NDE reVISION Grant brings 3D printer to Wahoo High School
WHS Skilled & Technical Sciences Dept. gains important tool to enhance CTE instruction
New technologies come and go, and while many are quickly replaced by the “latest and greatest,” a few have long-lasting, profound impacts on the world. The invention of 3D printing is one of those technologies that is not going away any time soon.
reVISION is an NDE process that “provides Nebraska schools with the opportunity to analyze and transform their current career education systems in order to improve their ability to educate a qualified workforce that meets industry needs within an ever-changing economy.”
In a world where 3D printers are being utilized in multiple professions, Wahoo’s new printer, a Prusa i3mk3, will definitely help our instructors achieve that goal.
The printer allows three-dimensional objects drawn on CAD (computer-aided drafting) software to be created physically by layering small amounts of plastic filament. This 3D printing is a growing technology that enhances the CAD curriculum and allows students to put their creativity and problem-solving skills to work.
Sam Kolterman, a senior at Wahoo High School, is taking Independent CAD with Mr. Jon Herrera.
“Sam is a very good CAD student and is a perfect match for this 3D printer,” Herrera commented. “I’ve talked to him about his potential to compete in SkillsUSA competitions utilizing this technology. I’m excited to see what he and other students do to put this new tool to work.”
WHS senior Sam Kolterman creates his design on Slic3r, before sending it to the 3D printer.
Kolterman uses the program Autodesk Inventor to create solid objects that can be printed using a software package called Slic3r. Slic3r takes a solid object and “slices” it into layers that the printer can create.
Recently, Kolterman used his CAD skills to recreate a broken plastic knob from a timer in the wood shop. The old knob had cracked and needed to be replaced. Kolterman drew the knob on Inventor, and then uploaded it to the printer using Slic3r.
After his first attempt, he realized it was time for “Knob v2.” The first attempt was a bit too big, and the handle was 180 degrees off the original. One of the beauties of 3D printing is that the design is saved digitally and can be altered.
So Kolterman went back to work, tweaked his original design, and was able to create a perfect replacement for the broken timer knob.
The finished product!
Kolterman likes the versatility this printer brings to class.
“It’s cool, and it’s intriguing how it creates solids from individual layers,” he commented.
WPS Director of Learning Dr. Josh Snyder was instrumental in helping write the grant.
“When it comes to preparing our students for their life after high school, the Wahoo Public Schools are committed to improving the future outlook for our students by providing them with a wide range of experiences that support the development of skills for learning, earning and living within Nebraska,” Snyder stated. “We have numerous high-quality programs in place (CEOs, Career Guidance, middle school and high school CTE offerings, SkillsUSA, and Life Skills) and look to add to our existing programs through enhancing our current course and skill development offerings. While we encourage our students to think beyond two-dimensions when designing and creating, it is often challenging to make those creations come to life. The addition of a 3D printer to our CTE program enhances the way we teach our students and encourages them to take their designs to the next level through creation. Through incorporating an automated design process and 3D modeling process into our current curriculum offerings, we can guide our students to begin thinking about careers in manufacturing and construction that they never knew were available.”
The goal is to incorporate the 3D printer into multiple classes and help enhance our CTE (Career and Technical Education) programs to give our students better exposure to emerging technologies.
Thank you to Dr. Snyder and Mr. Herrera for working hard to help grow our STS programs and give our students more opportunities!