We are excited to announce the arrival of our new MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printer. 3D printing technology has been in the news, on TV, and all over the Internet. It has revolutionized medicine, manufacturing, and even space travel. To many, 3D printing is simply very “neat” technology. It is our goal at The DAE to prove that this incredible technology offers a lot more than the ability to print cool objects.

There are a number of different 3D printing technologies, including industrial printers that create objects from metal or ceramic. Our printer uses a process called extrusion deposition and creates objects from plastic. In other words, it has what is similar to the head of a glue gun that heats, melts and extrudes plastic filament. The heated plastic is laid out layer by layer and the object being created is built from the bottom up. The material is inexpensive, the process is fairly quick, and the objects created come out magnificent!

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A completely working nut & bolt, created by our Makerbot 3D Printer

We look at our MakerBot as a tool. It is really neat and it’s fun to create abstract shapes and cool objects, but our focus is on how it can be used as a tool to solve problems. For example, The DAE was incorrectly shipped 200+ rolls of toilet paper that don’t fit on a traditional holder. The hole through the center of the roll is smaller in diameter than a tradition toilet paper core. Rather than throw away the rolls, we fabricated a new core using a free piece of software called TinkerCad, and printed the new cores with our MakerBot.

Using the MakerBot in this scenario requires the creativity and imagination to conceive of a product that solves the problem at hand. It requires the skills to accurately measure and model the product to the correct dimensions. And it requires the knowledge and technique to print the product in the most efficient way. Our goal is to facilitate the development of these skills in our classes, using the MakerBot to do so.


Join us December 17th for our special “Discover 3D Printing Technology” event and check out this technology for yourself: http://dae3drelease.eventbrite.com/