Innovation: Education

3-D Printing and Making at Edmunds and Hunt

by Eric Schoembs, Edmunds Middle School educator

Last week Dan Treinis and I each received Maker Bot Replicator 2s, underwritten by the Tarrant Institute.  We are working in parallel to roll out the new technology with our middle school students at Edmunds and Hunt Middle Schools.

We began last week by introducing the technology to each of our classes with live demonstrations and a short how-it-works introduction.

3d1
Students at Edmunds Middle School examine their new 3D printer.

At the end of each class we raffled off the completed piece and the students loved it!

The Maker Bots came pre-loaded with an SD card that had several designs that we could print to test the machine.  The initial setup was relatively easy so our next challenge is installing the makerware on our computers. The makerware traces the 3D models students create, then writes the code that the Maker Bot uses to precisely deposit the extruded plastic filament.

Both Dan and I are very familiar with Google Sketch Up and so are our students so we hope to use Sketch Up to create the models that we will print with the Maker Bot. So far I have been very impressed with the quality of the print and reliability of the machine.

More to come as we begin printing our own work this week!

Hunt Middle School's new 3D printer.
The new 3D printer.

To put it mildly, our students are very excited about having access to
this new technology!

A close-up of some of the sample items that the 3D printer can produce.
A close-up of some of the items that have already been printed on the 3D printer: clockwise from top left are a chain, a threaded nut and bolt, a comb, and a bracelet.

 

 

 

Author

Audrey Homan

Audrey Homan is a Vermont-based digital media producer, and producer of The 21st Century Classroom podcast. She's worked in non-profit communications for more than a decade, and in her spare time writes tiny video games and mucks about with augmented reality and arduinos, ably assisted by five dogs.

Interviewing students and yelling in PHP are the best parts of her job.

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