When Pablos Holman gave his presentation at school meeting this week, he encouraged us all to tinker and experiment to find new ways of solving problems. His talk captured perfectly the spirit and purpose of the Boyden Library’s Innovation Lab. While the Innovation Lab doesn’t have all of the fancy, high-tech equipment that Mr. Holman’s lab has, there are a wide array of tools and supplies to enable student creativity. Most popular among these tools are the 3D printers. Our machines use a technique known as fused filament fabrication (fff) to create objects, a process that involves melting a thin plastic filament and “drawing” it in successive layers to build up the final product. This is only one way of 3D printing, and it has its downsides—prints can become misaligned, or the device can overheat and damage itself, as happened recently to one of our units. This brings us the Innovation Lab Design Challenge Of The Month: is there a better way of 3D printing? Here’s how the contest works:
1.) Think up a way to 3D print an object. It could be a variation of the Makerbot printers we have, or something completely new. (3D printed candy, anyone?)
2.) Submit your idea by January 31. Anything goes—a written description, a sketch, an origami model, a 3D print. (Print-ception?) Submitted entries will be put on display in the Innovation Lab, so head over there to gain inspiration and check out what other people have come up with!
4.) Profit! At the end of the month, a winner will be chosen and awarded a gift certificate redeemable at the Greer or the Louis Café.
Go start inventing! Entries can be submitted at the front desk of the library.