Make The Unmakeable Champion

FATHOM and GrabCAD are proud to announce Casey Rogers, leader of a student run makerspace out of UC Berkeley's Bechtel Engineering Center, as the Grand Prize Champion of the 2015 Make the Unmakeable Challenge! Congratulations to all of the finalists—Devin Sidell from round one, Winston Jennings from round two, and eventual winner Casey Rogers from round three. We appreciate everyone's feedback during the inaugural challenge and look forward to the next competition!

Rogers’ design, the Quadcopter Universal Gripper for the Horus Drone, showcases the design talent burgeoning throughout university 3D printing and modelling programs worldwide.

In our previous chat, Rogers outlined his plan to donate the grand prize, a professional-grade FDM uPrint SE 3D printer, to UC Berkeley’s 3D Modelling club, to spur more campus innovators like himself...

It’s a really incredible 3D printer and I’ll have to make sure to make the best possible use out of it! I plan to donate it to 3D Modeling Club’s makerspace on the UC Berkeley campus, and see what kind of cool stuff my fellow club members can come up with!

We sat down again with Casey to ask him more about his plans for the uPrint SE 3D printer, his career goals, and his experience with the Berkeley 3D Modelling club.

You mentioned previously that you planned to donate the MTUC prize to the UC Berkeley 3D Modelling Club makerspace, is that still the plan? What kind of equipment does the club currently operate?

Rogers: I'm still planning on donating the uPrint SE 3D printer! The club shares the makerspace with a number of other UC Berkeley clubs, sharing equipment and resources. Altogether, the space currently has ten consumer-grade FDM printers (six of which we just received and haven't set up yet), one DLP printer, a plethora of basic hand tools and power tools, and  an old-fashioned 2D printer/scanner. The uPrint SE will be our most advanced piece of equipment yet!

What is the next step for the makerspace? Has Berkeley’s close proximity to Silicon Valley allowed the makerspace to flourish?

Rogers: The makerspace is relatively new, only formally established at the start of the Fall 2015 semester. We're currently seeking funding from the university to renovate the space with a desktop CNC mill, new furniture and a lot of other exciting things! Also our club members have the opportunity to network in Silicon Valley and a few of them have gotten internships in the industry, including with Autodesk!

Is there a typical major for the students in the club? Would you say most of the students involved in the makerspace intend to work in 3D printing in some capacity?

Rogers: Our makerspace is kind of an interesting and unique group. We're about half Computer Science majors, half miscellaneous humanities majors—we've given a lot of people, including myself, a glimpse into this really exciting new technology that our curriculum and careers otherwise wouldn't have provided.

What is the next step in your career? Are you applying the skills you picked up working with 3D printing?

Rogers: I'm looking for a software engineering position right now. While I'm interested in 3D printing and the future of its related industries, I want to broaden my experience now and specialize later on.

What’s the project you’re proudest of so far? What is the first project you plan to undertake with the new uPrint SE FDM printer? 

Rogers: I'm most proud of an ongoing project I'm working that I've dubbed ‘Meshmaker’ (a pun on Autodesk's program ‘Meshmixer’). It's an add-in for Autodesk's Fusion 360 that breaks down low-poly STLs into 3D printable triangles with snap fits. Essentially, it turns any STL with a small number of triangles into a 3D printing jigsaw. I'm most proud of it because it combines my interest in programming with my interest in 3D printing. I'm definitely going to try some Meshmaker prints on the new uPrint when it arrives!