LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - From making devices to mix peanut butter to 3D printing a medical instrument to help with breathing, a creative space in Lubbock is providing ways for makers, engineers and artists to come together and make their communities better.
“We wanted to provide a fun space for people to come and interact and meet with other people that they wouldn’t have access to otherwise,” Founder Leen Borno said. “This is an interactive job space and technology space. We encourage people to bring their projects or their ideas and we can help them, make them come to fruition.”
Some of the ULab users are as young as 9 years old. Garron Anderson has a passion for inventing and solving problems, creating a machine out of LEGOs to spin a jar of peanut butter to get rid of any separated oil.
“Then I got a 3D printer from a friend and I played around with it,” Anderson said. “Then I saw that ULabs had a 3D printing class so I came here and learned how to make an SDL file and send it to a printer.”
He soon created a machine using his own materials and now produces them to buy.
ULabs has utilized its 3D printers to help create devices for the benefit of the health of others, including printing a prosthetic hand.
Jamie Herring has been a quadriplegic since the age of 16 and utilizes a trach button to breathe and speak, but the manufacturer doesn’t produce them anymore.
“I am wanting to have some spare pieces because if I happen to lose the attachment that goes to my ventilator, then I would have to get a normal trach, which I don’t particularly want,” Herring said. “It would really impact my speech and make it basically where I would have to learn how to talk with a trach, which is not near as normal.”
Herring’s friend Michael McAdams helped research places to see if they might be able to 3D print a similar device. He eventually found ULabs, who were willing to help with the situation.
“They can provide me the backup that I need,” Herring said. “So, I’m not constantly worrying about where my little device is and keep up with it. We can easily lose things. If we lose it or misplace it, then again, it’s going to impact the quality of my life. I don’t want that.”
Borno tells KCBD the lab will attempt to recreate the medical device at no cost to Herring.
She encourages anyone wanting to learn a variety of tasks, especially young people, to visit ULabs and discover the many ways the facility can help with creativity.
“We can connect them with other, maybe skilled people that have that knowledge,” Borno said. “It’s just an interactive, fun space for people to come out and be themselves and push themselves to be better and reach the next level.”
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