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What’s the Deal With that 3D Printer?

Shown+above+is+the+Maker+Bot+3D+printer+machine+in+the+displayed+in+the+media+center
Shown above is the Maker Bot 3D printer machine in the displayed in the media center

Shown above is the Maker Bot 3D printer machine in the displayed in the media center

Shown above is the Maker Bot 3D printer machine in the displayed in the media center

Kevin Braus, Staff Writter

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Last fall, Stamford High received a 3D printer from the school district. However, the printer was given without a purpose in mind and as a result the printer sat in the back of the Media Center. It was about a year until one of the teacher-librarians, Jean Isler, thought of placing it on an open space and letting the students use it. Since the printer has been released there have been various students using the printer to print an assortment of different items. At first, no one was sure how to work the printer until Malcom Hoffmeister, one of the support staff in the media center, suggested to use the websites www.makeaverse.org and www.thingiverse.com. Some of those that have used the printer have created simplistic items such as a phone cases or miniature real life objects such as doll sized tables.

A 3D printed giraffe created by one of the SHS students

A 3D printed giraffe created by one of the SHS students

It is only recently that more students have become fascinated with the printer. Throughout it’s time there have been some unique creations formed. One student made a Buddha statue with a stormtrooper helmet.  Another cool creation was a replica of the mascot from the video game “Destiny.” The mascot for the game is known as a ghost, and resembles an inverted cube.

This creation took roughly twenty hours to make.  After all the pieces were printed glue, magnets and an LED light were used to make the final product. An interesting add-on was a part to turn the LED light on and off. The 3D printer comes with a digital scanner. The digital scanner allows for items to be placed and scanned so the printer can print the digitized version. The scanner has allowed for different ways to use the printer. Kimberly Wheeler, SHS ceramics teacher, was asked to create a knight head so the printer could make it via the scanner. Another idea thrown around was making cookie cutters for use in bake sales.  

For the 3D printer to work it requires filaments rather than the ink cartridges normal printers use. Isler uses part of the budget for the media center to buy the filaments for the printer. The filaments can come in a variety of colors, but there are only seven at the moment. Since the unveiling of the printer the amount of people wanting to use the 3D printer has drastically increased. Before you start printing you do have to ask Hoffmeister for permission. Any student is allowed to print something from the 3D printer so long as you ask to. After you get permission you can log into the computer and print as long as it is school appropriate. The printer has appealed to many and attracted more students to the media center. Hoffmeister aid, “Students come in early to start the printing for items they want. I’ve seen students also help one another when needs assistance. I’ve also seen new students come into the media center now.”

The 3D printer which originally was gathering dust has now been put to good use at the media center. It has brought a good amount of attention toward the media center and has made more  students more interested in it. Isler has also stated that along with the 3D printer there will be future plans to make everything more wireless, mobile and electronic. A future plan includes creating an electronic library that will be known as the Learning Commons.  All of the staff for the media center has been working very hard toward improving the a center. With their hard work and dedication, the staff plans to have a lot of items in the media center to be upgraded such as the computers, software and printers.

 

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What’s the Deal With that 3D Printer?