Now available to all students, 3-D printing may soon be may soon come at a cost.
Part of the library renovation included the creation of the Fabrication Lab–a 3-D printing room.
Students either bring a 3-D file or design one on the computers in the lab. Lab employees will help students new to 3-D designing.
“We show you how to print the item,” said Brad Trussell an innovation collaboration for the TCU library. “And we try to have the students print it, so they can actually learn that process.”
Students do not have to be in a class to 3-D print an object–anyone can use it, and for free.
Trussell said that it in future semesters there may be a small fee to cover the cost of materials, but that it will be under one dollar to print something the size of a keychain.
The size of the item also determines how long it will take to print.
“A keychain takes around 30 minutes,” said Trussell. “But there’s been things we’ve printed that have taken 20, 30, 40, 50 hours and it just runs continuously nonstop.”
Despite it being free to print, there hasn’t been a rush of students at the lab.
“A lot of people aren’t aware that it’s open,” said Trussell.
Sophomore accounting major Lalita Sundarrajan agreed.
“I knew we had a 3-D printing service, but honestly, I thought it was in Rees-Jones [Hall] and that you had to be a design student or something to use it,” she said. “So I had no idea it was accessible to all students, and for free.”
The Fab Lab will host a presentation and workshop about 3-D printing and designing on April 11.
The Fab Lab is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.