The University of Idaho Library opened the Making, Innovating and Learning Laboratory (MILL) to students and faculty Thursday afternoon for a brief discussion on the basics of 3D printing.
The MILL houses both state-of-the-art technology and traditional forms side-by-side. Julio Gonzalez, a UI junior studying virtual technology and design, said the MILL has a 3D printer, vinyl cutter, button maker, virtual reality headset for a smartphone, typewriter and a sewing machine.
The MILL holds workshops on Mondays which rotate through the more popular activities students like to participate in, such as vinyl cutting, 3D printing and button making said Courtney Pace, the MILL manager.
There are also workshops on Thursdays which cover a variety of topics such as
photo editing and glass etching. The latest MILL workshop covered 3D printing.
Instructors provided a quick overview of what can be printed, where to find models and how they can reserve the space. Examples were provided of what had been printed in the past, such as an Eiffel Tower model, a Lego block and a copy of the gargoyles on Memorial Gym.
To print in 3D, Gonzalez said the plastic is heated at the small scale much like
a hot glue gun and cools as it sits in the air. There is also a fan to help regulate the cooling of the plastic.
The MILL is free and open to students, faculty and staff at UI. To save a spot on the 3D printers, Gonzalez said to visit the MILL website.
Kali Nelson can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @kalinelson6