Instead of complaining about missing memories from his senior year in high school, Wayne County High School Senior Coy Reynolds has been very productive this last semester. His non-traditional pathway has evolved into a full time construction job where he is learning to build everything from a house to a barn to a steel building. In between long hours at a site in Pulaski County, he has managed to sandwich in a way to give back to the community through a skill he learned at the high school earlier this school year.
He has produced over 200 plastic 3D printed parts, health workers can use to adjust their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) face shield equipment. He has donated them to the Wayne County Hospital. He has been working on them at his computer station in his bedroom, where he has two 3D printers. He is the 18-year-old son of Joellen Nagy, and the grandson of Judy Coffey, a retired custodian at the high school, with a reputation for being beloved by students.
The bands of plastic take hours and hours to produce. The plastic ribbon sits on the back of the individual’s head and comfortably holds the face mask in place. He had seen that there was a need for them on Facebook and realized he could join in the efforts being made by others.
It is interesting to see how students’ paths for future success evolve and the high school has done a tremendous job at customizing students’ educations by offering everything from dual credit college courses from both in-house teachers to all kinds of online courses based at different colleges. Coupled with the Area Technology Center, where classes offer all kinds of industry certifications , there is a vast selection of fields offered to students. Plus, the pathways program provides room for internships, mentoring, and job placements so students’ can get an even closer look at an occupation through on the job training. Reynolds is one of the many seniors who have matched their specific needs to such flexible options.
“I’ve always been more of a hands-on learner at school,” said Reynolds.
He was inspired while taking a required Humanities class with the bank of 3D printers he spied on one side of Wayne County High School Arts and Humanities Teacher Tim Wither’s classroom. During the first semester Humanities class, Reynolds said, “I asked if I could learn how to use them?”
“He was right on top of it,” said Reynolds. “He likes for students to learn new things.”
Withers said he deliberately gave him the most difficult 3D printer in his classroom to learn on, thinking he would not want to conquer it and return to his Humanities materials. But, not Reynolds. He not only mastered it, but was soon designing a replacement piece in the bed of another printer that had broken, returning it to full operational status.
So, it was not long until Reynolds’ class time was switched to an independent art technology course since he was so consumed by the 3D printing world. “’I was having so much fun,” recalled Reynolds.
By Christmas, Reynolds received a gift from his girlfriend (a senior at Clinton County High School) that he was not expecting. “I got her an Apple watch and then she pulled out a big wonderful Christmas present for me. It was my first Monoprice 3d Printer. “
He started watching YouTube videos to learn more and more. I started out with small figurines or mechanical parts, before taking orders for things like different colored alphabet letters matching friend’s names. He took advantage of the many files already designed online that can be downloaded for use to guide the printer.
It was not long before he was designing his own parts off of a CAD software design program. He explained that Mr. Withers had started him off on a simple CAD program.
“I just thought I’d do my own because it was easier than I thought,” said Reynolds.
“There’s a lot that goes into it though. The range for making something takes 12 to 24 hours depending on the setting, determining speed and quality,” he explained. “I think it amazes anyone that sees the capabilities of this.”
Once he started working he used some of his paychecks to upgrade to yet another more advanced 3D printer. That is the machine he has been using to print the headpiece ribbons to attach to the masks.
“I’ve always liked to make stuff,” surmised Reynolds. He especially enjoyed taking machine tool classes under ATC Instructor Mark Smith. “I learned how to make parts out of metal.”
He had planned to go into design work eventually, but since he has gotten the construction job his major has shifted. He will start college at SCC/KCTCS in the fall where he will take a blueprinting course and begin working towards his goal to become an electrician, while keeping his construction job too.
Besides his strong work ethic, Reynolds finds time to play the acoustic guitar and banjo. Not surprisingly, he is self-taught after watching videos to learn to play.
Obviously, the Alpha resident enjoys giving back, with one more goal to become a volunteer fire fighter for the Susie Fire Department. “I like helping people.”
“My thanks to Tim Withers, because he is the one that started it all,” concluded Reynolds.
Coy Reynolds at his computer station at home holding the plastic ribbon strips he created to donate to medical personnel.
Laying out the ribbon strips to feed the 3D printer
Working from home to keep his 3D printers operating for a good cause