Students to build 3-D printers in new course

By Sadye Mascia

Starting in the fall, students will be given the opportunity to build a 3-D printer right here on campus.

A course put together by James Wade, senior lecturer in the College of Fine Arts and Derek Eggers, director of online education for the College of Arts and Sciences, will teach students how to construct  a 3-D printer and create from it.

The course is open to all students and no perquisites are required.

“We will have purchased a 3-D printer that we will use in class. But in the class we actually make our own 3-D printer,” Eggers said.

There is a large trend toward a thing called the ‘maker movement’, where people are making their own devices, fixing things at home or building things and experimenting, Eggers said. “There is a lot of talent on campus that can contribute to this movement and this class will help them better understand where their ideas and creations could fit in.”

Furthermore, it gives them the opportunity to actually create a tangible product, Wade said.

With this course being offered, more opportunities will be presented for students within their respected colleges, Wade said.

“For the art students, it’s really wonderful because so many of them have been playing on the computer with 3-D modeling, but have never had the opportunity to take it off the screen,” Wade said.

By actually building these machines in class, it gives the students the knowledge of how to create on their own while giving them the skills to do so, Wade said.

“This will be a really great way for them to learn those skills, so that if they need to in the future, they can actually create this equipment,” Wade said. “They can skip the middle man.”

The course capacity is 15 students, and 10 have already enrolled.

“It’s a 300 level class, but we want a wide rage of students,” Eggers said.

This summer, Wade and Eggers expect to be doing a lot to prepare for the fall.

“We’ll definitely learn and make some mistakes in the class, and there’s some open-endedness to it,” Eggers said. “That’s partially what’s going to make it a lot of fun for us, too.”

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article featured an photograph that was not related to the story. The Kernel regrets the error. To report an error, email