By Delaney Ferguson
Cal Poly Pomona now has two 3D printers on campus.
The College of Environmental Design has two printers in Building 3. The College of Engineering also has a printer in Building 9.
Michael Woo, the dean of the College of Environmental Design, explained how the printer works.
“You can provide a drawing or diagram and the machine basically turns it into a 3D object,” said Woo. “It can take something that is 2D and make it into something that is 3D.”
Graphic design students use a 3D printer for designing packaging or boxes. Architecture students often use it to create a 3D model of designed buildings. However, all students are welcome to use the printers.
The College of Environmental Design’s 3D printers create the user’s desired image by using a particular kind of powder. The user must first put their desired image onto a flash drive, which is uploaded to the printer and read through the computer.
There is also a clean up station to clean up the excess powder with a vacuum from the object once it is produced and finished. When the printer finishes an image, sometimes there is excess powder that needs to be removed.
After clean up, the object has to be bound together with a special binding tool. It generally takes about one week to generate 3D prints.
The 3D printer is becoming more popular and is now being used more often. Over the years, the technology has improved and costs have decreased.
The cost is measured by cubic centimeters. One cubic centimeter costs 60 cents.
If the drawing is more extensive and detailed, the price of the model is higher. However, CPP does offer a lower price compared to other printing companies.
Many students create self-portraits from this machine. These portraits cost anywhere from $90 to $200, depending on size and thickness.
The College of Engineering’s printer makes plastic molds. Plastic molds are more expensive compared to the powder molds.
Wasantha Kumara, the College of Environmental Design’s lab coordinator, knows the ins and outs of the machine.
“Flowers, butterflies, portraits are all 3D objects that have been produced from this machine, which all turn out to be very cool,” he says. “Not too many people use it is because it gets a bit pricey, and the cost adds up with size.”
Gabrielle Penaranda / The Poly Post
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