Workplace: Jutta and the Ultimaker

She immediately invites me to sit down at the computer to use a simple programme to create an even simpler drawing. After some calculations, the Ultimaker, a cubic piece of apparatus next to the computer, starts to squeak and gurgle like a slot machine. Slowly but surely a little heart is printed.
Photo: Margriet van Vianen

Cell biologist and teacher Jutta Wirth watches with a gleam in her eye. ‘I find it quite exciting myself.’ She is fascinated by the 3D printing technique. Here in the Fablab she runs courses for school students and teachers. For anyone, in fact, who is interested in the rapidly expanding possibilities for printing in three dimensions. There are a couple of 3D printers and an enormous laser cutter in the room. The plank above the printers is full of the results of trial runs. Scale models of the Sower, a screw and a bolt, and other bits and pieces. Wirth got interested in the new technique when she was asked, as a cell biologist, whether it was possible to make living organs using human stem cells. One thing led to another and before she knew it she was very involved in the Fablab, sponsored by WUR and the Rabobank. Fablab’s motto is co-creation. ‘We don’t have our own products but we want people to get to work themselves. Co-creation brings together and connects all kinds of different people.’ She’s going on a course herself this summer. ‘Bio-fabrications, in Utrecht. There we are going to try to print real organs.’

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