On Saturday, March 7, Deis3D participated in a 3D Printathon from 10:30 a.m. until the next day. Along with MIT, Olin College of Engineering, University of Connecticut and Columbia University, Deis3D consecutively printed for 24 hours, working together with high schoolers from Waltham to teach them printing skills and let them use a 3D printer, provided by Brandeis, for the first time.
The Printathon took place in the Farber Mezzanine, allowing teams of three to six students to enter, as long as they provided their own designs and materials. Judging of the final products was based off of various qualifications, including the use of the theme, which was unsurprisingly “social justice.” Prizes were given to winners at the end of the 24 hours, and up to two final products were judged from each team.
Along with the students directly involved in the club, members of LTS pitched in to create the LTSMakerLab, which originally inspired the printathon. Jeffrey Stein, an LTS project manager, expressed optimism about the future of 3D printing at Brandeis and within Deis3D, after the event. “I hope to put Brandeis on the map for 3D printing,” Stein said. “The university has made a big commitment to this: creating the lab, supporting the club and its activities. I’d like Brandeis to get recognition for that, and I’d like the lab, its manager, Ian Roy, and the club to get recognition for the huge strides we have made so far and the innovation that continues to come out of our shared space.” Stein praised the organization of the club and the level of commitment the team put into the event, which was both a learning experience for Deis3D, as it was for the high school students of Waltham High School.
Gabriel Seltzer, the managing assistant of Deis3D, explained that Deis3D extended their materials and printing knowledge to the high school students, in order to introduce basic printing skills to them. “They’ve never worked with a 3D printer before, so I got them up to speed with a few of ours,” explained Seltzer.
Using the theme of social justice and the help of Deis3D, the students decided to design a customizable water wheel. With the use of a spare motor, the two parts could be used to generate electricity, which might be used to aid poor or rural communities. Eventually, after 24 hours of hard work and printing, Waltham Public High School’s team obtained third place, winning a piece of filament as a prize which they could use as material to print from their own printer. “In fact, since then, they’ve contacted me and asked if we could help them build a printer to start a club at their school! I look forward to working with them in the near future,” Seltzer said.
Though exhaustive and competitive, the organizers kept the event’s atmosphere fun and enjoyable for contestants by providing food, drinks and prizes during the event. While Deis3D is relatively new to Brandeis, the club is excited to continue collaborating with other groups to hold more events. With the support of LTS and the success of their Printathon, Deis3D already appears to be increasing the presence of 3D printing to Brandeis University.