The station is located in the Fab Lab on the first floor of the new side of the library and will allow students of all majors to create three-dimensional prototypes of their own designs.
Associate dean of the library Tracy Hull said that the station can also be used for pre-med students to create prototypes of human organs.
Library innovation collaborator Brad Trussel said that the computer is able to take student designs and turn them into files that are readable for the printer, thus resulting in a physical 3-D figure.
Students who have seen the addition of the 3-D printing station in the library said they are eager to try it out.
“I think it would be awesome to see my clothing designs made into a 3-D figure,” said senior fashion merchandising major, Jordyn Wells. “It’s amazing that what I create on the fashion merchandising computers could actually be made into a garment prototype.”
Senior fashion merchandising major Hannah Coon said she is excited to use the technology in the Fab Lab for her entrepreneur class.
“I am in an entrepreneur class right now, and it would be cool to be able to create a prototype of what I am wanting to create in my venture,” Coon said. “I could then use the prototype in my presentation to give a better glimpse as to what I am trying to make.”
Hull said that TCU chose the library as the host of the 3-D printing station because the building has the longest hours of operation.
“A lot of libraries across the nation are doing what they call Fab Labs or maker spaces,” said Hull. “It is a place where a lot of students are coming to do their assignments, and libraries tend to be open a lot more hours than other labs on campuses.”
Students said they are happy that the Fab Lab is in the library because it is convenient for them.
“I do most of my homework and studying in the library, so it is great that if I need to do assignment using the Fab Lab,” said junior communication studies major, Tommy Nelson. “That way I won’t have to go to a whole different building to do it.”
With the Fab Lab just opening, Hull said she is not sure when it will be open to students yet but hopes to get it open soon.