By Manuel Sandoval |Staff Writer|
CSUSB’s new innovation lab gives students access to 3D printing, scanning, mold making and hardware electronic kits.
The lab is open to all CSUSB students and offers virtual reality headsets, computer numerical controlled milling, hardware electronic kits.
“The seed was growing in my mind for the past year to develop such a lab. Not many universities are doing it and CSUSB is one of the first universities in the CSU system to debut this type of lab,” said Jonathan Smith, head of Library Information Technology.
“The Innovation Lab is a technology focused maker space, which provides emerging technology where students can use this equipment such as 3D printers and scanners, and innovate with them without having the fear of failure,” said Smith.
A 3D printer works by “printing” objects, but instead of using ink, it uses more substantive materials, such as plastics, metal, and rubber. It scans an object—or takes an existing scan of an object—and slices it into layers it can then convert into a physical object, according to teachthought.com.
“To break down what 3D printing is means you start with a file of a 3D model. Then the printer melts plastic and creates a replica of the 3D model,” said Smith.
“I’ve had a teacher stop by and print a cup and one student even printed jewelry. This lab is really just for creativity, if you see an object online that you would like to create, anyone can print here,” said student Ruben Castaneda.
The lab will hold workshops for students with various skill sets from entry level to advanced.
The lab will also experiment with peer-to-peer instruction, and provide hands-on instruction opportunities to students who plan to pursue teaching careers in technology fields.
“The lab will serve as an incubator of ideas and invention, pushing the boundaries of innovation and inspiring students to imagine and create without the fear of being judged,” said Cesar Caballero, Dean of the Pfau Library.
“I’m super excited about the opening of the innovation lab because it offers amazing technology tools and opportunities to compute science students like myself; which gives us a hand on opportunity to create,” said student Ashley Villar.
“What is great about the Innovation Lab is that it is accessible to all students,” said Smith.
Smith applied and was awarded a CSUSB Vital Technology Initiative Grant, which provided funding to purchase equipment and cover other related expenses.
“I heard CSUSB is one of the first universities in California to create this type of lab, so I’m proud to be able to call this campus my home,” said Villar.
The lab is located behind the research assistance desk on the first floor in the Pfau Library in PL-1003.
It is open from12-4 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and from 12-5 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday.
For more information on upcoming workshops log on to csusb.libcal.com/calendar/work.