The Illinois MakerLab is the world’s first Business School 3D Printing Lab. The Lab was co-founded by Dr. Aric Rindfleisch (Executive Director) and Dr. Vishal Sachdev (Director) and opened in Spring 2013.
Our objective is to provide University of Illinois faculty and students with the knowledge and resources to be at the forefront of the emerging maker movement. We do this by teaching users how to design, manufacture, and market physical objects. 3D printing (and the emerging Maker Movement) provides a means of democratizing innovation by empowering individuals with the know-how and tools to manufacture the objects they consume. Thus, this technology has important implications for many facets of business, including manufacturing, distribution, retailing, and consumer behavior.
Our lab is equipped with 20 Ultimaker desktop 3D printers, 3D design software, and 3D scanning devices. In addition to providing access to these tools, we also conduct training on a variety of aspects of 3D printing, including 3D design, scanning, and manufacturing. We promote digital making in other forms as well, by bringing together open hardware (arduinos) and 3D printing, to create products that have computing embedded in them. Our students range from undergraduates to business executives. In addition, we provide custom 3D design and prototyping services.
Our Lab is located in Room 3030 of the Business Instructional Facility at the College of Business, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. We are open approximately 30 hours per week (please see our Lab hours for our current schedule). We enjoy hosting visitors, so if you find yourself on our campus, please stop by!
We now have two satellite locations, each with six replicator 2 printers, setup under the grant in partnership with Dr. Madhu Viswanathan, the lead on the Marketplace literacy project and the UI Extension office. We received a grant for USD 300,000, to create two new community based Makerlabs, in south illinois and the south side of Chicago.
Updates from 2015 and our partnership with Ultimaker and Autodesk for the 3D Printing course are available on our review for 2015.