By Aad van de Wijngaart

“Everything we hoped for has come true”, says Karin Clavel. “I’ve talked with lots of people, students and members of the faculties, and really only got very positive comments. That’s no wonder, with a theme like this. Apart from all the professional interest, there’s a big fun factor involved. People love to see a panther head roll out of a printer. And then they quickly take to .”

Clavels enthusiasm is fully justified, judging from the reaction of Jurrit Bergsma, a student of Maritime Technology. “I think it’s a cool initiative. I’d like to see more events like this.” He’s already very much involved in 3D printing, but found it interesting to see for real what more is going on in this field, especially within TUD. He also took part in the advanced workshop and used the helpdesk. “It’s good that young people were chosen to run those. That was pleasantly informal.”

One of those young people was Eva van der Velde. She will soon finish her studies of industrial product design, but after a first acquaintance three years ago was so gripped by 3D printing that she’s already made a business out of it, giving workshops and advice. The advanced workshop that she taught as part of the 3D Print Week was unusual, she says: “Normally participants may just manage to print a key ring by the end of the evening. But these students were already very proficient with 3D-CAD. They also soon grasped the possibilities and limitations of the printers.”

“Therefore I gave them a challenging task, that forced them to think clearly about the limitations: print a mini truck with wheels, on the top of which you can fit a LEGO block. They came out with very different designs, but all were succesful.”

Van der Velde herself picked up a idea or two at the Library: “I saw many new things and met interesting people. It was inspiring.”

Inspiration also touched the Library staff, according to co-organizer Marion Vredeling. “They enthusiastically set to work with 3D printing.” But more important is that members of different faculties got to know each other’s work: the exposition provided more than a few eye-openers. (That fact didn’t escape Delta.) “So it’s good that our building provides a space where this is possible. I’ve found that other universities hardly have room for that.”

it’s a remarkable fact that the exposition was extremely low budget. Glass cases, video monitors and such were lent by friendly organizations: the Dutch Design Week, Museum MOTI and the Public Library of Rotterdam. And of course, the objects were made available free of charge by Delft researchers and students.

The 3D Print Week has come to an end, but the exposition will be on show until January 19. “It was a hell of a job to create a good exhibition”, says Vredeling, “but an extra result is that the Library has fostered trust among the faculties. That’s a good foundation for future events.”

She’s not the only one to look forward. Clavel: “Someone said: ‘Gosh, wouldn’t it be nice if we could do something with robotics in the future.’ Well, yes, that’s another great theme! I can see those robots wander the Hall. So I think we should really consider that idea.”