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3D Printing at Lasell

May 24, 2017

3D Printing at Lasell CollegeIn an ever-evolving workplace, using 3D printers and new technology is a skill that students need to help them land their first job, that is Lasell Chief Information Officer Deborah Gelch's theory on 3D printing at Lasell. "3D printing is great for students because when you get into the workforce, there are so many applications for 3D printing," says Gelch, "Just having done it is the leg up that can get students into their first job," says Gelch.

3D printing was introduced alongside the development of the Alden Lab in 2014.  Since this addition, Lasell has acquired a second printer along side a pattern maker and a poster printer, and has begun the first steps in making a 3D printing club.  The goal, as Gelch says is, "to create a Maker Space," or an area at Lasell for students to "get around and make things."

The tools offered in Maker Spaces such as the 3D printers offer an unique opportunity for students to think outside ofOne of Linder's designs that incorporated 3D printing the box when it comes to assignments and projects.  "Immediately I think fashion as a use," says Gelch, "It's a natural connection, but that doesn't mean there isn't a connection for other majors."  Indeed, students are already making use of the 3D printers.  Jessica Lindner, a Fashion Design and Production student, is one of the first students to utilize the printers, printing over 5,000 pill-shaped beads for her design in the Spring Senior Showcase. Lindner wanted to incorporate contraceptive pills in her design, but traditional pills would render the piece unwearable.  "I decided to 3D print because it has always been an interest of mine to learn, and because it was a solution to my design work," Linder says, "If you are someone going into any type of design, learning how to use the 3D printer can only benefit you."

All Lasell students have free access to the 3D printers and to training to learn how to design for and operate the printers. This was critical to Gelch as she felt that she really wanted students to take ownership of the machines.

Students such as Lindner are truly at the apex of this period of technological advancement, and Gelch hopes that others will follow in her footsteps. "The college is always looking for ways to integrate new technology," says Gelch, and with a focus on student led creativity and learning 3D printers on campus, Lasell is doing just that. 

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