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Mechanical engineer Timothy Cyders to discuss 3D printing at Sept. 23 Science Café

Emily Mueting | Sep 14, 2015
Timothy Cyders is a faculty member in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology.
Timothy Cyders is a faculty member in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology. Photo credit: Emily Mueting.

3D printing is changing manufacturing, but to what extent?  Will the future include 3D skyscrapers? Or 3D spacecraft?

Timothy Cyders, Ohio University assistant professor of mechanical engineering, will lead a discussion to combat some misconceptions of 3D printing and additive manufacturing at his Science Café presentation, “Rage Against the von Neumann Machine: 3D Printing, the Future and You,” at 5 p.m. on Wed., Sept. 23 in the Baker Center Front Room.

3D printing and other additive manufacturing techniques are being used to improve traditional forms of manufacturing by making it easier and more affordable to create various types of parts. For example, 3D printing allows the easy creation of parts with complex internal structures, like bone with a spongy internal framework surrounded by a stiff outer core. There are even 3D machines that copy themselves–self-replicating machines, also known as von Neumann machines.

“3D printing does represent a really important and significant advancement in manufacturing, but at the same time, there are limitations to it,” Cyders explained.  There are still going to be many things made with traditional manufacturing, like Dixie cups, for example, because it isn’t cost effective or necessary to print those easy-to-manufacture items.

Metal band music enthusiasts may recognize the allusion in the presentation title to the popular Los Angeles-based rap metal band Rage Against the Machine.

Science Cafés are part of Ohio University’s Café Series, Wednesdays at the Baker Center Front Room. The series provides a venue for students to informally share their interests during a conversational exchange with faculty presenters, staff and the Athens community. Free coffee is offered to the first 50 attendees, and participants who ask questions will win a free t-shirt.

The series is supported by the Ohio University Research Division and Sigma Xi.

Learn more! Watch the new 1-minute Café Series video:

For a link to the live stream of the event and for a full schedule of fall semester speakers, visit http://www.ohio.edu/sciencecafe