By Ariana Brockington ’14, Copy Editor
Award-winning Eagle Engineering robotics made a plastic whistle, medallion, and other items with the team’s three-dimensional printer. Instead of printing words with ink on paper, it creates 3-D shapes. From simple cubes and triangles to intricate whistles, Eagle engineers match what’s being done in real time where there’s a plan by 3D Systems, a South Carolina company, teaming up with The Hershey Co. in Pennsylvania, to make printable chocolates, or as the companies call them, “printed edibles.”
Robotics teammates finished building their delicate-looking, yet industrial-grade printer in December and it’s been fully functional since. All it takes is several layers of plastic to create an object smaller in size than a blank piece of college rule notebook paper.
Patience and funds are needed since it takes between 10 minutes and four hours to print an object, and $50 per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of plastic material. However, it’s well worth the wait and money. Eagle engineers create their own models for prototypes.
The printer is kept in an undisclosed location for security and maintenance purposes.