By: Cas Powell
Recently Marsha Bertram offered a field trip to her computer science classes. The participating students joined her on an adventure to SCC’s Additive Manufacturing Lab. Nationally acclaimed, the lab educates people about the future of 3D printing in the manufacturing world and how it has already impacted so many fields.
Students in attendance were treated to a workshop inside the lab working with Tinkercad. The students were given an assignment that allowed them to be both engineers and businessmen. They began by using Tinkercad, online design software, to create a 3D phone stand that met the requirements they were given: it had to stand on its own, have some sort of device to amplify sound, and have holes for charging cords and other attachments.
After the completion of their project, the students looked at the business aspect. The goal was to make sure their designs could be printed as quickly and with as little material as possible. Each team worked one on one with Kei Goodson and Robert Stanfield, two of the lab’s employees, to improve their designs. Several of the students made plans to print their designs back on the high school’s 3D printers.
Eric Wooldridge, head of the lab, presented a presentation to the students about the innovations of 3D printing and how they were making an impact on the economy. Students learned that aerospace exports were Kentucky’s largest source of revenue, and that 3D printing was rising up in that field. Students learned that the parts being manufactured for the construction of aerospace technology could be cheaply and efficiently printed.
“It was a great class, I really appreciated the attention shown as additive manufacturing is really important right now,” Wooldridge stated. “It was great to have them up here to talk to, and I hope we see many of the seniors next fall in our classroom.” Wooldridge is no novice when it comes to working with Wayne County High School; in the previous school year they offered Bertram’s students a workshop to explore the 3D printing and virtual reality technology the lab had.
“They showed us how to use Tinkercad, the software used to design the projects,” WCHS student Luke Bethel said about the workshop. “It was really fun and interesting to work with this technology, and I was impressed with the facts they showed us. I never knew that Kentucky’s biggest industry was aerospace.” Luke is a student Webmaster and AP Computer Science Principals student, and was pleased to learn how to use software he hoped to implement in class projects.
Students who had attended the workshop have learned a lot about the future of 3D printing. Many of them will use this knowledge to excel back at Wayne County High School, where they work with the 3D printers and study this kind of technology. Several of them plan to work with and print the test designs they created at the workshop. The future is coming, and Wayne County School’s technology students will have the knowledge and experience to handle it.
(l-r): WCHS students Jacob Daniels, Dylan Powell, and Jordan Sexton work on desiging their phone case
(back to front): Seniors Jacob Hammond, Greg Ryan, and Caleb McCutchen work on redesigning their model to be more cost efficient
Students split into teams of two or three to design their projects and worked with the lab's equipment
A total of 24 students joined Marsha Bertram on the trip to SCC's Additive Manufacturing Lab