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November 21, 2011

Westphal Product Design students along with Electrical Engineering students from the College of Engineering worked for a week assembling a MakerBot Thing-O-Matic 3D printer. The MakerBot Thing-O-Matic 3D printer is a revolutionary printer that creates a manufacturing station that allows users to create any type of 3D image and print it from a CAD-generated sketch. Students involved in the project first assembled the Thing-O-Matic printer and then set out sketching their concepts and working through various printing iterations, which are now ongoing projects in the Product Design facilities on the 7th floor of Nesbitt Hall.

The Thing-O-Matic 3D printer is solidifying Product Design’s vision to be a community of makers that stretches beyond the Product Design program and engages many others in the Drexel community. The printer is open for use by all students at the University who are willing to work under the direction of Product Design Program Director, Mike Glaser. Ultimately, the Thing-O-Matic 3D printer will blur the lines between analog and digital fabrications where students use both interchangeably in the objects they create. It could be an innovative improvement for a bicycle or working with Biomedical Engineering to create a new device for saving lives. The great difference between with the Thing-O-Matic 3D printer and other rapid prototype solutions is the Thing-O-Matic’s ability to be a high-end production factory that can be used to create new products.

Students are already creating toys and other types of products using the Thing-O-Matic 3D printer. To get a better understanding of the printer and its limitless possibilities contact Product Design Program Director, Mike Glaser ( Please tell Mike if you want to tour the product design facilities including the Thing-O-Matic 3D printing and hybrid making labs.