Professor Sameer Verma presses print on his laptop. But he isn’t printing a document on a regular inkjet printer. Instead, he is using a Printrbot Jr., a small 3D printer that can make almost any object.
Once the machine’s print head reaches the correct temperature, its motors begin whirring to life as it pours layer upon layer of melted plastic. After working laboriously for about eight minutes the Printrbot has made a small Star Trek emblem. “Beam me up,” Verma says in front of his managing enterprise networks class holding the badge to his chest.
This spring semester SF State’s college of business invested in three of these small printers that range from $700 to $1200. According to Verma, the manufacturing capabilities of the machines will help business students design and create prototypes of products that could be shown to potential consumers. “For creating models of projects, these machines would be invaluable. Instead of relying on other people, you can go and get the model printed out and actually have it ready for a presentation,” said Richard Williams, an SF State information systems major.
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