VC/UHV Library creating its own world in 3D
3D printer
The 3D printer at the VC/UHV Library applies layers of filament to the final portion of a two-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower.

After approximately 40 hours of construction, the Eiffel Tower was near completion at the VC/UHV Library on Tuesday.

A two-foot-tall replica of one of the world’s most recognizable structures stood on the counter as the library’s new 3D printer buzzed nearby, preparing its final piece.

The VC/UHV Library acquired the printer in November, and instructors began creating small projects like virus models for biology classes. Students have also printed a variety of things such as the Venus de Milo statue, the parts to build wearable video glasses and an intricately designed six-sided box.

The library recently used the printer to construct an entire chess set before embarking on creating the replica of France’s famous landmark.

“It takes creativity to design and work with a 3D model,” said Laurie Neuerburg, VC/UHV instruction and media librarian. “The Eiffel Tower is by far the biggest project we’ve done.”

Unlike conventional ink printers, 3D printers apply microscopically thin layers of filament. After multiple photos of the structure to be replicated are scanned into the printer, the device begins creating the three-dimensional object one layer at a time.

Neuerburg said the printer can be used for a variety of educational purposes.

“It’s used in engineering and health sciences,” she said. “It can be used to print art objects. Art museums have scanned objects and put their models online. It has a lot of different applications for students in many different disciplines.”

The printer is available for use by any VC or UHV student free of charge.

“That’s why we have it at the library,” Neuerburg said. “It makes it easier for many students to use it.”
3D printer
VC/UHV librarian Laurie Neuerburg stands by the two-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower that was near completion Tuesday.
Published: Wednesday, 20 July 2016

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