Living in 3D: Students embark on next-level design

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Allison Whitman

Ladin Strauss, a sophomore, watches a 3D printer hard at work.

Allison Whitman, Contributor

Layer by layer, students are experiencing a world in 3D.

“Design to Print – 3D” has been a popular Interim Term class for students who want to learn more about the 3D printing process

Mr. Harlan Howe, technology coordinator and computer teacher, said that 3D printing is a tool for the future if students want to become a doctor or an engineer.

“It’s one of those things that people are going to find themselves wanting to do, or if they want to invent something, this is a great way to begin prototyping and to try things out, and if they don’t work, try them again and make a change,” he said.

Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing is the process of layering material to create a 3D object. According to an article on autodesk.com, with improved technology for 3D printing, “the future is brighter than ever.” 

While learning about the process of 3D printing, students in the class also had the opportunity to better their skills in being resilient and overcoming challenges. 

To start the process of 3D printing, the students first had to learn how to use the 3D designing software. 

“It’s confusing because you don’t know what all of the buttons do,” said sophomore Ava Courville.

Mr. Howe said the software in his class this year is different from programs he has used in past years.

“There’s a little bit more of a learning curve at the beginning but has more power once you get going,” he said. 

While some students were having trouble with the software, sophomore Cole Hartung said the part of the class that he was struggling with was being creative with his designs. 

“Sometimes coming up with the designs is kinda hard, especially when there’s more creative stuff involved,” Hartung said. 

Using resources available to them was one of Howe’s tips when students were stuck during the design process. 

Both Courville and Hartung said they are eager to see their designs printed at the end of the class.