After 5 intense and instructive weeks we finished the project Augmented Prototyping with a satisfied feeling. We created the oscillation Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction and tried to manipulate it in many different and new ways. We broadened our knowledge about 3D printing and the software needed to create a model. We had a taste of using reaction diffusion in 3D printing and saw it change from an untouchable concept to a physical bicycle saddle. The possibilities are even broader than we expected and we are thrilled to see how 3D-printing and the concept of printing chemical/natural processes will evolve in the future.
We are from different faculties and our specific skills could not always be used to the fullest in this project. We all had to experiment and learn as we went along. This was intense but also created a sense of equality. Most of us were not really familiar with groupwork but we functioned quite well as a group; We learned to exchange information and opinions in an efficient way (even when talking about really intangible concepts), we had a clear division of responsibilities and even if someone was late or could not finish something in time, the other group members were understanding and forgiving. It created a pleasant work environment. The mix of different fields of expertise helped to come up with some unexpected new ideas. Our different personalities complemented eachother in such a way that we had a good mix of time management and proper/deepened research.
We had some struggles too. The theme of the project was quite global and at the start it was hard to choose the path we wanted to take. Because of this it took a while before we were able to make a kickstart. Whenever we did narrow down our focus, we had to simultaneously keep in mind the bigger picture to assure that we were not forgetting important aspects. This was challenging. Also, the software was harder to work with than we thought. We spent quite some lost time on Monolith and during the last days we made lots of extra hours to get a valid and printable STL file.
All in all this was a great learning experience and we are thankful for this opportunity.
– Max, Heleen, Isabelle and Lemin