3D Printing in the Classroom

 Hey guys and gals, check out what one of our local High School teachers has to say about 3D printing in schools!  This article was written by Goshen High School Tech-Ed teacher J.J. Johnson


"As an engineering technology teacher at Goshen High School, rapid prototyping is breathing new life into my curriculum. Never before have students been so interested in print reading, the design process, and 3D modeling, nor have they been able to bring their designs to life like they are now. Since college I have been fascinated by any machine that can make something, and have frequently asked our leadership team to make room in the budget to bring a 3D printer to GHS, but was always told the finances just weren’t there. Finances are even tighter now, but thanks to SeeMeCNC’s affordable 3D printers and excellent quality, we are making rapid prototyping in the classroom a reality.


We currently utilize one H1 3D printer, and are retrofitting a second out of service H1 printer with cool upgrades, that SeeMeCNC recently donated to us to allow more print time for students. I even bought my own Rostock Max last month to have at home. Hopefully soon GHS will find the finances to purchase our own Rostock Max. I would be lying if I said I didn’t believe in my area of study, live my curriculum, enjoy guiding students towards engineering and design, and see the potential 3D printing has for field of design. With These machines, the experiences are great and the potential for learning for our students is even better. 


I will close with an example of how we are using 3D printing in the classroom. In our Introduction to Design classes, students have been learning a nine step design process and the fundamentals of Autodesk Inventor. Their culminating project involves designing and building a CO2 car given a set of specification. I must say, the project is motivating for students. Creativity, engineering skills, and attention to detail are all areas exposed by this project. Yesterday though, we raised the bar, we printed a full scale, fully functional design of a CO2 car! The students were blown away! The realization of being able to manipulate, a real life 3D printed model within an extremely short period of time had students relating the project to the design process, and how they could now test the design, and then make improvements. As teachers, we call that the aha moment. They all want theirs printed now. I foresee many hours of printing in the future, and then on to the next project."


Render of 3D printed CO2 Car (courtesy J.J. Johnson)


Actual photo of 3D printed CO2 car (courtesy J.J. Johnson)