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My name is Steven Helminen and I am pursuing a B.S. in mechanical engineering at Michigan Technological University. I built a RepRap 3D printer for a technical elective course. I have an interest in the capabilities of 3D printing and additive manufacturing. Through this project and Appropedia, I am learning a lot about the open source community and the power it has. I hope to continue to be an active member on Appropedia.
The RepRap printer took approximately 20 cummulative hours to build. After the printer was complete it needed to be calibrated.
Once the printer was complete and calibrated I was able to use softwares such as: cura, Repetier-Host and OpenScad to start developing my own designs to be printed. The project sections are some of the personal designs that I have designed and printed using my printer.
I designed a rock wall hold and the .stl and .scad files can be found at thingiverse (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:493694).
I had a broken shin guard that I wanted to repair. I designed and printed a replacement guard. I believe there is great potential for customized protective equipment that could be captured by the 3D printing technology. Some companies like Nike and Bauer Hockey are starting to use the technology for some of thier new products. (http://libre3d.com/category/556/SportsOutdoors/listings/828/Soccer-Shin-Guards.html)
I was also assigned a project to design an appropriate technology targeting a developing country. I designed and printed shoes. (http://www.appropedia.org/File:Completed_shoe.jpeg)