Maker Spaces and 3D Printing
This article was submitted by Salisbury High School Library Media Teacher, Mrs. Robin Burns.
This February, Salisbury High School joined the maker movement by expanding an existing maker space into the 3D printing realm. The idea of making something is an old one but being re-imagined for the 21st century. The high school library is an open space that students are able to use with classes and during Falcon Period. Students are being encouraged to use the library as a center for design and a place to produce, not only consume information.
The MakerBot Replicator 2 began producing 3D designs on Friday, February 21st. The first deign, a comb, was printed from the Thingverse design warehouse. During the first week students printed bracelets, keychains, pendants, and creations of their own design. The MakerBot prints in STL files and can be used in conjunction with Google SketchUp Make, a free 3D modeling software program.
Mrs. Robin Burns, high school library media teacher, has worked with students in Mr. Kelly Wetherhold’s Media Management II class to document the design and printing process. Students are filming and producing a documentary highlighting the printer and finished products. The documentary will be shared on the high school’s television show, IMPACT.
Mr. Michael Barna, social studies teacher, has also found innovative ways to include the 3D printer into student projects. Students have been printing models of famous inventions of the industrial revolution such as the Wright Brothers first airplane and Jethro Tull’s seed drill.
Salisbury High School faculty and students are already finding unique ways to connect their content with the 3D design process. The opportunity to engage students in the design process from inception to completed prototype is something unique to Salisbury High School’s maker space. Several news outlets have stated the rise of 3D printers in homes and business will lead the way for the next industrial revolution.