Students in the technology classes at Boardman High School now have the ability to print in 3D, thanks to the purchase of a new 3D printer. The new equipment can help teach the new technology as well as benefit other courses at the high school.
According to Business Department Head Evelyn Stanton, the 3D printer can be used to create things for classes outside of just her department. She said that the printer can be used to show 3D graphing in math class, make models of landmarks for foreign language classes, or build models or skeletal parts for science classes.
''Next year we will have a whole class on 3D printing and programming,'' Stanton said. ''Right now we are just using it as part of our computer networking class.''
Photos by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Boardman High School senior Eric Miller and junior Marcus Smith observe the latest creation of the tech classes' new 3D printer.
So far, students have printed chess pieces, I-phone cases and holders, a ring box, a ring, a plastic nut and bolt, a flower vase and Spartan business card holders.
Stanton said she was checking into the 3D printers and the larger units were costly. Then she stumbled across a company called Solidoodle that had a smaller unit for only $800. The funds to make the purchase came from a $10 tech class fee that students pay at the beginning of the class. The fees help build funds for Stanton to use to purchase new technology to keep Boardman students learning on the latest tech equipment.
The students in the tech classes at BHS seem to have a thirst for more knowledge. Stanton said her department also has a class that repairs computers in the school. They work under a technology expert, but are able to handle a lot of problems for the school. They also take old computers, tear them down, then clean and rebuild them. The refurbished computers are then placed in a lab where other students can learn on.
As for the new printer, the students are already anxious to learn how to use it.
''The 3D printer is software driven,'' Stanton said. ''We design something on the computer, or alter an existing design, then put it into the printer's software program. The printer does the rest.''
The printer consists of a hot bed where the object starts off. A print head then uses a spool of colored plastic to begin building the 3D object. Stanton referred to the flower vase as an example of how it works. She said a clay flower pot would be made by taking away the clay until the form is achieved. In the 3D printer, the print head builds up the object by adding plastic.
Senior Justin Maroni said, ''It is a lot of fun to be able to work with cutting edge technology. This is going to be a household item in the near future.''
He also said that the printer generated a lot of excitement at Freshmen Orientation that was held Feb. 27.