Author Archives: The Mad Scientist

About The Mad Scientist

Muahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!! Ok, now that I have that out... I can get to work. For as long as I can remember, I have been making things. This habit used to be called "Inventing" but has lately been repurposed by the Maker community with the term "Maker". While there are some subtle differences between Inventing and Making, I have discovered my passion for both by inspiring a new generation of Makers. In this quest to spark creative thinking and problem solving through practical and exciting projects, I draw on my background in biomedical research, high energy fiber laser development, and 15 years of building laboratory devices. As an experimental physicist with a PhD from Case Western Reserve University, I have seen research and development from many angles and am now bringing that experience to middle school and high school students who want to make everything from catapults to cybernetic augmentations. Through the medium of Making and Inventing, students are transformed from passive observers of education to active learners. This powerful shift fosters deep insights, creative expression, collaborative thinking and a host of other skills that are difficult to learn in traditional settings. Along with my wife Debby, an accomplished constructivist educator, I am on a quest to transform education and am looking for like-minded collaborators to bring hands-on learning to future generations.

3D design software

After you get tired of downloading “things” from “Thingiverse” or when you find that noone has just the right 3D model for what you need, you will need to consider getting some 3D software to do your own modeling.  This however can be a tricky task, and I highly recommend you do a little thinking about what you will want to make with your software.  The task of deciding what you want to design will probably be 90% of your task prior to purchasing 3D Continue reading →

What is filament for a 3D printer?

If you are new to 3D printing, here’s a quick description of printer filament.  3D printers use plastic filament (think weed eater string) to print in 3D very much like your 2D paper printer.  If you still can’t visualize what the 3D printer filament looks like, here’s a picture. Pretty much the 3D printer filament is like plastic “wire” that gets fed into the printer and melted and used to build 3D models.  Most Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) printers print with ABS plastic (think Lego), Continue reading →

What is a 3D printer?

3D printers are miniature manufacturing plants that produce things.  What kind of things?  3D things of course!  Even with that explanation, people keep asking us if it’s like their printer at home and whether they use paper.  The printers that we provide to our customers use something called ABS plastic which is the same type of plastic used in other common household items such as Legos®.  The plastic used in the printers comes on a roll very much like fishing line or weedeater string and Continue reading →

My first time lapse!

My wife calls me “The Mad Scientist” because I love to build crazy things, but I still get excited every time I try something new or make something clever.  As a maker, it is hard not to get excited when I make things.  So the other night, I decided that the best way to explain a 3D printer was to see one working.  However if you’re like me, you are quite impatient when things take a long time, and 3D printers typically take a few Continue reading →