Below, Parkland Library Administrative Assistant Sarah Meilike shares how faculty, staff, and students have been using Parkland’s MakerBot Replicator 2, with its 3D modeling and printing technology, for practical applications on campus. Sarah also demonstrates the new system in an upcoming video to be shown during the Pygmalion Tech Fest.
**Parkland is a presenting partner of the Pygmalion Festival, September 23-27, which includes a Tech Festival on Friday, Sept., 25 at Krannert Center in Urbana. The Tech Festival is FREE for all Parkland students with a valid ID.**
What the MakerBot Replicator 2 Is and What It Does
We purchased our 3D printer, a MakerBot Replicator 2, in December 2013. Since then, we have been working with faculty and staff to promote it and engage students. In particular, Assistant Professor Derek Dallas, who teaches compter graphics, has been a wonderful resource for this goal. He incorporated the 3D printer into his 3D Animation class curriculum during the fall 2014 semester. This project brought his students into the library and exposed them to the technology; many of them have returned for personal projects.
We have provided demonstrations of the 3D printer to classes that request them. Kari Couch and Dave Wilson of Computer Science and Information Technology have both brought several classes in each semester to see the printer in action, learn about the software associated with it, and discuss its impact on the evolution of technology.
What We Can Do with The Technology
One of the most practical applications we’ve seen is Derek Dallas working with Natural Sciences Department Chair Scott Siechen to create an anesthetization box for flies. Anesthetizing flies is something Scott’s classes do regularly, but the cost of the boxes are fairly high. Derek was able to design a working box at a much lower cost.