Vienna High School recently purchased a digital 3-D replicator through a grant and two private donations. Rick and Susan Odum and Morris and Danell Mott provided additional funds for the purchase of the new equipment.
The 3-D replicator, some people refer to it as a 3-D printer, is able to generate exact plastic replicas of digital images designed in 3-D. It is also able to scan an item in 3-D to replicate it in plastic.
Last week Vienna High School senior Justin Tanner demonstrated the replicator to the Morrises, Odums and school administrators.
Tanner has been working extensively with the new piece of equipment. He and other students have designed several pieces to learn how it works.
The MakerBot Replicator 2 uses plastic filament, similar to grass-trimmer string, heated to a pliable temperature, that is ejected in 100-micron layers to construct the final product.
Industrial arts instructor Bart Pullium said the MakerBot with give Vienna High School students a jump-start in civil engineering and design. He plans to incorporate its use in the autoCAD classes, which currently include a guide to exporting object data in Autocad amongst other important factors.
“With this technology and proper training, students could be employable in the engineering field immediately after graduating high school,” curriculum/technology director Josh Stafford said.
“This technology is the future,” Stafford said. “And is now more affordable.” He said Vienna High School is the only school in the southern five counties that has a 3-D printer.
“I can also see 3-D printers becoming a common product in many households in the future,” Stafford added.