Living in a Three Dimensional World

In the age of instant gratification, our generation is used to having everything from microwavable food, to instant messaging with friends, at the tip of our finger tips. And as per the usual, ISM has been acutely aware of which sophisticated technologies could satisfy our craving for immediate responses, while simultaneously benefiting the greater ISM community. Imagine. A contraption that could produce a varied selection of personalized objects, ranging from dinosaurs to cupcakes, with the click of a button. Well, such a device is not only now feasible, but also available to be used by the students of ISM.

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The newly purchased Replicator 2X 3-D printers are now being housed in the Digital Technology wing of the school. The appliances are being used to build three-dimensional solid objects made from melted polymer filaments, a type of durable plastic used to create models such as LEGO blocks. The process of 3D printing starts when the machine receives directions from a computer control, which is where the printer navigates through the information on the SD cards inputted. Layer by layer, it then uses the plethora of available multicolor polymer filament spools to mold an object. The machines rely solely on the American MakerBot company, though it is in the early production stages, and has only been able to create a few designs from the templates given.

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The Design Technology head and tech savvy Robert Anderson describes the printer as a

“contemporary tool used for designing and manipulating materials” that has the ability to produce “optimal solutions to human problems.” The 3-D printers offer enthusiastic students the opportunity to see how their sketches can come to life, making the design process a lot more efficient in a manner that will “productively influence the quality of our lives”

While the cutting edge technology would minimize the manual labor that goes into crafting small objects, according to Mr. Anderson, the manual construction is still very much needed in order to polish these projects. While some may fear the reliance on technology in order to get handicraft work done, it also could be said that the 3D printers will enhance the designs that we are able to manufacture and widen our perspective of production.

Written By: Ysabel Ayala

Photos By: Arianna Mapua

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