DMA Success Story: 3D Printing Student Angus Willows

By Michael Rosa

Angus Willows is the type of student we love to see attend DMA: someone who truly wants to use technology to build a better future for everybody.

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Angus Willows built a model of the housing unit for his electric skateboard on a Form 1 3D printer at DMA, in order to prep for the final kick-push at the Seattle Mini Maker Faire.

In some ways, Angus is your typical 15-year-old. He gets a lot of homework, plays on a soccer team and has been working to save up for a really big purchase. “I am still working toward my car, but I’m getting closer. I turn 16 in a few months, so I’m excited to finally be getting some more freedom,” he recently said.

So, a standard teen. But in other ways, he goes beyond the standard teen expectations. As an active member of “The Maker Generation,” Angus worked on creating his very own electronic skateboard this summer. The coolest part? He used what he learned at DMA to take it all the way to the Seattle Mini Maker Faire.

What was the 3D Printing & Industrial Design course like for you?
I definitely learned a lot in this class. This class was really fun, but a bit challenging for me at first. The feedback we got on our projects was great, and I liked the freedom to be able to create whatever I wanted for my final project. I wanted to learn as much as I could about 3D printing, but I also took this class because I wanted to build a part for my electric skateboard.

Tell us about your board.
On one side, my skateboard has two batteries, and on the other side, it has the electronics. I wanted to build a part that could house the electronics and batteries, so that if I go over a puddle or rock, the components won’t get hurt. I have the model inside (a smaller version), but I’m going to print out the full model when I get home.

DMA helped me achieve my goal, by giving me a space to create and learn more about 3D printing and industrial design.
– Angus Willows, Inventor & DMA 3D Printing & Industrial Design student

What do you consider the most valuable thing you discovered at DMA?
The best thing I learned was about the Form 1 printers. I think they’re a really cool concept. I also really liked that with this class we did a tour of Room 36, Stanford’s Product Realization Lab. They have all the 3D printers, mills, die-cutting and a lot of other different fabrication machines. I don’t have those big machines at home, so I really liked being able to see it all in one place.

Would you recommend DMA to your friends?
DMA is a really good program. A lot of my friends like 3D printing and I let them use my 3D printer, but they just get the blueprints online. I think DMA could help them learn more about the whole process and that they’d like it a lot.

What did you like about your stay at camp?
I liked the whole DMA experience and the area around Stanford. I was in the overnight program, so I got to sleep here on campus. The dorms were really nice. The entire Stanford area is really nice. And I thought it was the best cafeteria food I’ve ever had. I really liked that we got free time and the freedom to walk around and explore campus. I really liked the overnight program and I’m glad I did it.

Why did you choose to attend DMA’s camps at Stanford University?
I’m from Seattle, and came down specifically to come to Stanford. I really like the sun, but Seattle’s not a very sunny place. My parents wanted me to have the pre-collegiate experience to see what it’s like to be living on Stanford’s campus; my dad went to Stanford and I want to go here some day.

Pt. 2: Taking His Invention to Port

We caught up with Angus again after the summer, and while his skateboard was a success at a Maker Faire event, he’s already planning bigger and better things:

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Seattle native Angus soaked up as much California sunshine as he could during breaks from class. When older, he wants to become an industrial designer or entrepreneur.

So what happened after you returned home?
I finished building the 3D model for my skateboard and displayed it at the Seattle Mini Maker Faire. DMA helped me achieve my goal, by giving me a space to create and learn more about 3D printing and industrial design.

Cool. Sounds like the Maker Faire was a big success…
The Maker Faire was a lot of fun and I’m glad that I’m able to be a part of it. One of the coolest things that I saw there was a huge snake robot that actually moved. The Maker Faire inspired me to start 3D printing more, because it showed me all the cool things that can be made on a 3D printer.

What’s next?
I think that the next thing I am going to build is a sailboat that doesn’t heel (tip over when wind hits the sail) because I love sailing and I want to make it more enjoyable and less expensive for the average consumer.

Join the Maker Generation!

Next summer will be here before you know it. Plan on spending part of it at one of the DMA tech camp locations across the U.S. and Canada. Camps are held on the campuses of prestigious universities like Stanford and Harvard, so you get to enjoy a pre-collegiate experience you’ll never forget.

Be like Angus and explore your creative passion for 3D printing and industrial design. Make it happen next summer at DMA!