Educational Technology

April 11, 2013

3-D printer turns designs into reality

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:30 am

by Andrew Wind, WCF Courier

After a week of practice, Bunger Middle School eighth-grader Blake Thompson has become adept at designing small objects with the help of a computer program. He quickly created plans for two doughnut-like interlocking rings during an industrial technology class earlier this week. Thompson started with a circle from the menu of geometric shapes included in the Autodesk Inventor Pro software used by Bunger students. Designing on three planes, he input measurements and soon displayed the three-dimensional object on the computer screen. The 3-D printer industrial tech teacher Wayne Lidtke purchased after receiving a grant from the Waterloo Schools Foundation last spring is allowing his eighth-grade students to create the object they’ve designed. Yellow thermal plastic filament is fed into the printer from a spool, melts and is extruded through a nozzle. The liquid plastic is layered on a Plexiglas surface until the design is complete.

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