June 19, 2024

Randy Plavajka | Banner Josh Park, sophomore biomedical engineering major, reloads the filament in one of many MakerBots housed inside the 3-D printing laboratory in the Gordon and Jill Bourns College of Engineering. Park said in the 2015 fall semester, he oversaw the use of more than two miles worth of the 3-D printing material for the creation of an estimated 600 unique printed pieces.

3-D printing is more than a science; it is an art form that takes years of experience to fully comprehend and develop into mastery, but one California Baptist University engineer is well on his way to doing so.

Josh Park, sophomore biomedical engineering major, has no formal title at the Gordon and Jill Bourns College of Engineering, but to the majority of his fellow engineers, he is referred to as “Dr. Park” because of his expertise in the world of 3-D modeling and printing.

Steffano Oyanader, sophomore chemical engineering major, said the lighthearted title of “Dr. Park” was no mistake.

“It is the beard, among other things,” Oyanader said. “He loves to help people willing to work at his level and oversee the production of a project.”

From assisting undergraduate students with school projects to printing models for professors’ research work, Park has become a staple for the department and all assignments requiring a physical representation that would not otherwise exist if it were not 3-D printed.

“Working with professors is the most fun because they are much more intricate and important since they are actually benefiting from (the model) with their research,” Park said.

Within the 10-by-10 room where he operates, the walls are lined with 3-D printers, sketches on a whiteboard or boxes of the essential plastic filament needed to produce models on a tight schedule.

“This semester we are looking at producing over 1,000 parts,” Park said. “The printers run almost nonstop, ever since we went from two MakerBots to now having seven.”

Park’s unofficial title as head of the 3-D printing laboratory began his freshman year when he was working on a printing project for competition during the first month of school and needed parts quickly.

With no working printer available, Park was tasked by the dean of mechanical engineering to repair the existing unit in order to complete his project. After a successful repair, Park was selected to advise the 3-D printing operations and since then has been contributing in the department as not only a student, but a part-time member of the staff.

Although the lab gets backlogged near the end of the semester with requests and projects, Bryce Ellis, freshman mechanical engineering major, said Park’s attention to detail is what makes him so good at his job, even when he is in high demand in the department.

“Dr. Park” said he hopes to put his knowledge abroad where he can help create custom prosthetic devices for people in need of them at a more  affordable cost.

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