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Sunday, Dec. 3
The Indiana Daily Student


Waldron to feature technology exhibit

The Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center will open its newest exhibit, “Save As: A Computer-Aided Exhibition,” today with a reception from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The exhibit is opening as part of today’s Gallery Walk, which features new exhibits from about 10 different venues in downtown Bloomington.

“Save As” focuses on work created using 3-D printing and computer design by IU faculty from various art and science departments on campus.

Some pieces were made entirely with a 3-D printer while others include certain components of computer-aided design.  

Using a 3-D printer can be a confusing process, exhibit curator Payson McNett said.

The exhibit will feature a 3-D printer and laser cutter during today’s reception to show gallery viewers the process involved for many of the showcased works.

The audience will be able to see how a 3-D printer works and how pieces in the exhibit were created by the advanced technology.

One piece that was created entirely with computer processes in the exhibit is an 8-foot-long and 1-foot-tall skateboard by McNett.

McNett said he was always interested in skateboarding and building ramps and half pipes as a teenager, which served as the inspiration for this particular piece.

McNett created a rendition of each part of the skateboard on a computer and then enlarged each piece so it would be to scale with the rest of the piece.

With these pieces designed on the computer, McNett could print and cut them with a laser cutter and then assemble the

Another piece shown in the exhibit is titled MiRAE, which stands for Minimalist Robot for Affective Expression.

The robot was created using a 3-D color printer and microcontrollers, which allows the robot facial-recognition

Gallery viewers will be able to interact with the robot as it reacts to them and recognizes them.

The piece was a collaboration between Casey Bennett, Christopher Myles, Selma
Sabanovic, Marlena Fraune and Katherine Shaw.

Many pieces in the exhibit were created with aid from a 3-D printer, and every piece incorporated advanced manufacturing technology.

“The exhibit is an opportunity to show the importance of these technologies in the future of the art world and the University,” McNett said. “These tools are not only part of the art world, but it’s part of the greater world in general.”

Nicole Jacquard, who runs the 3-D printers in the School of Fine Arts, compared the potential of 3-D printers to the same potential computers had when they came on the market in the 1970s.

These printers and technology are becoming easier to use and are typically less expensive, Jacquard said.

Jacquard said IU has not taken the lead on this up-and-coming technology because the majority of campuses with these machines have strong engineering programs.  
“It’s the next industrial revolution,” she said. “We really need to start investing in these at IU.”

The “Save As” exhibit provides the art and sciences departments the opportunity to share this type of technology with a wider audience and show the versatility of the machines.

“Very few people know what’s being done on campus with these machines,” Jacquard said. “To actually bring this out and have people realize that people are using it and using it in new ways is a great opportunity.”

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