Printing has entered the z-axis.
Having purchased a desktop 3-D printer in August, Print Services is offering use of the machine to all faculty, staff and students. The new service was unveiled during the Supplier Showcase on Oct. 22.
“3-D printing has been around for 20 or 30 years, but it is only just becoming affordable,” said David Hadenfeldt, director of print, copy, mail and distribution services. “Really, it’s the most exciting thing to come along in printing since color.”
3-D printers work by reading a digital file from a computer, then using a heated material — primarily plastic or metal — to build the object paper-thin layer after layer.
The Print Services machine, a MakerBot Replicator 2, uses a corn-based (PLA) plastic to create objects. While a variety of colors is available, Print Services currently can craft objects that are semi-transparent, white or red.
The technology is nothing new to campus. Engineering and architecture have 3-D printers, but both reserve use to students within the colleges.
“Our machine is available to anyone at UNL,” said Hadenfeldt. “It is also available as a back-up machine to those in the colleges.”
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