Students Learn the Power of 3D Printing

Posted by Jacqui Adams on

From: NJTV News

By Erin Delmore

“In the bad old days, you had to buy these massive machines and do all this expensive stuff and now you just press print,” said Picatinny STEM Office Technology Manager Shahram Dabiri.

It’s supply on demand. Picatinny Arsenal is putting the power of 3D printing in the hands of Montclair’s K-12 students, thanks to 36 printers bought by Montclair State University. The military research and manufacturing facility is stepping in to train the township’s teachers.

“These are maker-bott replica desk top printers. They look rely complicated, they’re not. It’s basically a hot glue gun and an HP printer that came together. It’s basically taking plastic, melting it and laying, layer by layer of polymer plastic to create a product,” Dabiri said.

Take a vase made by a 3D printer at Picatinny Arsenal. You couldn’t make this in a factory because the geometry along the outside is actually different from the geometry on the inside. It took about four hours to make.

“We’ve been doing 3D modeling and converting that into printable forms,” said Nahum Prasarn.

A chess piece took a mere 90 minutes.

“All you have to do is be able to think of these solid things that can be broken into smaller pieces, smaller very simple geometric shapes like a cylinder, or a cone, or a sphere,” said Montclair High School Physics teacher Emrah Altunkaya.

Altunkaya is creating a new curriculum involving the 3D printer in his classroom. That old “design the sturdiest bridge with the lightest weight” challenge is about to become a whole lot more fun.

Lisa Gray’s middle school pre-engineering class is working on a 3D printed jewelry project. She’s says the new technology is a game-changer.

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