Northwestern Students Discover the Realities of 3D Printing

It’s been six weeks since the beginning of the semester, and our BuiltWorldsNU team is deep into their research assignment. If you missed the first report from our team, read Northwestern Students Aided by a “Cor” of 3D Masters, here.

At the end of the first week in February, our six favorite Northwestern University School of Mechanical Engineering in Evanston IL. presented the current state of where they currently are with their project and the challenges they are currently facing. Through our spy cameras (okay it was an iPhone), we snapped the following vids to give you an indication as to what our team is confronting as they move forward with their ambitious project to build a concrete workable 3D Printer. Don’t listen to us talk about how their aspiring undertaking is progressing, take it straight from the source with their entry below!


Hello World,

What a week! 

For a class assignment, we had to “dissect” a product that would allow us to gain insight into our project. This is the engineering school’s take on the high school frog dissection (We just Googled high school frog dissection because we thought it might have a fancier name, but it doesn’t and we saw images that won’t leave our brains for a while). Anyway, we chose to take apart an old Makerbot 3D printer, which allowed us to see how certain components operate. Unfortunately, the fine print on the assignment said we have to reconstruct the product that we dissect. So we will be spending this Friday afternoon doing that. That is how much you mean to us, BuiltWorlds, a good grade in this class.

We also have plans to play around with some concrete tomorrow. One may call these “concrete plans” ha…ha…ok. We’re hoping to gain insight into how the concrete is handled and how quickly it dries. Patrick learned that you CAN NOT pour concrete down the drain. We promise he is competent. Tim and Jason have spent more time at Home Depot this past week than they have spent with their loved ones, but we have some new and exciting mockups to show for it (see below).

Well, that’s all we’ve got. Until next week folks!



To contact the author, write to or find him on Twitter @toddstolarski.