This past summer, Grace College, Winona Lake, Ind., allocated and raised $60,000 to purchase technology upgrades for the science and mathematics department. Among the new equipment is a 3D printing lab consisting of five 3D printers available to students across academic disciplines, sourced from a local company out of Goshen, Ind.
The project is being used in collaboration with Morgan Library, which manages the space and the printers. Currently, two Grace classes, Typography and Introduction to Computer Science, have integrated hands-on experience building models with the 3D printers into their curriculum, with five more classes across the disciplines working on integrating 3D printer experiences into their course work as well.
“Grace students that use the 3D printers will be able to add another technology skill to their resumes,” said Rick Koontz, associate professor of information systems and manager of the 3D printer project. “3D printer technology is happening on a larger scale in manufacturing right now, and there are a lot of universities that are adding 3D printing labs to their resources. It’s cutting edge for a school of our size to offer this kind of technology to our students.”
Long term, Grace is projecting to create a 3D printing class open to all Grace students, regardless of their specific discipline, to learn how to design and print models.