Last week Dig It. Fab It. Make It. attendees were inspired by forward-thinking presenters, student designers and educators at the forefront of the digital fabrication movement. It’s impossible to choose one highlight so let’s break the day down: “Today we program computers and machines. Tomorrow we program matter itself” Skylar Tibbits captivated the audience with his insights on the magical power of programmable matter and the emerging ability to print biomimetically with 4D printing. Tibbits, the inventor of 4D printing, opened our eyes to a future reality where programming matter itself is as commonplace as programming today’s computers and machines. 4D printing is defined as “the fabrication of objects through the deposition of a material using a print head, nozzle, or other printer technology where the objects contain one or more additional design dimension, such as material gradation over distance or direction, response or adaptation over time, etc.” We especially enjoyed Skylar’s visionary outlook on the positive environmental impact adaptive, self-assembling architecture and design will have. The potential benefits range from cutting down waste, to reducing the carbon footprint of making and shipping objects by enabling designs to ship flat and grow into origami-like shapes, to creating clothing and footwear that adapt according to the environment. Want to hear more? Check out this interview of Skylar from Fast Company media on his vision for 4D printing in the future. Heartwarming evidence of the upward climb of females in the field of engineering as they are propelled forward with access to 3D printing technology Gina Scala, Stratasys’ Director of Global Marketing for Education, presented stories from across the world of women and girls who are making notable strides in the STEM field using 3DP to innovate and inspire. What’s more, the evidence was right in the room – we were so pleased to see that nearly half of the student innovators this year were young women! Want more? Gina provided us with this “Top 10 3D Printing Resource Guide for Educators” courtesy of Stratasys. Best in Show? An ACL Dog Brace for Izzy takes the New England Extreme Redesign Grand Prize! Emily Stys made Pentucket Regional High School proud with her winning ACL dog brace design. Born from a real-world problem, Emily was motivated by a desire to help her teacher’s dog Izzy heal from a debilitating ACL injury. Evidence showed it clearly worked as Izzy contentedly trotted around the WPI campus like a champ all day! MakerBot’s Chris Franks quipped: “When I saw her project and spoke with her it reminded me of a story that came out of Xavier University and their MakerBot Innovation Center. The community over there rallied around a dog with a leg defect to design and print prosthetic solutions for her. The thing is, I didn’t need to tell Emily this story. Not only had she heard the story but had visited Xavier and spent time at the MakerBot Innovation Center. It was that experience and the presence of the technology that […]
Stratasys has teamed up with Dunwoody College of Technology to offer a certificate in Additive Manufacturing. Students learn how to how to set-up, run, maintain and calibrate 3D printers, and adapt printing techniques to traditional manufacturing processes. The new, hands-on training offers Dunwoody students a path to career readiness not found at many other institutions. “This certificate offers a baseline standard of what people going into additive manufacturing should know; it’s an all-around understanding of 3D printing,” said Jazmine Darden, the instructor, and alumni, of Dunwoody’s Design for Manufacturing: 3D Printing Certificate program. At Dunwoody, the additive manufacturing certificate is part of a program offers professional experience in additive manufacturing above and beyond consumer 3D printers. In other words, students in the program don’t just learn how to print widgets, they learn how to design, print, build and inspect real-world parts in state-of-the-art 3D printing labs. Skills industry needs new, and experienced, employees to have. “I have a student in my class who’s been in the industry for years, he used to be on the mechanical design side of things, then he moved to management and now he wants to go back into design. When he brought his son in for a tour at Dunwoody, he decided to enroll himself. He gives great perspective on how things are done in the industry and how 3D printing will change how he’s been doing various things,” said Darden. Upon completion of the program, Dunwoody students will have highly sought-after, industry-standard credentials. For students considering additive manufacturing, Darden encourages them to think of the career growth potential of learning such a high-demand skill. A skill many in the industry currently don’t have. “I think a lot of people, when they think of 3D printing jobs, they think of just running the 3D printers, but that’s not necessarily what this program is; they’re learning how to design and how to be able to 3D print, and that’s what makes this certificate so strong. The fact that they can get their certificate in one year, and go out into industry and start working, it’s exciting.” For Darden, her work in 3D printing continues to open doors to new opportunities, doors she wants to open to students in the certificate program, and beyond. Dunwoody recently received a $20,000 grant from WITC (Women in Technical Careers) scholarship program. As the lead on the grant, Darden has developed a 3D printing workshop for middle and high school students involved in the GEMS (Girls in Engineering, Math and Science) program through Minneapolis Public Schools in Minnesota. “We want to get girls excited about STEM and get them interested in Dunwoody. We’ll give them a hands-on experience with all the Stratasys 3D printers,” said Darden. “There’s a whole new level of learning when you actually get to print your project out, see if it actually fits together.” Want to learn more? An On-Demand webinar “The Workforce Development Challenge: Bridging the Additive Manufacturing Skills Gap: Stratasys Additive Manufacturing Certification Program” can be joined […]
AET Labs recently had the pleasure of hosting a bright young intern and budding engineer from Masconomet Regional High School here at our Essex, MA headquarters. Senior Tori LeClair came to us in early April bringing with her a sharp mind, a sweet disposition and an eagerness to learn about digital fabrication and the design process. Diving right in to the fab lab world, Tori began her hands-on training 3D printing student phone case designs for the Massachusetts Skills USA Additive Manufacturing Competition using our F370 from the Stratasys Design Series. Next Tori designed a sleek original trophy which would later be presented to the winners of AET’s annual New England Extreme Redesign 3D Printing Challenge. Drawing inspiration from Thingiverse, she came up with an innovative model of a moving gear on a pedestal. After several iterations and a half-scale prototype printed on a MakerBot Replicator she was able to bring the final product to life on the Stratasys Objet Pro, a little post-processing, and voila, three very cool trophies! The following week Tori was introduced to what would quickly became her favorite digital fabrication tool – the Epilog Laser System. She caught the laser bug and went wild designing a wooden ballot box, AET gear logo magnet giveaways, coasters, a letter holder, her laptop, sports memorabilia, her dad’s phone case and the acrylic face of a clock she designed using the DIWire Bender Pro. She became so adept with the laser system we assigned her to single-handedly man the Epilog station at Dig it. Fab it. Make it. where she gave demos and interacted with over 200 educators from across New England like a seasoned pro! Tori deftly managed each task put to her, mastering a multitude of new applications, software programs and techniques and quickly became an asset to the AET team. Following graduation, she plans to attend North Shore Community College in the fall and then transfer to an engineering program to finish her degree. When asked what’s on tap for the summer she replied, “I will be doing a lot of relaxing, taking a robotics class, working on cars with my dad, skeet shooting with my grandfather and relaxing some more!” Tori has been an absolute pleasure to have on board and we wish her all the best, for her future is most assuredly bright! Thank you, Tori!