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3D printing workshop review

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Review by George Oeser

If you read any magazines or websites that feature articles on new technology you have probably seen the term “3D Printing” a few times. If you attended the 3D Printing & Tinkering Workshop that TIC held on October 11 you have a much better understanding of how this new technology, and a few others, works and what it can do.

The workshop was a lot of fun and allowed us to learn more about the technology behind 3D printing and laser cutting. We learned about software that is used to create 3D models that can then be printed (several applications are online and can be accessed through a web browser at no cost). It was quite interesting to see one of these designs being printed, thin threads of melted plastic were laid down layer by layer and a lovely pendant grew in the printer right before our eyes.  We really enjoyed watching as two TIC members were scanned in 3D using an Xbox Kinect and a rotating stool. Their images would then show up in 3D on a computer screen which was quite fascinating but also slightly creepy as the tops of their heads weren’t scanned and this gave the effect of being able to see inside their minds! TIC members were also encouraged to create our own designs on paper with markers that were then scanned and turned into physical objects by a laser cutter.

Our hosts for the day at FabLab 013 were Peter and Vera who did a wonderful job of explaining all of this futuristic technology in a way that allowed us to understand it better as well as better appreciate its many practical applications. Like all TIC events this one was a lot of fun but it had the added benefits of also being informative and giving us a small glimpse what the future may have in store for us as technologies like 3D printing become more and more common.

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