3D printers and laser cutters aren’t just for engineers any more.
With easy access to these tools and more, students from across campus are using the UTA FabLab to help make their vision reality.
Morgan Chivers, Department of Art & Art History instructor and graduate student, uses FabLab tools to create complex molds for his glass sculptures starting with a 3D-printed prototype.
The process had a learning curve. He first had to learn the software used to create 3D models, then how to print out that design on a 3D printer, how to make the printed mold watertight, and finally how to use the mold to shape the final glass piece. Fortunately, FabLab staff were ready to help. “The staff and the student workers here are very knowledgeable,” he said.
Chivers’ molds can sometimes take a long time to print depending on how intricate they are, but he sees this as a positive.
“The FabLab being in the Central Library allows for a lot of interdepartmental collaboration,” he said. “Some 3D models may take upwards of three hours to print out and, in that time, you can have a conversation with the engineering student working next to you.”
To see Chivers’ work, visit the UT Arlington Library YouTube channel.
To create your own project, visit the UTA FabLab on the first floor of Central Library.
(SOURCE: Joshua Mitchell/UTA Libraries)