For E88: Critical Making, our class took a Techlab orientation in order to make 3D prints for homework. The orientation is open to all students and it’s basically a free 3D printing lesson, help with setting up the software on your laptop, and also opens up access to free 3D printing!
The Techlab is a 3D printing studio right inside the Sherman Fairchild library. Once you go through orientation, you get a little sticker for your ID card that lets you access the room after hours.
We have 9 printers, two which are in a separate room that students can reserve. The filaments also come in myriads of colors, including glow in the dark! Our Techlab uses mostly the very common plastic PLA filament, but we also have metal and other materials!
During orientation, we learned how to use Cura to slice 3D models. The software basically lets you do some simple edits on the model, gives a print time estimate and turns the model into Gcode so the printer knows how to print it. We also learned how to change filaments on the machines.