Michigan State University

Bringing Together MSU’s 3D Fabricators at the Main Library

Emily Treptow

3D Printing is a form of additive manufacturing that creates objects from digital designs by layering plastic or other material to match the design. This technology is quickly changing how models and products are being created in a wide variety of fields, from airplane engine manufacturing to jewelry design. On Tuesday, September 9, to celebrate the launching of 3D Printing services at the Main Library, MSU Libraries hosted representatives from Packaging, Engineering, and Veterinary Medicine to highlight how the technology is being used on campus.

Over the past few years, the number of programs and labs encouraging students to create designs and prototypes has surged. For students in the School of Packaging, that means the ability to create a bottle or case that fits their specifications, allowing students to tangibly test their assumptions. For those in Engineering, 3D Printing has enabled the fabrication of casements for small aquatic robots. In addition to designing new objects, the advancement of 3D Printing has enabled the replication of existing objects at a faster rate and cheaper cost than having them manufactured off campus. At the College of Veterinary Medicine, this enables the replicating of dogs’ fractured bones, allowing practice before surgery and the better understanding of anatomy. To create these models, the files were captured from a CAT scan of the dog.

To enable members of the MSU community to have access to this technology, MSU Libraries is now offering 3D Printing on the second floor of the Main Library at the Copy Center. Students, staff, and faculty with a file can setup an appointment with Copy Center staff at 3DPrint@mail.lib.msu.edu. In the near future, the Copy Center also hopes to support both 3D scanning and the basics of 3D design.

Written by Terence O'Neill

Photo Credit: Jonah Magar

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