Mario Themed Birthday Party

A very happy birthday to Kirk! We were honored that Kirk decided to spend his birthday with us at the lab. It was a day to remember as we threw a Mario themed 3D printing birthday party! Guests were able to 3D print pieces of a controller. Then Kirk and his friends were able to have some fun as they played the original version of Mario using those same controllers! All of this was made possible with help from Raspberry Pi and gurus Dash Kosaka and Henry Woo. We loved having Kirk and his friends here and celebrating his birthday with him!

Looking for a fun way to spend your birthday? Consider celebrating with us at the MakerLab! Birthday party themes include Mario, fidget spinners, and more! And don’t forget to stay tuned to MakerLab updates by liking us on Facebook, or following us on Twitter or Instagram.

Using 3D Printing to Enhance Learning

The MakerLab  was honored to be invited by Infosys Foundation USA to participate in a talk on how 3D printing can be used to enhance and improve learning. Infosys Foundation USA is a "non-profit organization passionate about bridging the digital divide in America*." Infosys works to breach this gap of knowledge between people in America by sharing stories about why people create the things that they do. These stories are posted on Infosys twitter using the hashtag WhyIMake. Not only does Infosys shares stories of what people make but the organization has also set up an information chat where companies come to talk about how their technology and how it will change America for better. Any one who wishes to learn more about a company or a particular technology can participate in the chat. Illinois MakerLab directors were invited to such a chat to talk about 3D printing's impact on learning within a school environment. The chat consisted of 4 questions. The answers below are a general summary of what was discussed during the chat. More detailed answers can be found at https://storify.com/InfyFoundation/3dprinting.

*Taken from Infosys Foundation USA's mission statement.

Q1: Do you own a #3DPrinter in your classroom or have access to one? If not, do you see one in your future? Why?

We found that the majority of people may not have access to a 3D printer within their school but had access to one at a local library or community center. However, it does seems like schools are looking at adding some 3D printers as they could be used for example in geometry class as one participant pointed out. As schools work on getting 3D printers, be sure to check out your local library to try out 3D printing for yourself!

Q2: How do you see #3Dprinting as relevant to what you teach and your own personal background?

One participant responded to this question with "it will be one of the essential skills in future, just like Microsoft Office. I just think we should learn and know how to use it." We completely agree! The MakerLab offers 2 different undergraduate classes involving 3D printing as well as offering numerous workshops. Other participants used CAD (digital design) regularly in the classes that they teach. These participants found it very helpful to be able to turn their digitally created designs into physical objects!

Q3: What are tangible ways you use #3Dprinting to teach concepts?

3D printers lead to easy access in the need of manufacturing on demand. 3D printing allows to repair damaged goods at a much lower cost! Another option is to use the 3D scanners to create replicas of objects one may need. We like to always remember maker Arielle Rausin using a 3D scanner to scan and then print her own wheelchair racing gloves.

Q4: What kind of support would be most useful for you? Training, curricula, projects?

Participants hope to have easier access to the hardware and software involved with 3D printing. These participants want to be able to easily teach what they know of 3D printing to others. Others find that knowing the differences between all the different 3D printers and filaments available in the world. Knowing these facts will help to make sure that your print turns out successful on the first try! Education Closet provides a great list of resources to use and consider when 3D printing.

Looking at the Future of 3D Printing

What's new in 3D printing? Boeing has just announced its intent to 3D print structural titanium parts for its 787 Dreamliner. Miam Factory, a Belgium chocolate shop, 3D print's their chocolate structures. Adidas has just created the first ever 3D printed shoe line. Scientists have discovered new ways of making 3D printers faster. And the MakerLab has now opened its summer camp registration!

While participants may not be printing with metal or chocolate, they will be learning a variety of 3D printing skills from Fusion 360 to OpenScan to Cura to Minecraft! Participants will work closely with gurus and other campers to design, think and print their projects! This is a great way for kids to learn 3D printing in an active and engaging environment. Camps are filling up fast, so sign up now! Each camp averages 3 hours a day for one week*.

*Be sure to check out our summer page for exact dates and details.

*All news and articles taken from: https://3dprinting.com/news/

Get updated with all the latest 3D printing news by visiting https://3dprinting.com/news/. Let your interests be known on which camps you would like this summer by filling out the New 2017 Summer Programs Form! And stay tuned for MakerLab updates by liking us on Facebook, or following us on Twitter or Instagram.

