Marriott Library acquires 3D printer

Displays+in+the+cases+on+the+2nd+floor+of+the+Marriott+Library+highlight+some+of+the+things+the+new+3D+printer+can+do.+Photo+by+Brent+Uberty.

Brent Uberty

Displays in the cases on the 2nd floor of the Marriott Library highlight some of the things the new 3D printer can do. Photo by Brent Uberty.

Displays in the cases on the 2nd floor of the Marriott Library highlight some of the things the new 3D printer can do. Photo by Brent Uberty.
Displays in the cases on the 2nd floor of the Marriott Library highlight some of the things the new 3D printer can do. Photo by Brent Uberty.
The Marriott Library is home to a 3-D printer, which allows users to create three-dimensional objects from digital blueprints.
A display, located on the second floor of the library, features several objects created by the printer, from complex geometric shapes to building models to human bone replicas. The printer is capable of printing at a little less than an inch in height per hour, and can construct multiple projects at a time.
In addition to showcasing the creations of the 3-D printer, the display also features the work of a 3-D scanner, which can also be found in the library. The scanner essentially works in the reverse direction of the printer, scanning physical objects from multiple angles to create 3-D computer models.
Devin Donaldson, a technical support analyst at the Marriott Library, said the goal in acquiring the printer and scanner was to give students the opportunity to explore some of the new technologies available to them.
“We just like to stay ahead of the technology, so that as 3-D printing becomes more popular we have something to offer to students,” Donaldson said.
The advances with 3-D printing presents a variety of previously unexplored possibilities for a number of professional fields, and could have important implications for engineers, architects and medical researchers, among others.
Donaldson said while the technology has been most popular among engineering and architecture students, students from many other departments have used the machine for projects or personal use.
Daley Yoshimura, a junior in architectural studies, said she thinks the new technology will help designers to be more efficient in their work.
“It seems like the standard now is 3-D modeling and computer technology,” Yoshimura said. “I think [3-D printing] will allow people to focus more on being creative and will save time in the long run.”
Printing costs $5 per cubic inch of material used and is available to all students. Students may also schedule consulting sessions Mondays through Thursdays at the Student Computing Services Desk to ensure that their model will translate accurately to the printer.
Students interested in the 3-D technologies can find more information under the Knowledge Commons section of the library website, which provides a more detailed explanation of services and procedures surrounding the printer.
The second-floor display opened March 19 and will be available to students through May 5.
Donaldson said few students used the printer initially, but the technology has seen more use as students have become increasingly aware of its availability.
“Even this past week we’ve been printing almost all day and all night,” Donaldson said. “It’s picked up quite a bit.”
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