High School Seniors Learn 3D Printing

Yesterday, the Illinois MakerLab in conjunction with the college of Business, hosted two groups of rising high school seniors and gave them an introduction into the world of 3D printing. The programs were two hour-and-a half sessions that included information on the types of 3D printers, 3D Printing Applications and Software, and Real-World uses for 3D printed objects. Each student who attended the program received an Illinois Keychain that they made themselves. Here are some pictures from the events.


Kids learning design thinking with 3d printing.

One of many workshops offered by the Illinois MakerLab over this summer was Project City X, an international education workshop taught by Ron Duncan from University of Illinois Extension, who manages the southern Illinois operations of the Illinois Marketplace and Maker Literacy project (https://immlp.illinois.edu/). The workshop was geared toward students ages 8 to 13 and taught problem solving using the design thinking process and created solutions using 3D printing.


The workshop was based around the story of a group of travelers from Earth in the not-so-distant future who have been sent to a remote planet to build a settlement called City X.  However, soon the travelers encounter challenges and social problems that affect not only themselves but everyone in City X. That’s where the students attending the workshop came in, solving the problems in groups of two or three through a five-step design process.


The first of these steps was Empathy. The students discussed how the travelers must be feeling based on their individual problems, which gave them a better understanding of the challenge at hand. The next was defining the difference between social and personal issues including which major world issue aligned with their challenge. The third was Ideation or brainstorming with only two constraints. The students’ inventions could not have been something that already exists and the ideas must have come from the students themselves.


After the students had their ideas they created prototypes using markers and paper, and then discussed them with peers and teaches in order to help them improve and revise their creations.

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The final step allowed the students to use a simple 3D modeling software called Tinkercad to create 3D models of their inventions. They could then print their designs using one of the many 3D printers in the lab.


At the end of the workshop each group presented their creations to the staff and their parents, explaining the problem, a bit about their design process, and finally the solution. Upon their departure the students were rewarded with a certificate of completion from the Illinois Makerlab,  in recognition of their newfound skills in designing with 3D modeling and printing.



Watch a 3D Printer being built in the BIF Atrium

Update: 3/31 :Students had great fun at the event. Some photos from the event below, and some coverage on the Daily Illini as well.


Join the #DigitalMaking 2016 students as they build a 3D Printer from an ultimaker original kit right in front of you. The event is sponsored by Ultimaker, who donated the kit, and the MakerLab.  The event will be at the BIF Atrium from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm, March 28th.

We will have 3D Printing and scanning demonstrations and some refreshments as well. You can even get a free print of your head/bust scan, if you get all the questions right on a 3D Printing Trivia Quiz. Find out all about the makerlab, sign up for some workshops, find out about our two courses, Digital Making and Making Things, and learn about our new 3D Printing online specialization .

We will have Matt Griffin, the North America community manager from ultimaker with us to MC the event.

MakerLab_3DP Expo

Illinois MakerLab supports Relay for Life

The Illinois MakerLab was present at Relay for Life, a cancer awareness fundraising event, on March 12th-13th. We set up a booth that consisted of two poster boards, two Ultimaker 2Go’s, and some example prints. One poster advertised the MakerLab, and the other detailed how 3D printing is being utilized in medicine.

We also prepared around 150 3D printed keychains. These keychains were themed to the event, and they were originally sold for $1. Towards the end, they were given away.

The traffic by the booth was fantastic. We were easily the most popular booth at the event, and there were over 1100 participants. Countless people inquired about 3D printing, and quite a few showed interest in the MakerLab.
Since we were sponsors, our logo is on the back of the participant shirts!

Now check out how the Illinois MakerLab Supports Student Hackers.


Kyle, Lab Guru sitting at Relay for Life booth


3D Printing in Medicine display poster


3D Printing Conference a Big Success

Earlier this month, the Illinois MakerLab successfully hosted its first 3D Printing Conference, with over forty faculty and students in attendance from across our campus. The conference began with Dean Brown delivering a set of opening remarks and was followed by interesting presentations by John Hornick [Finnegan & Associates], Jeff Smith [Autodesk], Ed Hmurovic [Ultimaker], and Mark Cotteleer [Deloitte]. These presentations were followed by an invigorating discussion panel headed by three Illinois faculty [Jeff Ginger, James Leake, and David Weightman].

This conference discussed several new advances in the 3D Printing domain, including the news that Hewlett-Packard plans to release a 3D Printer in the next two years, the development of liquid metal as a new 3D Printing material and that the University of Louisville has announced that they plan to print a human heart by 2023!

We hope to host a similar conference in the Fall 2016. Stay tuned for details!


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