Spring Break is a Great Time to Order Online

We may be closed over spring break, but that doesn't mean that the 3D printing stops! You can still order prints through our order online system with 3D hubs . With 3d hubs, ordering a print takes just 4 easy steps: 1.) Sign up for a 3D hubs account with your .edu account to get 25% off.

2.) Upload your STL file.

3.) Set any specifications needed.

4.) Chose the MakerLab as your hub.

It's that simple! In 4 steps you could have ordered an amazing print and the best part... You can do it all from home! We can print anything from a propeller to a battery holder. We have even printed a child's skull! Need some inspiration on what to print? Look and see what other people have ordered through 3D hubs!

Have a great spring break! Stay tuned for MakerLab updates by liking us on Facebook, or following us on Twitter or Instagram. Want to be featured in a blog post? If you have an interesting story that you would like to tell about making at the lab, share it with us by emailing UIMakerLab@Illinois.edu!

This Week of Making- Week 8

Thinking about coming into the lab but don't know what to print? Try doing what one visitor did, print characters from your favorite movie. In his case, Lord of the Rings! Or check out thingiverse.com. This website has loads of 3D models to choose from. Merely put in the topic you which to search for and explore all the options that show up! Of course, you can always get inspiration from what other people have already printed. Always be aware of what day it is when coming to the lab. If you think your print isn't going to take very long, stop by Wednesdays! On Wednesdays, if your print is under an hour its free! Come take advantage of this amazing opportunity offered to experience 3D printing for yourself!

Still can't think of anything? Come in and get a print of yourself! Our sensor accurately scans your face and automatically puts the scan of your head into an STL file that can then be printed. A STL (stereolithography) file is a computer aided design file that can be transferred into the code that the 3D printer reads in order to print the object. In simple terms, an STL file contains the layout of your print. Using the sensors advanced technology, you could easily be leaving with a mini bust of yourself by the end of the day!


Still don't know what to print? Let's see what companies are printing around the world! Maybe you'll find some inspiration through their work. An organization known as ReFab Dar is currently working on making a 3D printer that can print using recycled materials! The pilot printer is currently being used to print medical prototypes in Africa. These medical prototypes being printed revolve around the 6 major healthcare areas in Africa: malaria, preterm babies, suffocation at birth, HIV/AIDS, and infections. The hope of the ReFab Dar is to be accessible to the public community as an easy way to print devices needed for society's wellbeing. With all printing being done with e-waste and recycled material! See what amazing things can be done with 3D printing, and this is only the beginning. Visit the MakerLab to see what you can do with 3D printing!

Don’t have time to stop in but still want something printed? Our online ordering option is now up and running! Stay tuned for MakerLab updates by liking us on Facebook, or following us on Twitter or Instagram. Want to be featured in a blog post? If you have an interesting story that you would like to tell about making at the lab, share it with us by emailing UIMakerLab@Illinois.edu!

This Week of Making- Week 7

This week we were honored to have in our lab a group of representatives from ICBC bank in China! This group is part of the China Executive Leadership Program(CELP). CELP provides education to Chinese executives about how business in the United States run. This programs includes seminars, visits to US businesses, tours around the university and fun social activities. The executives are awarded with a University of Illinois certificate upon completion of the training. We were very happy to welcome the ICBC executives and introduce them to the world of 3D printing!

We love to help people find and use 3D printing. Just recently, we were able to help a visitor create a finial. A finial is the ornament at the apex or top of the roof. The beginning stages of the print can be seen in the picture to the left. Sometimes prints require digitally designing the model first. A common digital design software we use in the lab is Autodesk Fusion 360. Fusion 360 allows you to create free-form models. Which allows the user to be more creative in their design. Free-form models is a lot like freestyle dancing. You can do whatever you want, there are no restrictions or rules to follow. If you would like to learn how to use Autodesk Fusion 360, sign up for our workshop!   This workshop allows you to explore the different features and settings of Fusion 360. All the while making a name plate for yourself! The pictures below are from the Fusion 360 workshop we held just this week!

Stay tuned for MakerLab updates by liking us on Facebook, or following us on Twitter or Instagram. Want to be featured in a blog post? If you have an interesting story that you would like to tell about making at the lab, share it with us by emailing UIMakerLab@Illinois.edu!