3D Printing at the Illinois MakerLab
Did you know that the world’s first Business School 3D Printing Lab is located right here, at the University of Illinois? The Illinois MakerLab, which opened in the spring of 2013, is located in room 3030 of the Business Instructional Facility, also known as BIF.
I had the chance to stop by the Lab with some members of my business fraternity the other day, and we got to see the MakerBot printers in action. One of the student volunteers gave us a brief history lesson on the 3D printing movement, and then we each had the chance to print something of our choice. Sadly, I left my wallet at home so I didn’t end up making anything, but this was basically my reaction to seeing how the printers work:
The Lab’s focus is on familiarizing users with the process of designing, creating, and marketing products they print—they offer courses and workshops throughout the year, and they even host birthday parties! Their visiting hours are posted on their website, and are open to all.
The MakerLab is a wonderful tool for anyone who’s interested in exploring the cross-sections of technological innovation and business, or for anyone who’s simply curious and wants to try something new. In the past, the MakerLab has served as a tool for everything, from encouraging girls to gain interest in STEM, to supporting student startups, and it continues to expand its outreach efforts through new and creative ways.
If you’re here for a visit, I’d definitely recommend stopping by the MakerLab and learning more about some of the cutting edge technology we have here at Illinois. You can even print yourself a souvenir!