The Newman University STEM club made it their goal during the 2018-19 academic year to raise enough money so they could purchase a 3D printer for the university.
With two major fundraisers and the help of the Student Government Association, the chemistry and biology departments and library staff, club members achieved that goal.
Club President Kristin Lau and Vice President Swati Tamrakar, who came up with the idea of purchasing a 3D printer for the whole university to use, both said they were happy to see their goal realized.
Lau said, “My goal for this machine is for it to start being used in classes, to find an actual productive use for it, or even just to have fun. Honestly, I just want people to start using it.”
The printer cost about $4,000 with the printing materials. Lau said they really couldn’t have raised the money so quickly if it weren’t for the joint efforts of others in the Newman community.
Barbara Sponsel, mathematics professor and STEM club advisor said, “Kristin and Swati did a lot of research. For example, they read reviews and identified quality 3D printers available at a reasonable price. They have been working to determine a good process and procedure for 3D print requests. They helped Steve Hamersky, director of library services, set up the 3D printer and started figuring out how to print items.”
Creations made with the printer use all-natural, biodegradable plastic and come in gray, green and clear. Students are able to create their design on TinkerCad, which is an aided design program. These designs include the anatomy of an animal, a 3D printing of the human heart for study purposes, 3D art for showing off and even fun miniature characters.
The printer will be housed inside Dugan Library. Staff are currently working with the STEM club members to determine when and how printing requests can be made.
To see updates about the printer follow the STEM club on Instagram at @nu_stem.