WOOF3D’s mission is to build an environment centered around additive manufacturing where young engineers can experience teamwork, leadership, technical skills, and real-world engineering.
WOOF3D’s projects typically focus on one of three major aspects of additive manufacturing: designing and building new 3D printer and technology, designing parts for additive manufacturing, and community outreach.
Members of WOOF3D have designed and built both large scale and desktop size 3D printers. Beginning with Big Red, and carrying on to KiloPrint and the upcoming Big Blue, large scale 3D printing has been a large focus at WOOF3D. WOOF3D’s desktop sized printer builds offer the chance for students to build their own printer. The first kits built in the club were Prusa Mendels, followed by the Grawmet, Grawmet 2, Ulticrater, and finally the Printrbot Simple. The Grawmets and Ulticrater were all designed by student members of WOOF3D. Other projects include: design of clay extruders, polymer pellet and filament extruders, investment casting of metals from 3D printed master patterns, and 3D scanning.
One of the most important benefits of additive manufacturing is the greater freedom in part design. Complex geometries which are impossible to manufacture using conventional manufacturing techniques can be additively manufactured with relative ease. It can be difficult to transition to design for additive manufacturing if a person has been trained to limit their designs due to the requirements of conventional manufacturing techniques. On WOOF3D CAD stations, we encourage design to take advantage of the many benefits of additive manufacturing, including modifying internal geometries to offer greater strengths while using less material.
WOOF3D’s outreach is targeted at increasing awareness of 3D printing as a technology in the contexts of K-12 education, the UW college campus, and the broader community. Our outreach team gives informational talks and demonstrations in classrooms and at other events, and supports educators interested in using the technology in their teaching, both in technical support services and providing ideas and resources for activities.