University of Notre Dame 3-D Printing Working Group

This is the tiniest of blog postings describing a fledgling community here on campus called the University of Notre Dame 3-D Printing Working Group.

Working group

Working group

A few months ago Paul Turner said to me, “There are an increasing number of people across campus who are interested in 3-D printing. With your new space there in the Center, maybe you could host a few of us and we can share experiences.” Since then a few of us have gotten together a few times to discuss problems and solutions when it comes these relatively new devices. We have discussed things like:

  • what can these things be used for?
  • what are the advantages and disadvantages of different printers?
  • how and when does one charge for services?
  • what might the future of 3-D printing look like?
  • how can this technology be applied to the humanities?


Mike Elwell from Industrial Design hosted one of our meetings. We learned about “fab labs” and “maker spaces”. 3-D printing seems to be latest of gizmos for prototyping. He gave us a tour of his space, and I was most impressed with the laser cutter. At our most recent meeting Matt Leevy of Biology showed us how he is making models of people’s nasal cavities so doctors and practice before surgery. There I learned about the use of multiple plastics to do printing and how these multiple plastics can be used to make a more diverse set of objects. Because of the growing interest in 3-D printing, the Center will be hosting a beginner’s 3-D printing workshop in on March 28 from 1 – 5 o’clock and facilitated by graduate student Kevin Phaup.

With every get together there have been more and more people attending with faculty and staff from Biology, Industrial Design, the Libraries, Engineering, OIT, and Innovation Park. Our next meeting — just as loosely as the previous meetings — is scheduled for Friday, April 4 from noon to 1 o’clock in room 213 Stinson-Remick Hall. (That’s the new engineering building, and I believe it is the Notre Dame Design Deck space.) Everybody is welcome. The more people who attend, the more we can each get accomplished.

‘Hope to see you there!

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