Brown and White:
Lehigh University students can now have their designs come to life with the help of 3D printing.
The CREATE club along with Baker Institution for Entrepreneurship held a 3D printing workshop Thursday at Wilbur Powerhouse. The workshop entailed background information on 3D printing along with a live demonstration of how a 3D printer works.
“3D printing is really revolutionary,” said Brian Friedman, ’14, president of the CREATE club. “It is a huge new trend. The big thing is a lot of students have products they want to make but it is really expensive and they don’t know how to make it. With the CREATE club they can actually team up and make their own product.”
A 3D printer is a printer that can create a 3D object from a computer model. There are four different technologies used for 3D printing in order to make the design. FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) involves plastic melting down and being extruded. With powder (selective laser sintering), a bed powder is placed on the printer and a laser heats up the powder. Resin based (stereo lithography) consists of a layer of resin being exposed to light with the light hardening the resin in order to make the design. The final technology is Inkjet (powder and binder) where a layer of powder is placed onto the printer and then ink goes over the powder. With the help of these technologies it is possible to bring a design to life.
There are many different options when it comes to 3D printing. One of the options that the CREATE club encourages is to make your own printer with open source designs from the website RepRap.com. The parts that are used for building the printer can be bought or made from another 3D printer, and the most popular printers that are made are the Prusa Mendel, Huxley and the Wallace. These printers can be made for around $200.
“I think 3D printing is a great aspect to the future,” said Nathan Goodman, ’14, CREATE club treasurer. “I think it will help a lot with prototyping. I think it can definitely help students that want to make a simple prototype. It is something that is easy to design, easy to use and relatively cheap.”
Another tool for the 3D printing world is Tinkercad.com, a software program that helps with the design of the model. The design is either created or uploaded to the software, where the software will display the design and show how it will look from all angles once it is printed. With the help of Tinkercad it is possible to make anything with a 3D printer.
Materials that are being printed include durable fine plastic, gloss plastic, gold plate, ceramic gloss, white plaster, rainbow plaster and stainless steel, just to name a few types. These materials can essentially print any object that is designed on a CAD platform.
The process of being able to have an idea on paper and make it into a 3D model can be accomplished in four simple steps. The first step is “think it,” which is coming up with a design or an idea and writing it down. The second step is “model it,” using the website thingiverse.com is a great way to download the ready-to-print model of that particular design. The third step “slice it,” with 3D printers, the object is printed one layer at a time. The slicing software “Slic3r” divides the solid model into these layers and generates the g-code in order to create the image. During the final step, “print it”, the printer takes the g-code and sends it to the printer, and the 3D image comes to life.
Professor Marc de Vinck, advisor for the CREATE club, demonstrated how the 3D printers work. With the help of the workshop attendees, de Vinck was able to choose a design and create it in Thinkercad. When the design was completed, he clicked on the print button on his computer and the printer began to slice and print the design.
“I think 3D printers are something that is going to be in everyone’s house in 10 years,”Gerik Bensing, ’14, said. “And I think they’re great.”
The CREATE Club was founded by Friedman and Marshall Nill, ’14, with the support from de Vinck and the Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, who wanted students to be able to create designs and foster a “maker” spirit at Lehigh. Throughout the semester the CREATE club will hold three more workshops every two weeks on different subjects. Students can visit the CREATE club website at lehighcreate.com for more information.
Story by Brown and White news writer Elizabeth Haller, ’16.
Lehigh’s CREATE club and the Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation hosted a welding workshop on Thursday for students to learn the basic skills of welding. Brian Slocum, professor and managing director of Lehigh’s Design Labs and Wilbur Powerhouse, taught the workshop.
“The goal of this seminar is to introduce students to the idea of welding,” Slocum said. “I want to inspire students to learn more and understand how amazing it is to weld something.”
And, indeed, many were inspired.
Brian Friedman, ’14, president of the CREATE club, explained that the reason the club decided to host the workshop was because of student demand. More than 30 students attended the event to gain insight (and a little experience) into the art of welding. The participants later had the opportunity to try out their newly acquired skills.
“The goal is to spread ‘making’ creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the Lehigh campus,” saidMarc de Vinck, an engineering professor and faculty advisor for the CREATE club.
Before the tutorial began, Slocum introduced the group to the basic concepts of welding and its different forms, and described how the process works. He also explained welding safety, which is a crucial component to discuss before entering the workshop.
