It seems hardly a week goes by without hearing about the increasing impact 3D printing is having on our world. From revolutionizing the consumer goods manufacturing industry to creating prosthetic limbs for refugees in war-torn countries and even 3D printing food, this futuristic technology is rapidly moving from the realm of novelty to the everyday.

Last fall, instructors Kate Hinkley and Angus McGibbon of Replik8 Studios gave students a chance to experiment with this technology hands-on during the first run of the Introduction to 3D Printing course, offered through the University of Victoria’s Division of Continuing Studies.

“3D printing can be used to create objects that are both functional and meaningful,” says Hinkley, a desktop manufacturing specialist who helps clients realize ideas, through the use of design skills and 3D printing technologies.

3D Printed Box“In our previous workshop, one student got personally involved in the design of her 3D printed prototype.  Some 18 years ago, when her grandson was a year old, she lovingly crafted and hand painted wooden blocks to create a sudoku inspired puzzle for him (see picture).  Since first making them, she had wanted him to have a tiny custom box in which to store them. Using 3D digital modelling, design thinking, one of the 3D printers, along with the collaborative force offered in the class, her design was realized as a physical object. We created a digital model based off a sketch she brought in, and printed a little drawer for her to store the blocks in.  Her grandson is now 19 and finally has a custom printed drawer in which to store his handmade sudoku blocks,” she says.

Introduction to 3D Printing is returning this spring in a one-day workshop that will appeal to anyone wanting to improve their 3D printing literacy, build one-of-a-kind personalized objects, or experience the satisfaction of creating something that didn’t exist before. 

“In this workshop, you will learn about the range of applications and possibilities for 3D printing, including: creating new inventions, replicating parts for replacement, preserving memorabilia, fabricating reproductions, and––of course––taking ideas from your head and bringing them into the physical world.” 

This is an exciting, emerging technology that will be a part of our future. This workshop represents a fun and friendly way to get better acquainted with this technology today.


  • Posted March 7, 2017