Watching the large, scaly velociraptor screeching as loud as it can as it comes to life on the screen is what caught the attention of freshman Tanner Lindell. He had watched Jurassic Park 3 four years ago – and that is when his interest in 3D printing began.

Lindell recently received a 3D printer and since then has been able to recreate the velociraptor resonating chamber from the movie. 

When Lindell acquired his 3D printer that cost roughly $300, the printer came disassembled. It took him between two and three hours to assemble the machine, which included screwing parts together and attaching wires to one another. 

He learned how to operate the machine from watching tutorials online. This involves leveling the bed to the right height, adjusting the belt tension and getting the right temperatures to print at. “Overall, I would say that the building was simple but the setting up for the first time was confusing,” stated Lindell. This is because the instructions only showed how to build the printer, but not how to actually print out something. 

In order to create a 3D object, Lindell has to first download his 3D models from a website named Thingiverse. He has a friend that helps out with the modeling procedure. Once the downloading process is completed, he then slices and prepares for printing. The length of time for projects to print is based on many factors. Depending on the size of the print, how many supports there are and how much infill there is, it typically takes eight to 12 hours to print an object.

From the moment he gets back from school to when he goes to bed, Lindell likes to spend a lot of his free time experimenting with the 3D printer. “At first when I bought it, my parents didn’t like it because, to them, it was just another useless electronic device; but, I’ve been able to print a laptop stand for my stepdad and a lens light blocker for a friend,” explained Lindell. 

He frequently prints medium-sized things and occasionally prints fairly large objects. One of the items that he is proud of printing is a big blue and gray sword. “I usually print things for fun, then I either sell them or I put them on display in my room,” he said.

Along with printing 3D items, Lindell also has a strong interest in video games. His attentiveness to details and graphics in printing transfers over to his skills in gaming.

He is entertained by playing FPS (first-person shooter) and strategy games on his PC. Currently, his favorite is Battlefield 1 because he finds it fascinating how realistic and intricate the game is programmed. Lindell also loves playing Minecraft with his family and other games with his friends. Occasionally, he likes to play video games with other players on the internet. 

With his interest in 3D printing and video games, Lindell hopes to have a future career involving technology. “I would love to work in places that sell or buy old electronics all the way from 1960 to today,” he said. 

He also has a curiosity in constructing computers and possibly working in VRLA Tech, a computer store or a similar environment. His back-up option is to help others on how to take care of old electronics or maybe start his own repair business. 

Lindell’s passion for creativity works itself in many ways – often ending in a 3D object. “It was mostly the idea that I could create anything I wanted from just a roll of plastic,” he said.

Story by Gurneet Kaur