To start, Slocum went through the process of soldering. Soldering is similar to welding except for one key factor; unlike welding, you only heat a third party metal, instead of the parent metal. The third party metal completes the joining process because it can melt at a lower temperature than the latter. Two students volunteered to solder a pipe and did so with instruction from Slocum.
Slocum then dove into the different types of welding—stick, MIG and TIG welding. Stick welding is the most traditional form and has been around for the last 100 years, while the other forms sprung up within the last 50 years.
Stick welding is also referred to as “SMAW,” which stands for shielded metal arc welding. This form, Slocum explained, is when a rod is used to “knit” the two pieces of metal together once enough heat is applied. Metal from the stick melts along with the parent metal, creating a new alloy from the mixture of the two.
“Welding is the only form of fastening two things together where the joint created is stronger than what you started with,” Slocum said. “That’s the cool thing about welding. We have over a 100 percent connection here.”
MIG welding is slightly different. In stick welding, the rod used shrinks fairly quickly (within one and a half minutes), which requires the user to continuously replace it. MIG welding eliminates that problem to an extent by substituting the stick with a three-foot piece of bare electrode wire, using arc voltage to regulate the feed rate. MIG welding is also referred to as GMAW, which stands for gas metal arc welding.
The last form of welding discussed was TIG welding, also called GTAW, or gas tungsten arc welding. This process differs from the aforementioned methods because it uses a tungsten electrode to produce the weld, which is cannot be consumed. This is possible because the melting temperature of tungsten is extremely high.
In addressing the issues of safety while welding, Slocum started off with an important point—the temperature of boiling water is 212 degrees Fahrenheit, enough to give anyone a serious burn. The temperature at which steel melts is 2,600 degrees Fahrenheit, 12 times greater than the temperature of boiling water.
Slocum stressed how important it is to combat these dangers with the appropriate equipment. Welders must wear insulated gloves and flame retardant jackets, along with safety helmets to protect the face and the eyes. Dangers welders face while on the job include the ejection of impurities in the metal, UV radiation and the risks of working closely with electricity.
“If you want a quick tan, ladies and gentlemen, I can tell you where to go,” Slocum chuckled before reiterating the seriousness of the situation.
Twenty students were chosen to participate in a workshop with Slocum after the presentation. Natalie Gallagher, a fifth-year student at Lehigh, was excited to try out the skill for the first time.
“The event was informative. I’m looking forward to eventually being able to weld things myself,” she said, while waiting her turn for the demo.
“To use electricity to melt metal is a pretty amazing experience, and I hope to give those who attend this seminar a little taste to whet their appetite to learn more about it,” Slocum said.
“We hope that the workshop opens their eyes to the potential of what they can design, make and do, right here at Lehigh, and with skills they can take beyond Lehigh,” said Amy White, a communications specialist for the Baker Institute.
For more information on the CREATE club, visit its website to view upcoming events and suggest future workshop topics.
Story by Brown and White news writer Elissa Miolene, ’15.
P.C. Rossin College Student Success:
3D printers. They are currently one of the hottest topics in the tech industry, but it goes much further. It stole the show at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and has been spotlighted on television shows ranging from This Old House to The Big Bang Theory.
Lehigh students and visitors got the chance to participate in a 3D printing workshop in late January and learn more about this emerging technology.
The work shop was hosted and presented in partnership between the Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation and the university’s CREATE club.
A 3D printer is a device that can create a fully detailed 3D object from a model designed on a computer utilizing several types of technology. The workshop outlined these various technologies and explained how each plays a part in bringing the model to life.
CREATE is one of the most recent clubs founded at Lehigh University thanks in part to two engineering students — Materials Science and Engineering major Brian Friedman ’14, the club’s president; and vice president Marshall Nill ’15, a member of the Integrated Degree in Engineering, Arts and Sciences (IDEAS) program.
Both Friedman and Nill, along with club treasurer Nathan Goodman ’14 (Marketing), secretaryGongkai Percy Li ’14 (Mathematics and Computer Science) and technology officer Steven Bell ’15 (Electrical Engineering) welcome all aspiring student innovators and entrepreneurs with looking to take new ideas to the next level.
CREATE plans to hold additional workshops every few weeks throughout the rest of the semester. Visit lehighcreate.com for the latest schedule.