As the primary 3D printing student organization on campus, 3D4E at UCLA strives to introduce students, faculty and the entire campus community to 3D printing technology in such a way to positively benefit our school, community, and beyond. Its student leaders aim to provide the knowledge, skills, and resources for the club’s members to develop as innovators in the field of additive manufacturing and original mechanical design. Despite its engineering undertones, 3D4E boasts an incredibly diverse student body from various non-engineering backgrounds and majors, providing the unique opportunities to elicit fresh ideas beyond the confines of scientific and mathematical spheres.
Our growth over the past couple of years has been very high. Originally founded as Avengineering in 2011, the club switched its name to 3D4E in 2015. Since then, 3D4E has implemented a computer-aided design and 3D printing workshop series and has increased the number and complexity of its projects.
Our two flagship projects are the quadcopter and musical instruments projects. New this year, the quadcopter project spans across the 3D4E chapters at other colleges along the west coast. During the annual spring showcase held during UCLA’s spring quarter, each chapter will participate 3D4E’s drone competition, where several quadcopters are judged on their flight abilities in an obstacle course. With this competition, we strive to establish an annual event for future 3D4E leaders to look forward to and plan for while providing another attractive project branch to our organization.
The musical instruments project started last year and continues on this quarter with the intention of distributing 3D printed instruments to a nearby Maryvale orphanage. There, we hope to not only provide each child with a 3D printed ukulele but also expose them to the versatility and excitement of new technology. As of today, the ukulele has been completed designed and successfully manufactured using 3D4E’s current resources. Additionally, several other simple instruments--such as shakers and pan flutes--have been designed and printed, while others like the recorder are still in development. Depending on the funding we receive, we seek to broaden the repertoire of instruments we mass produce and donate to Maryvale. Ultimately, our musical instruments project poses to be a tremendous opportunity for us to illustrate that science and art can coexist and thrive together, inspire the youth, and ignite their creativity.
All of the work we have accomplished so far has been made possible by our generous sponsors and partners. In spite of our club’s diversity, 3D4E at UCLA is a design and manufacturing club at heart, hence requiring more financial resources to purchase 3D printers, plastic filament (our printers’ “ink”), and hardware. Hardware, especially, accumulates very quickly considering the number of children at Maryvale and the high costs of complicated electronics for our quadcopter. Furthermore, due to their large footprints, 3D printed quadcopters and ukuleles use a large amount of filament, around 1.5 rolls for each. Printing quadcopter prototypes without stalling our other seven projects and, more importantly, mass-producing ukuleles will require the need for more 3D printers with large build volumes. In this section, you can find an estimation of our budget.
3D4E at UCLA is a fairly young club. Oriented towards design and manufacturing, we are often limited by our funding and inability to purchase necessary equipment. To take the club to new heights, we’ve done the best we can with what we have, from implementing a successful quarter-long design and 3D printing workshop series to increasing the number and complexity of our projects. In this way, we’ve raised our retention rate and cover a wide range of projects to address every member’s interests. With more assistance, we hope to make an impact both on campus and the community abroad.
We appreciate your time and consideration. Thank you!