3D Printing Glasses: First Run Results

Fun day at DeltaMaker this week, got to print myself a pair of glasses!

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Yes, they’re way big on me. But it was a decent first test run to see what printed glasses look and feel like. Credit to Beehive for uploading the 3D model! The model can be found here on Thingiverse.

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The glasses were printed face down and needed support structure due to the nosebridge being slightly curved outward. Still have many pieces of support structure to pry off, but the majority of the support was removed using an exactoknife.

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Inside is much smoother which is needed since it’ll be the surface against your face. The temple pieces did come to a point so I had to be careful sliding it on and off.

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We cut some paperclips to use for makeshift screws. It has a simple 3 barrel hinge which works, but is very weak and fragile. I would recommend going with 5 barrel metal hinges and just leaving space for them in the model. Printed hinges are just too weak for everyday use.

As you can see quality is pretty rough. It was done in .2mm print layers, a standard quality for personal printers, such as the DeltaMaker. We can go as low as 1mm (100 microns) but it’d take a little longer to print.

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Printing the support structure first.

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Good view of the support structure with the glasses sitting on top.

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The glasses were printed on a beta DeltaMaker using our own PLA (only $39 a spool!) with a printing temperature of 230º C. The infill density has slipped my mind… It took about 3 and a half hours to print.

The frames are also tracer ready so if you want to put lenses in these, find a local optometrist who “traces” the frames and cuts their own lenses.

If I were going to wear this in public, the first thing I’d do is lightly sand the printed surface and then watch this video.

If you don’t have time to watch the video, here’s the gist of it:

  1. Apply many light coats of primer. This will fill in the tiny holes and crevices of the printed surface and help the paint stick better.
  2. Next, apply a few coats of paint. The person in the video uses Krylon fusion.
  3. Finally, apply a few coats of acrylic clear-coat. This will give your printed model a shiny, glossy look that stays over tim

I’ll try this finishing technique and post the results with pictures right here – be sure to subscribe.

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3D printing + DeltaMaker Initial Thoughts

Recently started with working Orlando based 3D printing company, DeltaMaker, to help build subassemblies for 150 printers. Decided to show my personal shots for those asking me about the experience.

Started off simple, making wheels. Over 1000 of them. As a software guy, I can say that my hands were tired after my first day.

Carriage Wheels

After a couple more days of bearings, washers, and wheels, it was onto carriages assemblies. About 450 of them. Learned how to use a torque wrench and why we Loctite our bolts. Also used a caliper for the first time to score some brackets.

Carriages

At the time of writing, I have about 100 more carriages to complete.

A nice shot of my work area where I crank out carriages.

Some shots of the main room, loving the wall colors. The scoreboard has been programmed to tell the time with the Guest score indication seconds. TV with horns, why not.

Testing out a prototype.

In just 45 minutes of printing, a frog was born.

This amazing owl was one of DeltaMaker’s initial prints!

I’ve been learning a lot since I started not too long ago, also doing some online marketing (check us out on Facebook!).

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Apart from DeltaMaker, I’ve been working on the business side of 3D printing eyewear. Excited to see how they will come out once I have the lenses confirmed. I will also be posting 3D printing news from around the Web to showcase what the technology is really capable of.

Much more to come, this is just the beginning.

Escape: How to Avoid Being a Product of the System

Intro.

The system is a terrible thing. It draws you in by advertising a false sense of security and stability. It hijacks your life and holds you hostage. It hinders your thought process, stifles your creativity, and leaves you feeling frustrated. Consider your imagination murdered.

This is what being a product of our current education system is like. And it hasn’t been getting better. In fact, it’s been getting worse.

But I’m not here today to discuss how to make it better. I want to share how you can escape.

First, remember one fact.

If you had to remember one thing from this article, please let it be this. Regardless of the quality of our educational institutions, we are always in control of our life. We control our destiny. We are what we make ourselves. As students, this is something we never hear. We never hear that we can do whatever we put our minds to. We never hear that we can be the change we want to see in the world. I believe it is the most important realization in our life.

A quote from Steve Jobs exemplifies this fact perfectly:

“When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and
your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into
the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money.

