When part of a 25-year-old press at Hamilton’s Print Shop unexpectedly broke down, the machine quickly became inoperable. Townsend Industries, the manufacturer of this T-51 printer, closed down in mid-2010, making it nearly impossible to find replacement parts for the press. Thanks to help from LITS (Library and Information Technology Services) though, the machine is now back in service.
Rhudi Darko ’20, a digital media intern for the LITS Department, recreated the part using digital modeling and 3D printing. Darko says he learned these skills as a LITS digital media tutor, a program he joined in the fall of his freshman year. Scott Paul, the Help Desk and LITS student manager, runs the program.
“This is just one example of what Digital Hamilton looks like,” said Paul. “We’re able to utilize the technologies available on campus to help students learn, research, and become involved in projects like this.”
Digital technologies and modes of thinking continue to change the world. Hamilton is responding by instilling among its students the skills to communicate and work effectively in this environment.
After becoming a part of the project in March, Darko measured the broken part, replicated it using the digital modeling software SketchUp, and printed it using 3D technology. After the initial prototype didn’t fit the press, he made changes to the model and managed to quickly create a working part.
“Through LITS I’ve gotten a chance to work closely with cool technology,” said Darko. “With the experience I’ve gained through the program, I’m able to pursue interesting projects and cater to the needs of different departments on campus.”
Students like Darko are able to become involved in project work after going through training as part of the program. From 3D print and design to working with virtual reality, digital media tutors and interns are able to actively explore digital technology and gain important work experience.
“This project is a great demonstration of how students are able to utilize what Hamilton has to offer,” said LITS Instructional Designer Doug Higgins. “The program allows us to train students on how to use these technologies to help the college with the skills they learn and bring this professional experience to future jobs after graduation.”