Campus News

Workshop offers hands-on experience in 3D printing, additive manufacturing

Animation of students teasting their 3-D printed cars

Kevin Hulme, senior research associate for UB’s Digital Manufacturing Laboratory and workshop facilitator, launches a 3D printed car. Photo: Douglas Levere

By JANE STOYLE WELCH

Published May 15, 2018

This spring, 40 students in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences met weekly in UB’s Digital Manufacturing Lab to learn how to use 3D printing technology to design and prototype projects.

For an hour a week over a 10-week period, the students learned about the 3D printing process, CAD modeling and design, and printer and material technologies, and got hands-on experience using the equipment in the lab. They also heard from experts about the use of additive manufacturing in industry.

“Our aim was to provide students with a better understanding of additive manufacturing and its applications. We also hope that this will encourage them to use our lab, as 3D printing is becoming a huge part of the engineering world,” says Ashley Seymour, a student from the School of Management and one of the workshop instructors.

“It is our hope that they will be able to use the basic knowledge we teach them and adapt it to almost any printing technology that they may face in the field,” she says.  

Animation of students teasting their 3-D printed cars

The launching mechanism, which used a carbon dioxide canister, was specially designed and fabricated for the event by SEAS machine shop staff. Photo: Douglas Levere

The culminating event of the workshop was a contest to race 3D printed cars designed and printed by the students. Using a launch mechanism specially designed and fabricated for the event by SEAS machine shop staff, eight teams competed in the event.

Zak Schmidt, Dan Jenkins and Andrew Bialy took first place in the race. Their car was printed using the MakerBot, and traveled 40.8 meters in 2.76 seconds, or 33.06 miles per hour.

Undergraduate and graduate students from across the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences took part in the workshop.

“We strived to develop the workshop so it had both a “theory” component and a “project” component,” says Kevin Hulme, senior research associate for UB’s Digital Manufacturing Laboratory and workshop facilitator.

“We hope to use it as a prototype for a new SEAS one-credit course in 3-D printing in the not too distant future,” he adds.

In addition to Hulme and Seymour, workshop contributors included Maggie Liu, Hailey Kilian, Connie-Rose Deane and Sourabh Saptarshi, all from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.