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Last month, the Grafx Club at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) had a chance to tour a facility of one of their clients - the Iowa Waste Reduction Center’s (IWRC) spray painter training and research facility located in the Cedar Falls Industrial Park.

The club’s client, the Spray Technique and Analysis for Defense (STAR4D), is a program at the IWRC that specializes in training military spray painters as well as conducting research and development at the 16,000 square foot facility. Program Manager, Rick Klein, (pictured far right) and Chris Lampe, Process Research Reduction and Education Specialist, (pictured far left) were on hand to talk with the students.

This, however, was not the first time the IWRC staff have met the members of the Grafx Club, it was just the first chance the members had to tour the facility. The students have been creating stencils for STAR4D to use as part of their military assets repaint and repair program for the U.S. Marine Corps.

The club uses a laser cutter to cut the stencils into a heavy paper. STAR4D staff are then able to use the stencils to paint text or graphics onto the assets, like in the picture to the left. The product the students create generates less waste than other alternatives.

Klein is very grateful for the students’ work, noting that the Marine Corps has very specific requirements regarding the stencils. He also is very impressed with the students' turnaround saying, “We really appreciate that they finish [the stencils] in a timely manner.” Klein has utilized the club’s skills before with his involvement in other student organizations at the University of Northern Iowa.

Grafx Club is one of the 250+ student organizations at the University of Northern Iowa. They work with digital and traditional methods of printing, encompassing all aspects of printing from design creation to printing on a wide variety of materials. Any student of any major can become a member and it is completely free for students to join. Incoming club president Elly Flenker says, “I’ve loved learning about this stuff; I knew nothing about this field as a freshman.” She also mentioned that not a lot of students know about the club and that ultimately it led to her to pursue a career in graphic technology.


Aaron JarnaginAbout the Author
Aaron Jarnagin
Marketing Intern
Iowa Waste Reduction Center

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