Illinois MakerLab Team Competes in National Make48 Competition

This year, the University of Illinois was one of the twelve schools invited to participate in Make48, an annual competition that invites teams of four individuals to participate in a weekend-long design competition. Participants must plan, prototype, and pitch a new idea, drawing inspiration from a given theme in just 48 hours! This year we were excited to send a team of 4 from the MakerLab: Yuxuan Tang, Dashiell Kosaka, Suixin Liu, and William Casey Jones. They got to travel to Baltimore, Maryland this past August to engage with makers from all around the country. And the best part? They were filmed lived as Make48 doubles as an educational tv series. So, our very own team will appear on season 3 which will air Fall 2019! Stay tuned and don’t watch our makers in action at Make48 next fall!

I learned so much ranging from shop tools to marketing, knowledge that my major would never have given me alone. I knew being an entrepreneur was hard, but even with the constant assistance from the helpers there, we were very pressed for time. There were also so many sponsors and big names for the event we were able to meet [and] the team was able to get our names out there.
— Dashiell Kosaka, MakerLab Guru

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MakerLab Shows Off New Ultimaker 2

Quad Day featuring the Ultimaker 2!

MakerLab and MakersUIUC welcomed students to campus on Quad Day 2015. Last Sunday, August 23, MakerLab was very excited to display its new Ultimaker 2 3D printer! The Ultimaker 2 was generously provided to the lab by Ultimaker to help educate students on 3D printing technology and encourage creative design and prototyping. MakersUIUC hosted the table and also shared some of their creations. Students who stopped by the booth were encouraged to write down their ideas for fun projects to build in attempt to inspire creative solutions to common problems.

Ultimaker 2 was generously provided to Illinois MakerLab by Ultimaker

MakersUIUC is a great group on campus that provides students the opportunity to create physical prototypes of their ideas. The group works closely with Makerlab, as they employ 3D printing technology in building their creations. Some of the completed projects that were displayed at the booth were a 3D scanning stand (shown below) and a long board. They also displayed 3D printed statues of some of their members who were scanned using the scanning stand they built. More information about MakersUIUC can be found here:

Students listen as members of MakersUIUC explain their previous projects

Students discuss the Ultimaker 2 and its value to the process of making things

3D Prints in the Alma Mater Time Capsule

Time Capsule
Time Capsule

Earlier this month, the Alma Mater returned to campus and withit a time capsule was placed into the base of the statue. Inside of the time capsule the College of Business placed two 3D printed models, a mini MakerLab keychain and a scale model of Altgeld created by the Illinois Geometry Lab, which is housed at Altgeld itself. The Alma Mater is one of the most recognized symbols of the University and has represented our motto of 'Learning and Labor' since its unveiling in 1929. Since the statue has been restored, it will now stand for many years to come housing the 3D prints within the capsule until it is opened in the future.

Help us win - Vote for our Video!

The College of Business has submitted a video of the MakerLab for a competition hosted by Educause. This video competition focuses on six emerging educational technologies: the flipped classroom, learning analytics, 3D printing, games & gamification, the quantified self, and virtual assistants. These six themes were identified in the 2013 NMC Horizon Report, which featured our new lab on its cover! There are 21 video submissions by a variety of institutions, including the University of Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State. Of these 21 submissions, six focus on 3D printing.

Help us share our approach to learning by making with the world, by voting for us. Our video (submission #17) was developed by Ana Said in the College of Business'eLearning Center. Voting ends on Tuesday, February 4. So, please vote today on the Educause website

You can view the video here, but you must vote at the link above.

Making Things Class Begins!

Our new Making Things class has begun! This innovative new course teams up 21 undergraduate students across business, engineering, and art & design. Each of these 7 teams will be conceptualizing, designing, prototyping, manufacturing, and marketing a new product. This is the first course of its type in an American business school. Class sessions are held in the Illinois MakerLab each Wednesday night and are hands-on in nature; during each session, students practice our MakerLab principles of Learn, Make, and Share. Our first class kicked off with a video conference with Zach Kaplan, CEO of Inventables and Erwin Cruz, Head of Innovation and IP at Grainger offering insights and advice to our students. Both Zach and Erwin are members of the MakerLab Advisory Board and are deeply involved in the emerging Maker Movement. Following this conference call, students formed their teams and then designed and printed custom nameplates using Tinkercad 3D modeling software and MakerBot Replicator 3D printers. During the course of the semester, student teams will take turns updating course happenings on our website. So, please stay tuned to see what amazing things our students will be making!

You can also join us in the journey, by following the class hashtag #makingthings, and perhaps even sharing some relevant resources for our class by using the same hashtag.

The 3D Printer That Can Build a House

The University of Southern California is testing a giant 3D printer that could be used to build a whole house in under 24 hours.

Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis has designed the giant robot that replaces construction workers with a nozzle on a gantry, this squirts out concrete and can quickly build a home according to a computer pattern. It is “basically scaling up 3D printing to the scale of building,” says Khoshnevis. The technology, known as Contour Crafting, could revolutionise the construction industry.

The affordable home?

Contour Crafting could slash the cost of home-owning, making it possible for millions of displaced people to get on the property ladder. It could even be used in disaster relief areas to build emergency and replacement housing.  For example, after an event such as Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, which has displaced almost 600,000 people, Contour Crafting could be used to build replacement homes quickly.

As Khoshnevis points out, if you look around you pretty much everything is made automatically these days –

your shoes, your clothes, home appliances, your car. The only thing that is still built by hand are these buildings.

How does Contour Crafting work?

The Contour Crafting system is a robot that by automates age-old tools normally used by hand. These are wielded by a robotic gantry that builds a three-dimensional object.

Ultimately it would work like this,” says Brad Lemley from Discover Magazine. “On a cleared and leveled site, workers would lay down two rails a few feet further apart than the eventual building’s width and a computer-controlled contour crafter would take over from there. A gantry-type crane with a hanging nozzle and a components-placing arm would travel along the rails. The nozzle would spit out concrete in layers to create hollow walls, and then fill in the walls with additional concrete… humans would hang doors and insert windows.

This technology is like a rock that we have rolled to the top of a cliff, just one little push and the idea will roll along on its own.

- Khoshnevis told Discover Magazine