Tag Archives: Education Commons

Task your 3D mind to win these 3D challenges

As you might have noticed, the last couple of posts of mine have been about 3D printing and obviously this one is too. I just cannot stop my fascination with the subject. This morning, I found this page about 3D challenges. The news is too good to keep to myself, although sharing it could potentially put me at a disadvantage by decreasing the odds of getting my own MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer !

There you go! If you did not know it already, you can own a 3D printer – all you have to do is put your imagination to work and we can print out your creation at the Education Commons. Go Brains!

3D Printing Instructions Poster_FINAL(1)

3D printers and Science

One fine day, a friend, Jon, came up to me with a 3D print request. He wanted to print out parts to help in some of his experiments. I asked him to explain and here are his plans for with the printed parts.

A thin film is typically a very thin layer of advanced materials which is generally found in household electronics, batteries and other everyday use items like mirror having a silvered coat on the back, reflection coats on window panes, compact or digital versatile discs, tapes, touch phone screens etc.

Jon was trying to perform tests on a new structure, for which the testing machines in the lab were not suitable. So, he wanted to create a customized interface between the the testing machines to and the new material. That is where the 3D printers came in. He printed out a few parts and tried this out.


Sounds exciting. I hope it works!

Our bots print in 3D!

I am getting increasingly fascinated by the work our 3D printers at Education Commons have been contributing to.

3D printing is a truly disruptive and a revolutionary technology. They break down complex pieces of art into a fascinating assembly of simple units. Elements that have been beyond the reach of a good manufacturing process, 3D printing makes very much feasible, easy and cheap in terms of infrastructure.  I’ve been studying the mechanics behind this particular gem and discovered the extensive applications for this technology.

In 3D printing, the ink (a plastic material – some are biodegradable materials and others are not) is heated to very high temperatures. It turns into a semi solid state and is forced out through a very small nozzle. Once outside the nozzle, this ink solidifies on the printer plate. Over time, structures are made by progressively adding small amounts of material over the solidified ink.

Aerospace industry uses 3D printing in making pats of airplanes. In New York, a fashion designer launched her collection last year in 3D printed fabric and clothes. Prosthetic limbs, engineered tissues, scaffolds are being made using a 3D printer! I am so much more thrilled to just see how the landscape is going to change in the future.

Meanwhile, here at Penn, I have seen students make use of the printers to make usable parts for various scientific experiments. We’ve printed keepsakes, cheer plates, a bust of Stalin, Honeycomb structure, switch, miniature tables, houses, nameplates, cups, chains, a flower pot, a pen stand and a key ring so far.

So, have you used our Makerbot printers yet? What are you going to print? Write to us if you would like to use the printers for your projects.

For more information about how to request a print job on the Makerbots check out our 3D printing page.

Check out our latest jobs on Penn Libraries Flickr Album.


3D Printing at the Education Commons!

The Education Commons has just acquired a few 3D printers! We have one 5th generation Makerbot, and 2 Makerbot Minis. We’ve been testing the printers and our procedures over the past week, and the printers will open for campus use on Monday, February 16. We’re excited about offering the printers for all Penn students, faculty and staff. Penn’s campus has a number of 3D printers already, including the School of Engineering’s AddLab. The printers at the Biomedical Library and here at the EC are open for any use you might be interested in.

Makerbot Replicator

Continue reading 3D Printing at the Education Commons!

Summer Make-and-Take Workshops

Make-and-takeThis summer, we’re offering make-and-take workshops on some new and exciting topics. In a make-and-take, participants bring their own materials to work on and use the tools demonstrated in the workshop to leave with a finished (or at least started) project. We’re holding workshops both at WIC and the EC; for the longer sessions, refreshments will be provided!

Make-and-take sessions being offered at WIC include (click any one to register):

Look for these make-and-takes at the EC (click any one to register):

Please be sure to take a look at our full calendar for many other new and great workshops this summer. We hope you’ll join us as we explore these exciting topics!

The Internship

For starters, this post is not about the movie The Internship. It’s been 3 weeks since I’ve started working as a WIC-EC Program Intern and I think this is about the right time to write about my experience. Introducing myself, I’m Prathik, and I’m currently pursuing my Masters in Embedded Systems at School of Engineering and Applied Science at UPenn. I completed my Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communication in 2013.

the-internship-524cbe7d8d047I conducted a workshop on MATLAB at the Education Commons last week, and the response that I got was encouraging. In the future I will be organizing workshops on LaTeX, Matlab and other software / programming languages. There are a couple of workshops scheduled in upcoming weeks; please check the complete calendar of workshops and click on one to register. Continue reading The Internship