Pilot Concluded – Stay Tuned!

We ran this pilot as an experiment to determine if and how we can offer 3d printing to the OSU community reliably, affordably, efficiently, and sustainably. How much does it cost to keep the printers supplied? How often do the printers malfunction? How closely can we predict when a job will be finished? What is the demand, and how many printers are needed to keep up? What should staff be trained to do? What should users be expected to know or do? How is providing this resource contributing to our academic mission?

At this point, the Digital Union’s 3D Printing pilot has officially concluded, and we are excited to see the overwhelming amount of interest and demand. Over the course of 3 months, nearly 800 submissions from over 300 users, wow! A lot of you have asked if 3D printing will be back, and whether it will still be free, and well…that’s part of what we will be spending the next few weeks figuring out.

Note to our users: 3D printing has been suspended while we take a hiatus to assess our results. If you’ve received a message that your print job is ready for pickup, please stop by to retrieve your items. Thanks for participating in our pilot, and we look forward to sharing our results with you here in a few weeks!

Happy 1 Month Anniversary!

Our 3D Printing Pilot began one one month from today, on January 12th, and we have already amassed over 500 submissions! We’re thrilled that you’re thrilled! Due to the massive demand, we are currently prioritizing submissions for work, research, or class use. We are also interested in any submissions that look particularly innovative, creative, inventive, useful, and important. Think less on the scale of trinkets, decorations, and Block-O’s….we want to help you make things like prototypes, prosthetics, creative solutions, teaching/research tools, and art!

2 blue half circles pictured on a soft white background. The two pieces have complimentary openings that lock together.

Holder for use in development of a production version of a camera filter adapter.

Each object can take anywhere from 1 hour to 2 days to print, depending on the size, complexity, and infill. Our end date for accepting submissions is March 16th, after which we will examine information from your submissions, staff and technicians’ assessments, and discussions with other 3d printing experts across the university. A report will be made based on our research to determine if and how we may continue to offer 3D printing broadly, effectively, and sustainably here at OSU.

Taung Child Skull

Unless you’re working at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, you probably don’t have a Taung child skull available to examine in your own Anthro class. But since you’re at OSU, you can and print one here at the Digital Union! Download this model from Thingaverse or check out africanfossils.org where you can download models of over 40 prehistoric fossils, all for free.

Model of Taung Child Skull printed using white PLA filament.For prints like these, we encourage post-production to make the model truly reach its potential. In this instance is may be good to use small amounts of white clay to fill in the creases, sand it clean with 220 grade paper, and then top it all off with a thick, water-based, non toxic acrylic paint.

Your Smartphone is Now a Microscope

One of our testers just printed an attachment meant to turn your smartphone into a microscope!Two halves of an iPhone 5s case printed in green PLA. Makerbot logo, red M inside a red circle, in the background.It snaps onto an iPhone 5s, and with the addition of a common, inexpensive glass bead, can magnify up to 1000x. Unfortunately, it won’t fit over his screen protector, but he can use one of the 3d modeling programs installed on Digital Union computers to modify the dimensions and try again. Click here to read the full article, and download one to print for yourself!