Free Print Wednesdays Sponsored by Ultimaker


As a service focused towards makers who are new to the world of 3D printing, we are happy to announce Free Print Wednesdays sponsored by Ultimaker, who have just provided all new printers at the lab.

Every Wednesday from 11 am to 2 pm, all prints that print in one hour or less are free of charge! In less than an hour you could print lots of cool and useful things such as one wrench, two iPhone cases, or three whistles. We do ask that when you pick up your free print, you share what you made with us on Facebook, twitter or Instagram, and write a few words. One free print allowed on one wednesday. If your print is longer is one hour, you can still come by on wednesdays(or other days), and if you share what you made on the three platforms, you can still save 10% .

We look forward to seeing you in the Lab on Wednesdays (or any other weekday)!

All new Ultimaker 2 printers in the Makerlab
All new Ultimaker 2 printers in the Makerlab

Bring 3D Printing to the world in the New Year with Coursera/Ultimaker/Autodesk


We started as the first business school based MakerLab in early 2013 and have had thousands of students, faculty,staff, community members, small businesses, and corporates learn about 'making'. We have had over 21,000 hours of printing done in the lab, and were lucky to get a new year gift of new printers with our partnership with Ultimaker. We have had a few new partners support our lab in 2015, notable among them being Autodesk and Caterpillar . We held over a 100 workshops in 2015, held our first high school robotics and 3D printing workshop in summer, and supported the MakerGirls run another 80 workshops for encouraging girls age 7-11 consider careers in STEM. We had our first conference on 3D printing in Fall, with presentations by industry leaders and academics. We are also welcoming several new Guru's to the Lab in Spring, and they are the ones who deserve the credit for our achievements. Finally, we are offering two new sessions of the full semester courses on Making Things and Digital Making to our campus students.

However, our courses/workshops and our outreach are constrained by the physical space we have at the lab and what a few of us can do in terms of outreach. To address this constraint, we are taking 3D Printing and Modeling education online, to the world.

The University of Illinois has been an innovator in the Massive Open Online Education space, with several courses on 'tap' or on demand 24x7. The College of Business has launched the Online MBA, and we have had great success with our first offering in Digital Marketing. The first course in the series "Marketing in a Digital World" was ranked in the top 10 courses on Coursera for 2015.

We decided to use this platform for spreading 3D Printing and Modeling to the world. We are fortunate to have Ultimaker as a partner for the course on Hardware and Autodesk for the course on Software. The two co-founders of the lab, Aric Rindfleisch and Vishal Sachdev,  will be offering the first two courses exploring the 3D Printing revolution and applications, followed by Jeff Smith @Autodesk for the course on Software or 3D Modeling covering sketchbook (for 2D sketching), tinkercad and Fusion 360( for 3d Modeling). Matt Griffin from Ultimaker will lead the hardware course, where students will learn about how the technology works, and even learn how to assemble/teardown 3D printers, if they are interested. These four courses will be followed by a capstone project, where students will apply their learning to 'make' something digitally. We will be partnering up with 3D hubs, to provide our learners access to over 28,000 printers globally, and shapeways.

We are building this innovative corporate/academic partnership to deliver an online course, that also allows users to bring their ideas to life as physical objects. Stay tuned for updates. Subscribe to our mailing list below to get early sneak peek or stay in touch on Facebook or Twitter to get notifications when we launch. If you would like to know more about this #3dPrinting #MOOC, send us an email at UIMakerLab AT Illinois DOT edu.

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New Year brings New Printers!

MakerBot 1
MakerBot 1

After nearly 3 years and over 2o,ooo hours of cumulative printing, our Lab's original MakerBot Replicator printers were nearing the end of their useful life. They served us well and printed thousands of objects for our users but were getting old and tired. Thus, we needed to replace them before the start of the upcoming spring semester.

Fortunately, we have formed a new partnership with Ultimaker, one of the world's leading desktop 3D Printing manufacturers. As part of this partnership, our Lab has been outfitted with 12 Ultimaker 2 printers, 4 Ultimaker 2 Go printers, and 1 Ultimaker Extended printer. In addition to providing excellent printing performance, they look great and give our Lab a brighter and fresher look. We are also replacing some of our printers in our field labs with the IMMLP project.

Ultimakers Lab
Ultimakers Lab

The MakerLab will reopen during the week of January 25. Please stop by and take our new Ultimakers for a spin! We will be launching our workshop series again starting in February. Happy New Year!

Fostering entrepreneurship and interdisciplinary team work

Nora Benson - undergraduate student who used the MakerLab.
Nora Benson - undergraduate student who used the MakerLab.

The MakerLab is featured as the cover story of this semester's Postmarks publication. Postmarks is an official publication of the University of Illinois News Bureau and is mailed to 65,000 parents of current and prospective undergraduate students. This story features our two for-credit courses (Digital Making, taught by Vishal Sachdev & Making Things, taught by Aric Rindfleisch) and alums from these courses, Cameron Alberg and Nora Benson (featured in the photo above).

Both classes will be offered in Spring 2016. If you are an Illinois undergraduate student and interested in taking either class, please send your resume to the instructors (Aric AT Illinois DOT edu or Vishal AT illinois DOT edu) , with a short note explaining your interest in the course and any skills/passions in making that you bring to the courses.

If the classes don't fit your schedule, or you are not able to get in, we do offer workshops every semester, so check out our schedule and sign up to Learn, Make and Share!

MakerLab would love to host YOUR next birthday!

Birthdays at the MakerLab!

This past summer, the Illinois MakerLab hosted its first ever birthday party! What better way to celebrate your big day than making yourself a gift?

This party consisted of a mixture of children and their parents. We had one of our expert gurus lead the workshop for Basic 3D printing. All of the materials are prepared and ready for immediate instruction and printing. The time allotted for the party is two hours, which gives additional time for food and cake!

This event had 6 children with their parents. At the end of the basic 3D printing workshop, we performed a demonstration of a head scan! A participant receives a scan of their head down to the beginning of their torso, giving a flatter base for modeling. After the print is completed, the birthday child will have a 3-dimensional print of himself/herself!

If you are toggling with ideas for your next birthday or your child's next birthday party, the Illinois MakerLab would love to be involved! Keep in mind, attendees must be at least 7 years old to participate. Pricing can be discussed upon scheduling. Any additional supplies (food, cake, etc...) will not be provided by the lab, but we encourage you to bring those items!

3D printing has become more accessible and recognized worldwide. Learning the basic skills of 3D printing while celebrating a birthday couldn't be more ideal!

Book with us today! Check out information on our Birthday Party Packages on our Birthday Parties page

Caterpillar supports the MakerLab with a $7500 course and program grant


Caterpillar representatives visited the MakerLab in Spring to learn more about how our approach to learning by making, was resulting in innovative new solutions to real world challenges. They were also very interested in the way we were able to bring together students from different majors in teams to make these products. We thank Caterpillar for supporting the  Making Things and Digital Making courses, at the Lab for 2015-2016, with a grant of $7500.

"Caterpillar is committed to providing our customer with the best-built products and dependable solutions. To deliver the outstanding value our customers deserve, we need innovative ideas. That is why we partner with programs that enable the talent of the future to gain experience applying new and creative ideas in real-world settings," said Becky Modine, Caterpillar Americas North Recruiting Manager.


Caterpillar joins our list of partners, helping us create accessible and low cost facilities, to fail cheaply and learn by making.