Wells College invested in a 3D Printer when it remodeled the Library Learning Commons. To increase campus interest, IT made printing free for the first two semesters on campus. Students were welcome to come and use the printer on their own, as long as they were trained by a member of IT or myself. I spent quite a bit of time working with students and the 3D printer.
BUS 250: Innovation: Creative Problem Solving
The innovation class is a project based class that introduces students to the process of design thinking. Working in partnership with Currier Plastics, a local injection and injection blow molding company, students identify real world problems and attempt to create a creative solution to those problems.
One of my favorite teams this year identified a problem with squeeze bottles and pump bottles of cat and dog shampoos. Some of these shampoos are pretty expensive because they are medicated to resist flees and ticks. The students wanted to design a way to get the remaining product out.
These students designed a trap door, or screw off bottom for future bottles which would allow the consumer an additional way to get product out of an almost empty bottle.
I attended five classes throughout the semester, introducing students to two CAD programs, Tinkercad, an online basic visualization program, and 123D a slightly more robust tool that could be downloaded and installed on their computers. Both products are Autodesk products so a student could start with the basic functions of tinkercad, and export into 123D. Additionally I trained the students to use our Makerbot 3D Printer, traveled with them to meet the design team of Currier, and attended their mid-semester and final presentations.
On slide 4 of this student created presentation, you can see screenshots they took of their project from 123D, which is simplified CAD program created by Autodesk and provided free for students.
BKRT 285: Art on the Press
An additional 3D printing project came from the Book Arts Class. Wells College Book Arts Center continues the tradition of wood block and art printing. When I was visiting Richard Kegler, Director of the Book Arts Institute, we came up with the idea of 3D printing blocks to be used for special projects, especially for logos or design that would be difficult to make in wood.
An example of these is the Wells ‘W’ enclosed in a heart. A student created a simple two dimensional vector image in Adobe Illustrator, which we then then converted to 3D. Then we put the image on a 2x2x.918″ block.
There was a flaw in this block which made it unusable for printing. In our attempt to try something new, we forgot to reverse the image on the woodblock, so when printed our first valentines day card, the W was backwards. The student gave me the block as a desk ornament.