That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people who were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.

Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”

No matter how terribly our educational institutions may prepare us for life. We are ultimately in control of our destiny. No, this isn’t on the test. But, remember it anyway.

The System.

Homework. Testing. Memorization. I just summed up today’s education system in 3 words. If it isn’t on the test, it doesn’t matter. If it is, you better write it down so you can memorize it. When the test is over, who cares what you do with the meaningless information. It only exists in test form. Never is it applied in the real world in real context. Memorizing theory is no way to properly raise a generation.

Consider this: Why do most people go to college? I’ll bet my life that it’s not to gain a “well-rounded education” or to merely learn theory without context. Is 12 years of schooling not enough to make us well-rounded? Then why are we forced to take courses such as Humanities and Biology when our major is Engineering or Computer Science!

Most people go to college because it is considered a safe investment. It is still the safest route to the middle class even when 50% recent college grads are either unemployed or underemployed. Nevertheless, society continues to think highly of those with a degree. [see: The Problems With College]

Want to attend school or college, but avoid being a product of them both?

Escape.

I don’t believe that doors open up to us as we mature and gain experience. Rather, all of the doors are open at birth and close one by one as we mature and make choices. Choices must be made and doors will have to close. College is still the safest investment. But it closes many doors and reduces one’s overall potential success.

How does one minimize risk and maximize life potential? It’s a process of experiencing the best of both schooling and real world experience. You must manage your time effectively to be successful with both.

School is the easy part. Shut up, do what you’re told, and you’ll be fine. Avoiding the trap is the hard part. You must realize that formal schooling isn’t the best way to success. It may be the safest way to the middle class, but if you really want to excel, it takes much more than just a piece of paper. Make the effort in school, but realize that it’s just the beginning.

It’s time for the real world. Experiencing the real world when in high school or college is not difficult. Go volunteer. Get an internship. Start a company. Publish a book. Do independent projects. Lead a movement. This may sound like a lot of work. That’s why you choose something you’re passionate about. Only then will work be fulfilling and feel like play.

Be an autodidact. Learn every day. Read every day. You can learn anything on the Internet and in libraries. Write down what you learn and keep track of your progress on a blog.

Meet new people whenever you get the chance. You can learn something from anyone. Search out industry veterans and beg them to be a mentor. [see: The Future of Networking]

Closing.

Don’t be a cog in the machine. Be a linchpin and do something meaningful. Escape the system and take control of your destiny!

[HuffPost] UCF Student Open Forum: Where’s the Innovation?

[Originally appeared on the Huffington Post]

It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would have been. Hosted by the University of Central Florida’s executives, there was something I immediately noticed that made me mad when I glanced around the room. There were more university administrators attending than students. This definitely needs to change if students want to see progress.

Excuses.

Cost and budget cuts were recurring themes in the answers of the university executives. Colleges and universities are clearly going through hard times and honestly, I don’t think it will get any better in the near future. Education is going through what I like to call a “modernization phase.” It’s been the same for the last century and it’s substandard at best in the 21st century. Higher education institutions need to adapt or fail. Almost every excuse I’ve heard regarding money could have been solved using student innovation.

For example, one student rightfully complained about the way UCF’s transportation services informs students about bus pickup and dropoff times. The app that is supposed to update bus times “hardly ever works.” The man in charge of the bus technology was in the crowd and put forth excuses that the application is in trial mode and that the bus service and technology are in a transition period that will last until 2014. He said that it would cost too much to build the app when it would be scrapped anyway when 2014 rolled around. That’s more than a year from now and it doesn’t even offer a solution for the student who uses UCF’s transportation services every day.

Innovation.

Instead of making excuses for the problem and avoiding the question, an innovative solution would be to organize a weekend app-building competition where the best working app would be used by UCF’s transportation services. Invite all of the entrepreneurship, computer science students, and design. It won’t take a year — just a weekend. Hackathons are famous for creating innovative solutions a short time. But why stop at one weekend? Why not hold one every month to better the websites and applications (myucfcomes to mind) of the university? Only when you give students the chance to surprise will they exceed your expectations.

