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Teen Science Cafe: 3D Printing – The Power to Create
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 @ 6:30 PM-8:30 PMFree
FREE and OPEN to Junior Academy of Science members and middle and high school students. Registration required. REGISTER HERE or call 314.533.8586.
Featured Speaker: Alex Madinger, Entrepreneur and recent graduate of University of Missouri – Columbia, Mechanical Engineering
3D printing is a new way of making things. It can make things in plastic and metal, just like most things are made, but what makes it really cool is that it makes physical 3D objects from what you design on a computer. Just like when you use Word or Google Docs to write a report and then get a physical copy on paper through a document printer, 3D printers create a physical 3D object from what you make.
Want an example? Did you know the Iron Man suits for the movies were 3D printed? I got to wear the original gauntlet at a 3D printing conference!
You can make nearly anything you can design on a computer. If you were to give me the computer model of an object from a video game, you could get a physical version using 3D printing.
That’s actually how I got into all this. When I was in high school, I liked making props from video games and movies. I always wanted to be as close as possible to the original, which is why a friend of mine recommended 3D printing. I must admit I haven’t used it for that purpose yet, I still want to create a full-scale sword, but I’m using it for some really cool other things. My favorite so far was creating a functional prosthetic hand for a little boy. I’ll bring one of the prototypes to the Science Cafe. Hope to see you there!
Hey! My name is Alex. I graduated from college last year in mechanical engineering, which basically means I like to build gadgets. I actually didn’t know what engineering was through most of high school, I just knew I wanted to be an “inventor.”
I was always fascinated by new advances in science, it was like we were figuring out this great big puzzle that was the universe. Each new discovery was a new puzzle piece put down, and let us do more cool stuff. In addition to that, I wanted my work to be meaningful, exciting (to me mostly), and help others. I’m very glad I became a scientist and engineer, because I get to do that now!
College was crucial for doing this. Let alone getting the degree, each new mechanism and law of nature I learned was something I could use to build things. The more I learned, the cooler the stuff I could make. I also got to meet like-minded people that became friends and supported what I wanted to do.
Getting to see my inventions work, and more importantly help someone, is what keeps me going as a scientist. Last year I was able to help a little boy by building a functionally prosthetic hand for him. I’ll never forget the look on his face when he was able to hold something with it for the first time.
Science is advancing very quickly now, and we are going to start doing things in the next decades that would have seemed impossible even a few years ago. I’m very happy as a scientist, and excited for what is ahead!
Thank you to our cafe sponsor – Vito’s: