The Innovation Lab opened in October 2015 with two Up Mini 3D printers.
These printers worked great for us, but student projects have become more sophisticated, and general use is in higher demand. The need for a more robust, educationally focused 3D printer became a priority. We decided to go with the uPrint Plus SE.
Case Study: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water:
In the first photo below, we have a Up Mini 3D replica of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water. You will notice that the resolution is good, but you must use tweezers to carefully remove all of the supporting material, which can be tricky.
In this second photo, you have Falling Water printed on the uPrint SE Plus. This machine allows us to have one colored material (ivory, red, orange, green, blue, etc) in addition to soluble support material. After printing the model then soaking it into the basic solution bath, we have this 3D print of Falling Water:
The 3D print is of really good quality, and the student does not need to worry about cracking the real structure when removing support structure.
Pros: Great prints, an on-call support team, very reliable. The UPrint machine in our Lower school is almost 5 years old and has had little/no problems.
Cons: The UPrint SE Plus is much more expensive. From the materials to the support material, it’s a much more financially demanding investment.
Today, a uPrint 3D technician came to the Innovation Lab to train us on how to get our new 3D printer up and running, and to review basic maintenance procedures.
We’ve been encouraged to use GrabCad.com as the interface, which works well with most other 3D printing software out there.
Only time will tell, but we are really excited about the possibilities and encouraging our students to take their projects to the next level of Innovation!!