Innovation Lab printer facilitates creativity

The Plotter Printer is located on the first floor of the Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab. The Plotter allows students and faculty to create large scale prints. (Benjamin Voller | Collegian Media)

Editor’s note: Fixed capitalization in several places for the online edition, including capitalizing “Innovation Lab” in the first paragraph and “Canon printer.” The Collegian apologizes for the error and any confusion it may have caused.

A plotter is a more precise printer and creates detailed prints, Jahvelle Rhone, program/project manager and division of info tech at the Innovation Lab, said. The printer uses continuous lines aided by a computer to produce designs.

“We’ve had faculties and students who print out different things and it’s really cool to see how the plotter has been used so far,” Rhone said.

Jeff Sheldon, associate director of the Sunderland Foundation Innovation Lab, said local home-schooled students in town, students in architecture, students in the art department and faculty use the printer.

“The printer has had maps printed on it, posters that students would put on walls in their dorm rooms or at home, people who experiment with holiday decorations, used by fashion students, people that did banners for tabling events and the first print that the lab printed was a photo of a K-State worker’s mom’s memorial,” Sheldon said.

Sheldon said the first print was for Kevin Davis, a K-State custodian.

“The gentleman wanted to feature a specific image on his mom’s memorial, and he saw the Innovation Lab had the plotter printer …  at that point [the Innovation Lab] did not charge him because it was something the lab could provide for him with things the lab got for free,” Sheldon said.

Davis said he loved the print.

“Innovation Lab was pleased that they were able to use the printer specially to help somebody in the community,” Davis said. “My family wanted to do something nice for my mom like a memorial of her life and are grateful for what the Innovation Lab did.”

Davis said the photo was a grainy black-and-white photo, and the plotter printer was able to bring out the saturation.

“The printer was able to enhance what was in the photo and turn the old grainy photo into something my family considers a lasting tribute to my mom,” Davis said. 

Issac Richie, sophomore in architecture, said plotting could be challenging because it can take a few tries to achieve quality.

“The plotter printer in the library is free to use and so using the ones at Weigel Library get pretty expensive and you can end up spending a lot on final quality materials but the plotter printer at the Innovation Lab is great,” Richie said. 

Lukas Schlesener, graduate in architecture, said he used the plotter printer for large scale printing during a group project.

“I made use of the printer to print out large posters for review sections that my studio class does throughout the semesters for my projects and towards the end of the semester for final reviews,” Schlesener said. 

Sheldon said the Innovation Lab will have a new printer available in the spring 2023 semester.

“The printer will be a Canon printer and a very high quality printer,” Sheldon said. “There is an interest in maintaining the plotter printer as well for random free prints students will do.”

Sheldon said the new printer will be easier to use than the plotter but there may be charges so the printer can be sustained. 

“If someone is coming into the lab to print something simple, the lab can work with them and evaluate whether or not that’s something that will cost any sort of significant use of paper or ink,” Sheldon said. 

Sheldon said the new printer in the Innovation Lab will offer more opportunities for people to create prints.

“If people have thoughts or make certain requests for different types of  printers, those are things that could influence what others think we have in our space,” Sheldon said. “The more feedback we get about if people feel like [there needs] to be other technology in the lab, the more the Innovation Lab experiments with different types of needs.”

For more information on the printer, contact Jeff Sheldon at 785-532-6000.