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Langara Creative Arts invites students to experiment with 3D printer

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Design and formation instructor, Yvan Morissette, stands beside the 3D Printer.  Photo by: Nich Johansen
Design and formation instructor, Yvan Morissette, stands beside the 3D Printer. Photo by: Nich Johansen

Reported by Nich Johansen 

One of Langara’s two 3D printers will be opened up to students at a printing meet-up on Oct. 24, to build on the momentum from a printing showcase to be held in September.

Printer is shared

A 3D printer takes a three-dimensional rendering and prints it out into a real life structure. The creative arts division acquired their printer in February and has been working to incorporate it into the curriculum of some of their courses, said Tomo Tanaka, the chair of the creative arts division. The 3D printer is a lower-end model, and costs roughly $2,500, he said.

The new technology is shared by all departments under the creative arts division. Tanaka said that they held a printing demonstration in September and the interest it attracted surprised the organizers.

Student engagement

The October meet-up is hosted collaboratively by the library learning commons, the computer science department and the creative arts division.

“We noticed at the showcase that quite a few students have experience doing 3D rendering,” said Joyce Wong, learning commons coordinator. “They’re interested in printing their objects, so we wanted to continue the enthusiasm and interest in 3D printing.”

“Give us your file, we’ll try and print out your file,” Tanaka said. “We’ll see how that goes.”

The opportunity to print students’ own renders at the meet-up is limited to the first 10 registrants.

Use will increase in the future

Wong said that the printer is currently being used by the faculty for experimentation purposes. While it is not currently part of any classes, Tanaka expects 3D printers will be an integral part of the curriculum in the near future.

Tanaka said that the printer works by using a plastic filament to create structures. “The filament comes in a long spool that gets heated up and squished out a nozzle.”

“It’s like a glue gun on steroids,” said Yvan Morissette, design formation instructor.

The printer at Langara College in action.  Video by Nich Johansen

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