Sunday, January 13, 2013

3D Printing is about Growing Creative Brains

Anyone that thinks 3D printing is simply about printing plastic things, is so off target that it makes you believe that if anyone needs one, it's them!  LOL!

Ask ANYONE that has a 3D printer and you will quickly learn that what 3D printing is really all about is unleashing the creative potential that lies in every single human being's brain.

Yes, this blog is about the hardware and the tricks to designing and printing better pieces of plastic.  But, my major goal, for talking about a consumer 3D printer that is easy to use by both parents and children, is to enlighten parents and children on the benefits of having a 3D printer as a facilitator of creativity and discovery.

While I am not an expert on creativity, I am a student of the brain and the creative process.  And, I'm constantly looking for excellent books on the subject.  I just finished the one I will be telling you about today and am in the middle of another that I will mention at the end of this post.

Secrets to a Creative Mind by David Judd Nutting

Putting aside the rather scary looking cover, this is an excellent book by a man that I greatly admire.

Secrets to a Creative Mind

I have been very fortunate in my career to have worked with amazingly creative people.  And, at the very top of that list is not only Dave Nutting; but, the team he put together.  It takes a brilliant person to attract the kind of people that Dave inspired and mentored.

I worked with Dave when I was with Astrocade, which made and marketed the Bally Professional Arcade in the early 1980s.  Dave and his team had originally created the Bally home game system and remained the core design house for both hardware and software after Astrocade it over.

By the way, before that Dave designed the very first SUV, the Jeep Grand Wagoneer...

Jeep Grand Wagoneer Design by Dave Nutting
The Enstrom  Helicopter....

Enstrom Helicopter Design by Dave Nutting

And, perhaps most famously, the very first electronic pin ball game... Flicker...

Flicker - The First Electronic Pin Ball machine design by Dave Nutting

Working closely with Nutting Associates, I got to see and experience, first hand, just how creative Dave and his team were.  Though I know and have worked with people like Nolan Bushnell of Atari fame and incredibly creative  teams at Hasbro, Time-Life software and my current "day job", none eclipsed Dave Nutting and his team for sheer brilliance.

So, when he talks, I listen.

This is a book that can be read in a few hours.  And, in fact, he suggests that this is the best way to digest what he is trying to convey to help us tap into the creative potential in ALL of us.

Yes.  You CAN make yourself smarter.  Yes.  You CAN raise your IQ.

Dave's first book "Language of Nature" was about understanding the Quantum World that includes the wonderful randomness of nature that makes each of us unique individuals. 

This second book applies the principles of Quantum Physics to the creative process.  Where other self-help books might talk about the power of positive thoughts, this book tells us WHY and HOW to talk to and guide your sub-conscious with your rational mind to seek answers to complex problems.

Now, don't let the "Quantum Physics"  buzzword drive you away.  Dave explains everything in very simple, easy to understand terms.

I won't go into detail about the rest of the contents of this book, except to say that it fits the way I solved the problems that I face in creating the new designs that I post on this site.  Designing to avoid rafts and supports is not always easy.

But, where does the 3D printer come into all this.  Why am I SO convinced that combining Dave's technique with 3D printing has a multiplying effect?

It's because 3D printing helps us cycle our design mistakes faster.  Our mind conceives an idea and we can instantly test it and re-evaluate that idea in a tangible way.  Our mistakes become building blocks and not stumbling blocks. The results, good and bad, are re-fed to our incredible brain for more processing and design refinement.  With each iteration the brain is exercised both at the conscious and unconscious levels... combining new learning with old thoughts.  The result is a brain that has grown and connections that have expanded.  We become smarter.  

I am convinced that with encouragement and understanding HOW the brain works to grow itself, that parents that bring a 3D printer into their homes are making one of the best investments they could ever make in the futures of their children.

In a future post, I will talk about "How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day" by Michael Gelb.   I will be meeting him on Tuesday as part of a creativity boosting initiative at my day job.  I'm REALLY looking forward to it!

Last year, if you were following this blog back then, I briefly wrote about Alan Gregerman, who I met as part of that same annual creative process initiative.  Alan. wrote the wonderful book, "Surrounded by Geniuses".

And, THAT is where I want to be... and where I am the happiest!  Which, of course, is why I enjoy writing this blog which brings people like yourself into my life!  After all, you wouldn't be interested in 3D printing if you were not on that very same path.   :)

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