Machines that fabricate items on demand. Technology that turns a digital computer model into a physical object. Once the realm of science fiction, 3D printers are increasingly common in schools, libraries, and on university campuses, and they're being used to create every-day objects to complex medical devices and even human body parts.
In Southwest Florida, 3D printers give students tangible artifacts to educate them about biology, chemistry, and history. Libraries rent them for projects at home or presentations to groups. And at colleges and universities like FGCU, they're being used to design and rapidly prototype engineering projects.
Thursday at 1 p.m., Gulf Coast Live features guests using of 3D printer technology in Southwest Florida to discuss their current and potential future applications, including:
- Dr. Derek Lura, an FGCU assistant professor in bioengineering who has used 3D printers
- Aaron Blumberg, a librarian with the Southwest Florida Library Network, offering information and hands-on experience with the library's 3d printers
- Adam Nowicki, a lab manager with FGCU's College of Engineering, who's helped students use 3D printers on multiple projects