Diana Rosales, a rising junior at MIT, went to work at a rapid prototyping company in Barcelona and worked with a team of engineers on the RepRapBCN project. She had no idea the project was part of a large movement that had started in the UK or that the ultimate goal is to promote the presence of open-source 3D printing in Spain and Europe by designing and developing self-replicating desktop 3D printers. With them, she began working on a new version of their printer, designing and building prototypes with the team all summer.
Using Solidworks, Diana designed a new LCD display case and the base of the printer that would house the electronics of the system. She made them out of sheet metal and RepRap printable parts, helping reduce the overall production cost of the machine. Also in charge of developing a cable integration system to increase user-friendliness and aesthetics, Diana researched and evaluated different cable covers and holders comparing costs of different Spanish suppliers and manufacturers.
TCT Show + Personalize
As a result of her work with the team over the summer, the printer was completed and presented at the TCT Show + Personalize technology show in the UK and at the European Maker Faire in Rome. Production of the printer soon followed and it is now being sold all over Spain and Europe.
After working in Barcelona with RepRapBCN, Diana realized what a great experience it was for her to work abroad and learn about product design and the production process that follows it from a different perspective. “It was definitely a challenge working and communicating with my team in Spanish and Catalan,” she says, but she came back with new communication and technical skills as well as a strong desire to learn more about manufacturing and product design.