One of the greatest things about USC, in my humble opinion, is the ability for students to see a need and fill it. Last year my friends and I decided that there was a shortage of 3D printing opportunities for students across all majors on USC’s campus. Several schools here- including the Architecture School, Viterbi, and Roski- have access to 3D printers, but usually in the form of research activities or class projects. But, we couldn’t find a spot where students of all majors could come together and share in this interest with one another. So, we decided to do something about that!
After some brainstorming we came up with the idea for a new club on campus, called 3D4E – ‘E’ meaning everyone. We did some quick research on USC’s website and found out what the necessary steps were to get up and running, and within a short few weeks we were a registered club. Unfortunately we were a little late to the game so it was really hard to get publicity out – key learning that timing is everything. No worries though, despite the fact we were certified we didn’t even have a 3D printer of our own!
Fast forward a few months to the beginning of this year, and you wouldn’t believe the difference. Two printers of our own, another one waiting to be assembled, access to a MakerBot and a lab space on campus! An incredible changeup! Now that I’ve got that little chunk of history out of the way, what can you do with this new information?
Why not check out some of the sweet projects 3D4E has going on?
For instance, if you’re interested in surfing there’s one project with the goal of 3D printing replacement fins so that you can quickly change out the broken ones! Starting with just an idea, members get to 3D model and then see their concept realized as a usable piece.
Or, perhaps you’re interested in prosthetics? 3D4E is partnering with eNabling, and Limbitless to bring inexpensive, reliable prostheses to children in both the U.S., and Haiti.
But, of course, you could just join us in learning how to use these incredible machines and make some incredible things!
And don’t worry if you don’t know how to 3D model or how to 3D print you’re not the only one, and we can help you learn!
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In the maker-space is there access to Laser Cutters and CNC machinery as well? I have used both somewhat significantly and hope to continue that at USC this Fall.
Hi Austin! Unfortunately there aren’t any Laser Cutters or CNC machines in our space. However there are CNC Mills, and other similar machinery in the Fabrication Laboratory. The FabLab, we commonly call it, has a few 3D printers, and a CNC Mill (I believe there’s a lathe but I’m not 100% sure) and is open to all undergraduate Viterbi students.
If you’re really interested in machining I would recommend joining one of the design teams (e.g. Rocket Lab, USC Racing etc.). Or, depending on how deep you want to go, I might recommend looking up Professor Rodney Yates when you arrive. He’s Viterbi’s resident machinist, and has an extensive background in machining in industry.