Two 3D printers were on display at the April Board of Education meeting. The printers, a Makerbot Replicator 2 and a Craftbot 3D, are currently being used in computer aided design (CAD) and design and drawing for production (DDP) classes in the high school. Technology teacher John Washburn says the eighth grade students, too, will begin using them in technology classes in the near future.
At present, there are some limitations with the printers. For one, the print speed is still quite slow. This makes it difficult to have students print individual projects. The other challenge is the size. The printers can only print things which are “knick knack keychain” size, according to Washburn.
These challenges, however, have not prevented the creation of usable objects. The technology department was able to print a mouthpiece to be used with trumpets and trombones. In fact, Washburn said music teacher Bernhard Spirig wants them to print more mouthpieces so seventh graders could learn how to form their lips before beginning to play an instrument.
Washburn is excited for all the possibilities 3D printing opens for the students. He calls it the beginning of the third Industrial Revolution.