Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School is yet another institution to take advantage of the latest 3D printing technology.
In Dave Patrick’s engineering class, the student are given the ability to realize their designs and hold them in the palm of their hands. The 3D printer that school has acquired is making everything possible to give the students an advantage in applying their skills when they do proceed to college or higher education.
“It allows them to do rapid prototyping. When they design something on the computer it allows them to actually make it within hours and look at it and feel it and most importantly answer the question, ‘Does it work?’” Patrick said.
The 3D printer which looks like a large oven typically works like the usual printer but it prints objects in three dimensions. It also uses melted plastic to produce the objects printed instead of paper and ink which is what an ordinary printer needs. Some of the students’ creations are being displayed at the school’s superintendent’s office.
The limitations encountered in using the 3D printer is that it can only create objects a few inches high, and the parts are not movable. But this can be easily remedied by printing part by part of the object and then building up the parts as a whole.
Other school departments as well are maximizing the use of the 3D printer. In math classes, for example, 3D printing is used to produce geometric models so that students can better visualize what they are learning. In art classes, ceramic molds are readily produced to aid in the creativity development of the students.
While the 3D printer may cost more than the ordinary, school officials believe that the mental development that their students gain from their 3D printing experience will be enough reason to compensate for the expenses of having it in their school.
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