3D printing for Everyone, or 3D4E as it’s known for short, is (in my opinion) one of the the BEST clubs at USC. The design team splits members into teams of about 4-6 people which each come up with a project to design and 3D print over the course of the semester. Although this might sound a little intimidating at first, by working with other dedicated team members it’s surprisingly achievable. Upperclassmen in the club are also there to help train new members with the 3D printers and direct them if they feel lost.
3D4E is a great way to learn some useful technical skills, such as 3D printing and computer modeling, in an engaging, out of class environment. It also attracts people from all different majors so it’s an amazing way to work with people you might not otherwise meet. Another reason I love the club is that, because it’s designed for relatively small scale projects, team members get to take their project from conception to execution in just one semester, which is a very exciting and rewarding process.
Last semester, my team decided to make a project that would allow us to use each of our skills while solving a problem we had all encountered: struggling to stay motivated while studying. We ended up creating a portable, automated candy dispenser that released a small amount of candy every 20 minutes. The device also had a series of LED lights which indicated when the candy was about to dispense. Two of my team members were electrical engineering majors so they handled controlling the LEDs and motor, while another team member and I did most of the computer aided design work with SolidWorks. By combining our skills we accomplished way more than we ever could have alone.
At the end of the semester all of the teams presented their projects at the end of the year 3D4E Showcase. This was one of my all time favorite days because I finally got to see the amazing projects that each of the other teams had created (also, there was free Chipotle). It was so much fun to be able to show off to friends and other 3D4E members what my team had been working so hard on all semester.Although I didn’t have enough time in my schedule to participate in 3D4E again this semester, I made an incredible group of friends and learned many valuable skills. Being a member of 3D4E was an amazing experience that I wholeheartedly recommend.
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