3D Printing for Practical Use
Near the end of October, the Engineering - Project Lead the Way teacher, Mr. Hoskins, got a grant for a new 3D printer- costing about $700 total. The whole class went to work researching a great 3D printer that would work well for the amount of printing the class does and the quality they needed. After a lot of thought and decisions, the class decided on a printer that fit their needs called the Qidi Tech printer. It was easy to assemble and is a phenomenal printer.
The Engineering class has used it a lot in the classroom and other classes at IVVC to help them get custom parts for a lot less - rather than buying them. The students use a program called Inventor, where they can design, model, and create a part.
In November, the class took on a project recreating a USB holder to replace ones that do not work for our computer station layout. Now they can fit on the desks better. They looked great with sharp detail and were a successful first print. Recently, the class took on a project for a client that is a member of the Illinois Retired Teachers Association Foundation (IRTAF), which is the organization that awarded the 3D printer through a grant for our class. He needed a box with a black chair in the middle. The class had to make about 65 of them total.
One of the other projects that the class did was design and print out tape holders for the Auto Body class. Students collaborated on and finalized a design for a circular holder that only consisted of one solid part. Once printed, the design worked flawlessly and the engineering class presented it to the Auto Body class.
Doing projects like these offers students hands-on experience in designing a product for a client while staying within certain criteria. It is especially rewarding for the kids to see things they designed come to fruition. The class loves taking on mini projects like these and making use of the 3D printer, and hopes to do more in the future!