We all were as mesmerized as Jackson by Dr. Tom Doyle's presentation regarding 3D printing. Here Jackson is watching while the 3D printer that Dr. Doyle brought with him is "printing" a small smile-y face that Jackson later took home with him.Image

 

Dr. Doyle teaches design to engineering students at McMaster. He is excited about the benefits to education of 3D printing technology, as he has found benefits to the students' abilities with visualization. This is because now students are able to actually hold a design in their hands as well as observe its function, instead of being constrained by 2D representations of the 3D concepts they are working with (e.g., gear assemblies). The technology has many uses, including medical (e.g., prosthetics), buildings, and education. 

With 3D printing, the quality is increasing and the cost is coming down. There are many different styles of 3D printing, as well as many different possible materials. The printer Dr. Doyle showed us today was printing using a non-toxic, corn-based plastic material. At McMaster, engineering students access printers like this at the EPIC lab; EPIC stands for Experiential Playground Innovation Classroom.

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