Q&A with junior Max Shurr on 3D printing, engineering inventions

Daniel Tian

When did you start making projects?

I’ve always enjoyed building and making things. Ever since I was little, I always had LEGO sets and Lincoln Logs. Over time, I got more and more interested in engineering. In 2017, I got my first 3D printer, and it was super exciting to see that I could click a few buttons, and magically I have a part in my hands. After that, I started learning more about how to design what I wanted instead of using cookie-cutter parts. With 3D printing, I could make it any dimension, any shape. I stuck with it and kept improving my craft, even to this day.

What do you make and what steps go into making them?

I create a variety of projects, especially with 3D printing. The latest project I printed was a 3D case for a CO2 cartridge, [which is] pressurized CO2 gas, so when you puncture the bottom the gas will spew out and then the rocket will shoot up. The process of doing a project is finding something that’s inspiring to you, continuing to take steps toward reaching your goal, and using online resources to learn the things you want to do.

Submitted Photo: Max Shurr

What do you enjoy most about making projects?

I really enjoy seeing my ideas can become physical objects, as long as I keep working (on) them. With the talking hat, I had the idea one day, (but) I had absolutely no idea how to make it. Of course, since it was my first time, I didn’t get the wires right. That was super discouraging since I couldn’t get the wires printed again. Instead of giving up, I came up with a solution. I took extra wires and directly soldered them to where I needed them to be. Thankfully, I was able to get it to work. It was super rewarding.

What’s the most difficult part of this hobby?

The most difficult part is when you want to start a project­­­—(oftentimes) they don’t have tutorials for you online. That’s one of the main reasons I started Mechanical Max, my YouTube channel, so that after I complete a project I can post it online and help other people chase their dreams and do the projects they want to do.

What does your YouTube channel cover?

Mechanical Max is a place where I have documented all of my engineering-related projects. Each video walks you through how I made the project and gives you tips and advice on how to make your own. My goal is to provide insight on different topics to make it easier for someone new to get started. I make the videos I wish I had when I first started designing my products. Some of my projects include 3D printed spring-powered marble shooters; an Arduino-powered hat that can play All-Star, I’m Blue, and other songs; and 3D printed keychains for charity. Although the future is uncertain, I do know a few things will remain constant: my passion for engineering and helping others find their passion as well.

Click here to check out Shurr’s website, Mechanical Max.

Check out one of Max’s YouTube videos below:

Max Shurr