Author Archive for admin

Maker Space- Paige Merrow

As a child, I always envied my peers who received the Touch and Feel books to read before sleep. There were so many publications with soft bunny hair, sandpapery cat tongues, and some even with pop out illustrations of owls…

The MakerLab- Erin Nilssen

On October 3rd I attended the grand opening of Champlain College’s new MakerLab located at the Lakeside Campus. This new addition to Champlain was designed as a place for students to be creative. Honestly, I had no clue what to…

Making the Future

by Emily Coble

Photo by Emily Coble

Examples of projects printed using Maker Lab equipment | Photo by Emily Coble

Walking into the Emergent Media Center I had no idea what to expect. What I saw was a space for students to unleash their creativity at Champlain’s very own Maker Lab. Privileged doesn’t even begin to describe the way I feel knowing that I have access to this technology at Champlain College.

Not only do Champlain students have access to one 3D printer, but they have access to two! After speaking with Jake Pierce, a fellow student at Champlain as well as a member of the Maker Lab staff, I learned that any student can learn how to use these machines.

The ProJet 4500 is the first technology I looked at while I was there. It is one of, if not the, best 3D printers available on the commercial market.

Photo by Emily Coble

ProJet 4500 | Photo by Emily Coble

This machine prints similar to the way a basic inkjet printer works, laying down layers of ink. Except, instead of a traditional ink a sandlike plastic substance is laid down in combination with a liquid binder to create the sturdy plastic in the finished piece. The sand-like texture makes it ideal for topographic maps or building models because the plastic reacts just like sand would allowing for support regardless of how much support is behind, for an example see the soccer player with a lifted leg below.

Soccer Player printed using Projet 4500 Photo by Emily Coble

Soccer Player printed using Projet 4500
Photo by Emily Coble

One of the first things I thought of when looking at this machine and its possible connections to the publishing world was pop up books! I got to play around with some of the items printed on the Projet and specifically the shell (below) really caught my eye! It was small enough that you could incorporate similar pieces into an interactive book for young, or old, children. It may not be the most practical solution but I think it would be a great way to build an interactive book that wouldn’t go through the usual wear-and-tear of a traditional paper pop up book.

Photo by Emily Coble

Piece printed using Projet 4500       Photo by Emily Coble

 

While on my visit I also met Matt May, who was busy printing his own 3D project on the MakerBot Replicator 2X.

Matt May checking to make sure his project is printing properly | Photo by Emily Coble

Matt May checking to make sure his project is printing properly          Photo by Emily Coble

This 3D printer prints using a method similar to the way a hot glue gun works. This printer also prints in layers, like a traditional inkjet printer would, but instead of using a powdered plastic it comes out as a hot liquid plastic that quickly dries. This printer prints items with a smoother texture, but don’t let that fool you, it can’t print as much detail as the Projet and it’s harder to get overhangs to stand up on their own.

Piece printed from MakerBot Photo by Emily Coble

Piece printed from MakerBot
Photo by Emily Coble

The Makerbot got me thinking about the Endangered Alphabet and 3D printings of different letters, or phrases. Although it would be time consuming to print everything out, I think it would be a really cool way to make the alphabets more interactive. Also for the Elegant Sparks project, perhaps this a way to take the arts and crafts out of the project and present completed works that the user doesn’t have to fold together since in class we had talked about straying away from the DIY consumer.

The most obviously beneficial equipment to the publishing world, in my opinion, was the Epson Pro printer.

Epson Pro  Photo by Emily Coble

Epson Pro
Photo by Emily Coble

This printer can print basically any size poster your heart desires. This could be utilized in the publishing world for marketing campaigns, as well as printing books on larger pieces of paper (just keep the page numbers limited or this could end up costing you a fortune).

My favorite piece of technology at the Maker Lab was definitely the Epilog Laser mini.

Epilog Laser mini Photo by Emily Coble

Epilog Laser mini
Photo by Emily Coble

This small machine is a larger laser cutter! It can engrave practically any surface, including paper, leather, wood and metals. Pretty much anything you can think of except for plastics. This machine prints using Adobe Illustrator Vector files, making it extremely user friendly. The machine creates a greyscale of the photo you wish to print and then based on stroke and depth of color the machine cuts accordingly. The darker the stroke the deeper the laser cuts. This allows you to engrave extremely detailed images.

Strip of wood that now is almost ribbon like after going through the Epilog Laser Photo by Emily Coble

Strip of wood that is almost ribbon like after going through the Epilog Laser
Photo by Emily Coble

 

Projects printed using Epilog Laser Photo by Emily Coble

Projects printed using Epilog Laser
Photo by Emily Coble

 

Epilog Laser as it prints Photo by Emily Coble

Epilog Laser as it prints
Photo by Emily Coble

This machine got me thinking about what sorts of materials books our poems could be printed on. How cool would it be to have poems printed on a leather scroll?! Also, again thinking about the Endangered Alphabet project again, it could make the wood carving aspect a lot faster and not as labor intensive. But then again, you’re trading off personal touch for simplicity.

With the changing publishing world comes a change in what people want to have published and I believe that all of these technologies could be utilized by publishers in the future to keep things young and exciting for the public.

The Maker Lab is officially open! Unfortunately, they haven’t figured out student pricing so don’t get your files ready to print just quite yet.

Any student will be allowed to use the facility after specialized training on each machine so that everyone knows what they’re doing before they start pressing buttons on a thousands of dollars of equipment.

I know I’ll be keeping a lookout for those prices and times that are available for training!

 

Maker’s Lab – Tyler da Silva

When I was a child, I owned two books that captivated my imagination – Dragonology and Egyptology. These fictional field guides had ornate carved covers embedded with fake gemstones, and they were filled with 2D trinkets. Egyptology came with “authentic”…

Hadley’s Maker Space

I have never been inside the Lakeside campus building before. The entire experience was new and at first overwhelming. There were so many things that could be created and had already been created!. Someone had mentioned a helmet that would…

Maker Space Nikki Creighton

After visiting the Maker Lab I now realize how far behind I am with the current times and the newest technology.  I didn’t even fully understand what a Maker Lab was or what it entailed until visiting Champlain College’s maker…