STEM Center teaches about 3D-printing


Rin Statz / Clarion

One of the 3D printers int he STEM Center prints a pumpkin. Students can earn their Digital 3D Printing badge at two upcoming sessions planned in the STEM Center. Those sessions are on Oct. 31, from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Nov. 8 form 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. To participate, students must sign up ahead of time using Just search for “Earn a Digital 3D Printing Badge” by Madison College.

Chris Bird, News Editor

The STEM center at the Madison College Truax Campus is offering students, staff, faculty and community members the opportunity to learn about 3D printing and get hands-on experience with the process known as Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM).

Madison College community members can attend two and a half hour sessions which will show them how to use a variety of tools used in 3D printing. If completed, they will earn a Digital 3D Printing badge for their efforts, and will have the knowledge they need to 3D print objects all on their own.

When asked how people can qualify for these sessions, Alec Weiland from the stem center replied “Exist.” The sessions are totally free, and are designed so no prior knowledge of the equipment or software is required. “

We will walk you through everything,” Weiland said, “what 3D printing is, what its strengths are, what its weaknesses are.”

According to the STEM center, to get a Digital 3D Printing Badge you must:

  • Load filament into a 3D print pen and control heat and speed settings to achieve desired results, with understanding how these concepts apply to operating any 3D printer.
  • Obtain a 3D printable model via download from the web.
  • Create a simple 3D printable model using basic Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software.
  • Export 3D printable models to a STereoLithography file format (STL).
  • Import the STL file into slicer software to generate machine-readable G-code instructions to direct the printer.
  • Load filament into the 3D printer.
  • Load G-code instructions into the printer.
  • Print a model.

“Engineering, Design, and Architecture students, especially, could use this technology,” Weiland said, but he encourages anyone who has interest in 3D printing to utilize these seminars. Once they have a badge, anyone can go to the STEM center to use their equipment, and will only have to spend money on their own filament for printing.

The STEM center also plans on having fundraisers every other week where they will sell 3D printed objects. Anyone can have a piece commissioned by the STEM center as well, for prices that vary based on the piece being made. The proceeds from these commissions help fund the STEM center.

Upcoming sessions to earn your Digital 3D Printing badge are on Oct. 31 from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. and Nov. 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. These can fill up fast, so if you are interested, sign up online through the “Earn a Digital 3D Printing Badge” event by Madison College on