Physics Adds 3D Printer

April 11, 2014
J. D. Chaudhry '16

Physics Students with 3D PrinterAfter several weeks of meetings with members of the Student Finance Board and the head of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, the Society of Physics Students and the Department of Physics and Astronomy purchased The MakerBot: Replicator 2, a desktop 3D printer.

The MakerBot is a, microwave size, 3D printer with the capabilities to make professional-quality models using a low-cost consumable, the MakerBot PLA filament. The MakerBot can create models using the easy to use MakerBot MakerWare software along with many 3D design tools such as the Computer-Aided Design (CAD) programs.  Essentially, a design is uploaded into a SD card. The SD card is then put into the MakerBot. The MakerBot then creates the model by melting the PLA filament in ascending layers.

The MakerBot now enables professors and students, conducting lab research, the opportunity to create any parts that they may need for their research. The Society of Physics Students plans to use the printer to create several parts for upcoming projects such as the Electronic Cannon and Plasma Speaker. The printer will be used to create the barrel of the Electronic Cannon and to create the base for the Plasma Speaker. The printer requires little maintenance and the only purchase necessary is the PLA filament, which is also available in several colors. With the MakerBot: Replicator 2 students will be able to create their most imaginative designs for research, projects, or just for fun. The possibilities are endless.