This is just one innovative solution. I thought of it on my drive home.

My Question.

As you know, there is a huge difference between what we learn in college and what we do in the real world. I have two questions: What are the unemployment numbers of UCF graduates and what will UCF do to make higher education more applicable to the real world?

Provost and Executive Vice President Tony Waldrop and Vice Presidents Maribeth Ehasz and Bill Merck responded.

Provost Waldrop discussed the many partnerships that UCF has with local and national companies saying that the companies agree with the current curriculum. I do agree that UCF has exceeded my expectations for what a college can offer in terms of career connections. But the divide between what we learn in class and what is expected from us in the real world is still wide. The learning in class should be more relevant and geared toward success in the real world.

Vice President Merck discussed the importance of a well-rounded education and said that while classes like humanities may not seem useful now, they will be later in life. From my experience studying (on my own) seemingly unrelated subjects from product design to marketing to Biocentrism, I have to agree that a well-rounded education has allowed me to connect the dots between different fields. As a result, this insight has helped me more than a few times in my work experience. However, we cannot deny that the best thing to learn is how to think and learn for oneself.

Vice President Ehasz encouraged me to visit the Career Services and Experiential Learning department to learn more about the internship and job opportunities that UCF offers. However, I have already visited the department and submitted an introductory application which only looked at credit hours, graduation date and GPA. Being a first semester college student, my application was declined. Past work experience and personal projects were never even considered. She admitted that it was a problem that it needed to be fixed. Dr. Ehasz later met up with me after the forum to give me her card and told me to email her so that she can take a look at it later and fix the freshman dilemma.

Other Things.

A rather passionate student attacked President Hitt for implementing four straight year 15 percent tuition increase when his salary and benefits rank in the top 10 of university presidents. He cited a dismissed Orlando Sentinel article then later cited UCF’s own records of the President’s salary and benefits. Dr. Hitt didn’t have much to say.

I honestly forgot who said this but it went along the lines of “we need to increase tuition to maintain a quality education.” Again, this sounds like an excuse for a lack of innovation.

The forum was scheduled on the worst day possible, election day. The forum lasted from 11:30 until 1 p.m. Average wait time to vote at UCF was four hours. This could have been a factor in the low student turnout to the forum.

President Hitt looked uninterested — just being honest here. He checked his watch more than a few times and just looked bored at times. Maybe it’s just me?

There needs to be less excuses and more innovation. President and Vice Presidents of UCF, if you are reading this, I am willing to work with your team to come up with innovative solutions for the future of UCF.

UCF President and Vice Presidents, I hope you’re listening, please accept my offer to help better the university. Shoot me an email at imtiazmaj@gmail.com

A Truly Simple User Interface: Simplified For Seniors

I think I may have found the idea I’m was looking for. A truly simple user interface. It evolved from a simple browser that Senior citizens can use without frustration to an entirely simple computer and now to a simple user interface.

I’ve been coming up with more ideas and getting feedback every day. (some even offering their help) I was awake until 1 in the morning getting feedback from someone in California the other night. It was worth it. Heck I’m getting feedback even as I write this post! Every comment and thought I get is a new perspective that’s entirely different from my own. I can feel the creativity.

The final idea is the result of 20 or so perspectives. Continue reading

Million Dollar Idea

I like to come up with ideas. Cool ideas,bad ideas. Perhaps million dollar ideas. Why would I share a potential million dollar idea with the world? Because ideas by themselves are just that – ideas. They have the potential to create value. But are worthless without proper execution.

Potential Million dollar idea: A truly simple computer with no learning curve. Continue reading

Mock It Up Before You Screw It Up: App Prototyping (With Free Templates)

I  just finished my lean startup course on Udemy. Basic lean startup ideology: Build, Measure, Learn, Repeat. I recommend it to anyone in the startup field. It’s also a good resource for newbies so they know what they’re getting themselves into. I don’t have a lot of experience on the startup scene. (apart from my work at Streable) But I do know that it’s HARD! Long hours, little sleep, no pay. Small price to pay for passion I suppose. Continue reading