Sunday, May 4, 2014

From Want to NEED in an Instant

From the first time I saw the Cube 3D printer I was convinced that I NEEDED one.  Of course, the reality is that I WANTED one... a LOT!  :)

Now, for the first time, I TRULY NEED a Cube 3D Printer!

That change of status came about a week ago, today, on the second level of a parking garage in Washington, DC as I was headed to join some of the Youth Challenge cadets that I teach for the 3rd day of the  USA Science and Engineering Festival (USASEF).

The usual terminology is that one "suffers" a stroke.  But, in my case I "experienced" a stroke that resulted in weakness in my left side, some loss of control of my left hand and a new appreciation for God's incredible intervention in our lives for positive outcomes.

Two levels down in a virtually empty and unfamiliar parking garage, I had just pulled up to an elevator when the stroke hit.  The elevator turned out to be locked.  But, it had a large sign clearly identifying the elevator's location.  This allowed me to precisely let the 911operator know exactly where I was.  And, just as I dialed 911, a car pulled up.  It turned out that the wife in the car was a Physical Therapist for a hospital and took over the phone call as I sat down in my car as we waited for the medics, who miraculously arrived in minutes.  As the medics pulled me up and out via the steep garage ramp, she called my wife to tell her what was happening.

I certainly didn't know it at the time; but, God's hand was in the location of my stroke because the closest hospital was George Washington University Hospital which has an amazing stroke center and brilliant rehab therapists.

I am now home and doing very well with absolutely no cognitive affects and remarkable improvements in my ability to move my hand.   My hand and fingers are still weak, but, are improving by the minute.

This weakness is the very thing that changed my relationship with the Cube 3D printer from a WANT to a NEED!  I NEED some things to compensate for the control I've lost.  And, a primary example comes from the Cube itself.  My left hand does not have the strength, as yet, to hold the print plate while I apply the Cubestick glue!

It is the Cube, itself, that provides the solution.  I just needed to design a holder for the print plate that can be clamped to a table to solve the problem!

Print Table Holder for Single Handed Gluing

In just a few hours of printing, I can now apply the CubeStick perfectly!  And, this is just the beginning of creating tools to help me overcome any impediments that came from my stroke or help me in my therapeutic exercises.

I'm very thankful that my stroke was not more devastating.  I'm thankful that I was in the right place when the stroke occurred and that the right family pulled up next to me at precisely the right time,  But, I'm also thankful that I came home to a tool that can provide so much help to me as I recover so that my life can continue to be as normal as possible.

Little did I know, when I first saw the Cube 3D printer at 3D Systems 2+ years ago, just how important that wonderful 3D printer was going to be for me!  I appreciate the hard work of the Cubify team all the more and am thankful that the result of their hard work is making my life so much easier than it might be without it.


  1. Amazing testimony Tom! God's grace is sufficient!

    1. It is amazing isn't it? I though I was in trouble being taken to GW hospital. But, in fact, it was THE best choice for my condition on many different levels.

  2. Tom I just want to say, thank you very much.
    your cubify sculpt and invent tutorials was very helpful for me, and my team. in few weeks we are able to design parts because your courses in youtube are very easy and understandable to learn, we apreciatte your efforts to reach the 3d to all the people.
    sorry my english is not good, greetings from Mexico city.

  3. Emilio, you just made my day!!!! :)

    I can not tell you how much I appreciated your comments.


  4. It is one thing for the students to bring notes to the teacher with excuses about being out sick, BUT when the teacher does it, that is serious! :o) Glad you are on the mend. We need you as our teacher and our guide through the 3d world. Russ

  5. The REAL issue was that it was the last day of the festival and I was going to have to help pack up! I have always told people I'll do ANYTHING to avoid hard labor. Now, they know I was serious! LOL!

    Thanks, Russ. You brought a big smile to my face. :)