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Students Create 3-D Objects in the Classroom Image 2
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Students Create 3-D Objects in the Classroom (Image 2)

November 15, 2012
Chess pieces designed and built by students using a classroom 3-D printer at the University Laboratory School (Uni), a public laboratory school for academically talented students from the sub-freshman level (combined seventh and eighth grades) through high school. The new technology enables students in grades K-12 to "print" 3-D objects right in the classroom from computer-generated sources using a rapid prototyping or 3-D lithography process. The process is based on a research project that was headed by Nicholas Fang, an assistant professor in the Mechanical Engineering Lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and developed at the Center for Nanoscale Chemical-Electrical-Mechanical Manufacturing Systems (NanoCEMMS). NanoCemms at Illinoise at Urbana-Champaign is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center. The process uses UV sensitive monomer to do a form of 3-D printing called microstereo lithography. The students use a video projector with a UV output to create incredibly thin polymer layers (on the order of 400 nanometers) and build objects layer by layer. The activity demonstrates the basic challenges of nanoscale engineering and mechanical. The 3-D printing process has already been used by hundreds of students in Illinois at all grade levels to turn mathematical models into objects that they can touch and feel. To learn more about this technology, see the Illinois news story "Seeing" Means Understanding. [Research supported by NSF grant CMMI 07-49028, awarded to John Rogers.] (Date of Image: 2008-2010) [See related image Here.] Credit: Joe Muskin, University of Illinois