Part 2: Distributed Manufacturing "An update on the progress of the functional models"
Past progress: Currently the Maine FabLab at Engine in Biddeford, ME has developed the STL files for two sizes and two styles of the UTAs. A very talented high school sophomore, Wyatt Laprise, has developed the STL files and has produced the proof of concept parts out of ABS plastic. The second stage will be to print prototypes and evaluate the use of conductive filament material. The functional models will be produced, thereafter.
Update: The Maine FabLab at Engine produced several parts from a semi-conductive PLA material. The new parts worked, but not very well. They did not perform as well as the current methods. In addition, the parts were hard and were not very tactile. Arrangements have been made with the FabLab in Santa Fe to produce parts via distributed manufacturing to test the concept. The parts produced in Santa Fe should be identical to the parts produced at the Maine FabLab at Engine in Biddeford, ME.
Next Step: Contact the supplier of the material and get a recommendation for a better, softer material. Next: An update on the progress of the functional models made from a softer, more suitable material. Stay tuned.