying to swim laps in kiddie pool. But that's not the point. The point is that when it when it comes down to it, I'm confident any single member of the team could now sit down and teach another group. Easy. With significantly fewer read-through of the wiki.

There's so much potential here. It's almost staggering, surreal, when you really stop. And think. We're printing our own stuff.

I'm free from the market.

Well, at least almost.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think I could whip out a MakerBot. It's a halting, stumbling process. I agree that having five other people around makes it harder because you can't do it your own way. For example, I'm the type to read manuals and instructions through before I begin--you saw me check off all the components on the packing list (for all the good it did us). I'm saying I'm methodical and this project is not. Does informal mean unstructured? I guess so.

    Also, I still say you can't open a beer with a bottle opener made of plasticky stuff.