Audrey Burch demonstrates how the 3D printer works. Video by Stuart Ferguson.

When MRU students were caught at home, the Maker Space in the Riddell Library was mostly dormant, operated by its technician Audrey Burch. As a polymath who has had their work in multiple art exhibits, they act as the friendly guardian to the space, happy to bring all manners of students in.  

The most curious e of these machines are 3D printers, which feature a hot glue gun-like nozzle skating around a motor-driven plate as it delicately layers plastic in the building process. To Burch, it’s a liberating way to work on creating new designs. 

“This is what’s great about 3D printing. You can rapidly prototype your designs by printing them and adjusting them according to your needs,” said Burch.

Audrey Birch posing in front of a resin 3D printer. Photo by Stuart Ferguson

In the process of 3D printing, the original model file can still be tweaked and scaled according to observed defects and oversights.

“You can rapidly prototype designs by printing them off and testing them, looking for design flaws such as the material tolerance which could be added to the pen-stand 3D model.  By testing you can return to your 3D modeling software and make edits now that you have rapid-prototyped your first iteration.”

The maker studio remains free to use for students and avid users can submit their own files to be printed via email. 

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