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An Interview with Ron Rose, Founder, 3D Printing For Everyone (3DP4E)
March 10, 2015
Hopefully by now you have seen the latest series of videos related to 3D printing that we have posted to our 3D Printing page. The videos appear courtesy of Ron Rose, the Founder of the 3D printing website, 3DP4E and provide an entertaining and informative look into this growing technology. To get more on the story behind the videos and the site itself, and 3D printing we reached out to the company and were granted the opportunity to speak with Mr. Rose. The interview was conducted via email, and the transcript is here below.
1) When and how did 3D Printing for Everyone (3DP4E) come into being? What is your background in 3D printing?
Soon after I read the article, I presented the idea of a 3D printing lab to the Dean of my son’s school — a University of Liberal Arts. The Dean was very responsive and asked me to present to the University about 3D Printing. I then started my research into 3D printing and Digital Fabrication. I met with representative of the major manufacturers of 3D printers and the largest 3D printing factory. I visited labs at companies and schools. I became passionate about the exciting possibilities that 3D Printing offers to student and society.
During my research, there was so much information scattered across the Internet, but no easy way of getting an expert’s recommendation. This inspired me to create a solution, to build a site that consolidated information about 3D printing and Digital Fabrication, and make it readily available and understandable. In January 2014, I started 3DP4E LLC. I brought together a team of artists, developers, educators and tinkerers and in a short amount of time 3DP4E.com was ready to launch.
2) Who are the main employees at your company and their roles?
3) What gave you the idea to start the series of videos, 3Ducation? How many hits/views are they attracting? What topics (if you can say) are forthcoming?
I think what Noah is creating is just brilliant! Our goal at 3DP4E is to become a resource for people looking to get into 3D Printing, and I feel that these videos are the best way to learn the basics. They are smart, informative and just so entertaining to watch.
The videos have attracted over a 1,000 views. Our upcoming topics include 3D Printing in Architecture, Medical, Fashion and Art.
4) What kind of community have you managed to establish on 3DP4E? It looks like you have a wide variety of content available that would be attractive to many different types of people and skill levels.
5) What are the major goals for your website as it pertains to 3D printing?
6) Where do you think 3D printing will be 5 years from now? 10 years from now?
I believe that 3D printing will have a major impact on almost all aspects of society. The advances in 3D Printing technology, materials, scanning and 3D modeling software are all happening at a quickening pace. I believe that we are entering an era of exponential growth that will result in advances that today seem like science fiction.
Within 5 years from now, our phones will be able to 3D scan any object. Software will be able to automatically 3D model the images and prepare them to be 3D printed. We will have personal 3D printers that will be able to print inexpensive, multi colored plastic prints. We will be able to get these models printed in quality materials from a local 3D printing resource. Our children’s drawings will be transformed into beautiful 3D sculptures to be displayed and kept as art. Our photo displays will be enhanced with 3D printed accents. Our dinner parties will be served with beautifully printed artistic deserts. Fashion and toys will become personalized.
Most colleges and universities will have Digital Fabrication labs. Most high schools and middle schools will have some types of 3D printers. 3D modeling will become a required course in high school and college.
In 10 years time, the impact on medical applications will be dramatic. Doctors will formulate prescriptions that have the exact combination of medicines to treat their patients’ unique conditions and upload that to the pharmacy to be printed.
We will see 3D printing being used for most medical implants. We will use 3D printed skin instead of grafting. We will be 3D printing prosthetic limbs designed specifically for each patient. We will start to see the printing of 3D printed organs in the laboratories.
Architects will design houses on the computer and print bricks with wiring and plumbing inside. Windows will be printed with solar panels embedded. Open source design and Digital Fabrication will enable people worldwide to build inexpensive housing.
7) Do you believe that 3D printers will become as ubiquitous as personal inkjets and lasers?
8) What types of 3D printing do you do yourself in your spare time? What kind of printer(s) and materials do you like to work with?
9) Do you have plans down the line to host product designs and schematics on your website?
10) What do you think schools and universities can do to better (if anything) to foster STEM efforts related to 3D printing? What do you think are the biggest barriers to a novice getting involved with the field and the technology?