Digital Fabrication Lab gives students access to high-tech tools

digital fabrication lab

NDSU’s Digital Fabrication Lab is a place where students’ ideas become reality. The lab is equipped with 3D printing and Computer Numerical Control milling tools that, until a few years ago, were mostly in the realm of science fiction.

Using one of the lab’s 3D printers, students can transform a reel of plastic filament into nearly anything they can imagine.

“It’s awesome watching your project come into being, layer by layer. That’s really cool,” said senior Jordan Zunker, an agricultural and biosystems engineering major from Grand Marais, Minnesota, whose favorite 3D printing project was a set of intricate purple and red figurines for a board game he developed for one of his classes.

Whether it’s printing a plastic prototype or cutting one from foam, wood or aluminum, Zunker finds this new-age technology fascinating. “This lab is really attractive to people who are interested in how something can go from a thought in their mind to a physical product,” he said “It’s a great resource, and I think it’s a lot of fun.”

The experience is not only enjoyable, it can be a building block for a great career.

“Students learn fundamental skills that today’s employers are looking for,” said Adam Elznic, NDSU Libraries emerging technologies coordinator. “Knowing how to use 3D printing technology is a valuable experience. When employers see that on a student’s resume, they put them in a different category.”

The lab is open to all NDSU students.