Category: Around the Media Center (Page 2 of 3)

3D printing, a new fashion trend?


With 3D printers the sky is the limit. This incredible technology has been used to help engineers create prototype products, doctors can create plastic bones and DIY-ers around the world create tons of cool and useful gadgets. Even at Dickinson, using the Media Center’s own Makerbot printer, professors from the Mathematics and Earth Sciences departments have created 3D models to enhance their lessons.


One Dickinson student has explored using the technology for something entirely different, fashion. She created a very unique necklace using a template found online on one of the countless forums where people share their designs. The use of 3D printing is a hot new trend in the fashion industry with many designers looking to dream up and print wildly intricate and imaginative works. As the printers continue to become more advance and able to print with different materials their uses will become even more widespread. Just about any industry could benefit from the ability to customize and relative ease that 3D printers offer for turning virtual creations into something physical. The possibilities are endless and the Media Center has the tools that you need to create something awesome!

Various images from the production of the necklace










New Semester, New Look!

We here at the Media Center  have upgraded our look for fall 2013. Over the summer we’ve upgraded our furniture and reorganized the podcast rooms to create a more spacious area for you and your friends to record digital media.

Work desks in the hallway now have state of the art iMacs with a 27 inch screen (the biggest ones on campus!) and a terabyte of space. These new iMacs have  every Adobe program available on the Creative Cloud everything from Photoshop and Illustrator or Audition and After Effects. Our accounts, and in house media center expertise, can help you familiarize yourself with any of the new software programs down here. So come on down and check out our new look this semester. I have a feeling you’ll love it!

MC Magnets


Hot off of the presses!  This year’s MC Magnet is available.  First years can look for one in their orientation packet.  We still have some previous years versions available so you can create even more bizarre word combinations!

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Media Center Rube Goldberg Machine!

Sometimes the week is slow and no pressing projects need attention. When that happens, students come up with some wild ideas. One such idea was the construction of a Rube Goldberg machine, an elaborate device with the aim of accomplishing a simple task. For our machine, we wanted to pull a data projector back a dolly track so that it would focus a video of some of our PS3 & Xbox360 games into focus. The following video showcases the machine in action with quick notes trying to point out some of (although not all) of the equipment showcased in the video. In the coming days we’ll try to compile some footage of the “making of” process as well as still-frame links to the actual equipment pages themselves so if you see something in the video you didn’t know about you can check it out in more detail.


3D Scanner

Announcing the newest edition to the Media Center: our new NextEngine 3D scanner! To complement the Makerbot 3D printer, we now have the capability to produce high definition 3D meshes of small objects within around two hours. The NextEngine software also allows us to export in the .stl format – a format that can be printed on the 3D printer – so in due time we should be able to scan an object and then immediately start turning out plastic copies. I like to think that it brings us just one step closer to having Star Trek replicators.





After running a few calibration and test runs, we decided that our first victim for scanning and subsequent replication would be this miniature Buddha figurine. The scanner uses the combination of a camera and an array of lasers to scan objects, meaning that the easiest objects to scan aren’t too dark, light or shiny, and of course finer details and textures are harder to pick up. Ignoring that advice completely, we went ahead and scanned the Buddha figure.



Scans take about an hour to two hours to complete depending on the detail of the scan – for the Buddha, I used two 360° scans, one at a 0° tilt and one a around a 20° positive tilt to get some of the details on top of Buddhas hands and arms. Each 360° scan family consists of six to sixteen rotations – for this one I used twelve.  Once the scans are complete, the software patches them together into a single 3D model, but sometimes it needs a little manual adjustment to get it just perfect.




After some toying with the scans on the NextEngine software we went ahead and printed a copy of Buddha on the Makerbot! Now I would draw your attention to the surprising level of detail on Buddha 2.0’s upper body, and not the fact that his lower half is slightly completely mutilated. Then again, we learned the importance of insuring that there are no holes in the 3D mesh or Makerbot kind of freaks out. Now, we think we’ve figured out a method for getting a 3D scan that is watertight and should produce printings that aren’t bisected.

DSLR Shoulder Rig

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The newest addition to the Dickinson Media Center equipment is this shoulder rig for DSLR’s (pictured), camcorders, and digital cameras. Check it out for your video project to create smooth, dynamic camera movement.

New Home for the Makerbot Replicator

Since we purchased our Makerbot Replicator over the summer, we haven’t had a place for it to call home.  It floated around from space to space but thanks to a little bit of furniture repurposing, it has found a place where it can stay for good.  Check it out in the Media Center hallway in its new cabinet.  There is plexiglass on the side so even if it isn’t in action, you can still get a peak inside. Are you interested in seeing it run or do you want to create something on it?  Email for a tour.

Studio gets a touch up

The studio got a little touch up today the back wall was painted a nice rich grey to make for a better video background and less of a contrast from the Dickinson backdrop. Also, earlier in the summer we mounted two new LED lights as well. So whether you recording a show for DSON TV, a project for YouTube, or interview with faculty the studio is all set for the fall semester.


The Media Center is happy to introduce it’s newest piece of equipment; A Teleprompter!  The teleprompter will make it much easier for students and professors to work on video projects involving tough or long scripts, without needing to look away from the camera to check a paper copy of the script.  Using the free web site, you are able to paste a script and set a scroll speed for the teleprompter, making it useful for any size script being dictated at any speed!  Any students or professors who want to work with this piece of equipment are welcome to, it is available for normal check-outs and reservations.  Here are a couple of pictures of the teleprompter in action!

MakerBot has arrived

The latest addition to the Media Center is the MakerBot Replicator 3D printer. Can’t wait to see what great projects our professor have in mind.  Check out what other people have made over on

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