Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 66 of 68

idea exchange New Way to Innovate Meet Your Maker The Idea Illinois MakerLab, which gives students hands-on experience with 3D modeling and printing Location The College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Marketing professor Aric Rindfleisch holds a 3D model of himself created in MakerLab. Next spring, Rindfleisch and Vishal Sachdev, the lab's director, will collaborate with engineering professor Matt Sherburne to teach a crossdisciplinary course fittingly called "Making Things." Students will work on threeperson teams—comprising students from business, engineering, and design—to create products, print prototypes, and write business plans. The Lab 64 Join the Movement Opened in January, Illinois MakerLab is equipped with six MakerBot Replicator2 3D printers, as well as Kinect for Windows, a 3D image capturing system. Users can download design templates from the Internet, make their own designs with 3D modeling software, or scan an existing object or person with Kinect. Once they perfect their designs onscreen, they send them to the printer. So far, students in business, engineering, art, and architecture have printed objects ranging from business card holders to furniture models. This fall, the school plans to add four more printers, each costing about US$2,000. Aric Rindfleisch, the school's John M. Jones Professor of Marketing, established the lab with funds from his chaired position. The lab's ongoing costs include $500 per month to maintain all ten printers and keep them supplied with plastic filament. To cover future expenses, Rindfleisch will seek sponsors, donations, and grants, as well as offer exec ed courses. Now costing as little as $400, 3D printers are hitting the mainstream quickly, which has led to the "maker movement"—a boom of home-based inventors who are printing and selling their own creations. Several online platforms even now allow individuals to sell their objects directly to consumers. These trends could disrupt traditional retail and manufacturing As a student rotates on a chair, channels, says Rindfleisch. a camera scans her head and Rindfleisch says that shoulders to create a 3D image. his vision for MakerLab is threefold: to support courses on innovation, help faculty study the implications of the A replica of maker movement, and inspire Star Wars students' independent "creation character Yoda, of things we can't even imagmade by a ine yet." The lab's purpose, he student on adds, isn't just to make cool a MakerBot objects. It's to prepare students printer for what the future of innovation could look like. To read more about Illinois MakerLab, visit July/August 2013 BizEd

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of BizEd - JulyAugust2013