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3D Printing Expo Spotlights Ruth Lilly Medical Library's Makerspace

Table with Makerspace 3D Printed Models

If you missed the 3D Printing Expo that took place at the Carmel Clay Public Library on Saturday, March 4th, 2023, don't worry! We've got you covered. Cassandra Jones, Nexus Manager and her assistant, Amanda Papandreou of the Ruth Lilly Medical Library (RLML) Makerspace attended this exciting event to share how 3D prints are being used by students, faculty, and staff at the IU School of Medicine. From creating anatomical 3D prints to aid in studying human anatomy, to creating 3D models to aid in research such as dissection tools and microscope parts, attendees learned the many uses of 3D printing.

Cassandra JonesOver 1,200 attendees aged 5 and up attended the 3D print expo, and they were wowed by the amazing 3D print display. Attendees were able to see 3D prints of skulls, pelvises, spines, a femur, a frog dissection model, and articulated models. They were also able to witness live 3D printing demonstrations, and the Makerspace’s Lulzbot Mini 2 printed a pelvis model during the expo.

Attendees learned about everything from how to find 3D printable files to how to create a 3D model from scratch. Cassandra and Amanda explained how to prepare a 3D model for 3D printing, how a 3D printer works, and the difference between FDM (fused deposition modeling) printing, which involves using a type of plastic filament as the material, and SLA (stereolithography) 3D printing, which involves using liquid resin as the material. Attendees were educated on how to post-process 3D prints to achieve the best results.

Makerspace 3D-printing ExamplesCassandra and Amanda demonstrated using a 3D printed mold for silicone casting. In the process, silicone is poured into the 3D printed mold to create a flexible product such as a suture pad. Silicone can also be used to create a mold from a 3D printed item, for example, a 3D printed brain model. The silicone mold can then be used to create multiple resin copies of the model; the basic technique is often used for rapid prototyping. Silicone molding and casting training is available at no cost to IUSM students, faculty, and staff at the RLML Makerspace.

Overall, the 3D Printing Expo at the Carmel Clay Public Library was an exciting educational event that showcased the amazing possibilities of 3D printing. Stop by the Makerspace M-F from 10-4 on the second floor of the Ruth Lilly Medical Library (IB202) to learn about 3D Printing and Discover a New Way to Learn.

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The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
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