3D Printer Enhances NHS's Technology Program
Published: March 16th, 2015
By: Michael Collins

3D printer enhances NHS's technology program

NORWICH – About a year ago, the Technology Department at Norwich High School acquired a 3D Printer to be utilized by students for a variety of technology oriented tasks.

The technology program at Norwich High School employs some high tech equipment to augment the education of its students. One of the newest additions to this arsenal of educational tools is a Mojo 3D Printer.

The 3D Printer can take any three-dimensional drawing created by the department's “Inventor” 3D drawing software and make it a reality. By “printing” layer upon layer of a plastic material, the 3D printer can – over the course of many hours – build almost anything that the students can imagine and draw on the computer. The printer is limited to printing objects that do not exceed five inches cubed.

Chris Klatt, NHS Technology Teacher and 3D Printer Expert, describes the printer as being similar to a hot glue gun – but “with finesse.” It basically takes a plastic material, melts it down, and lays down approximately .007 inches of material per layer (this is equivalent to less than width of two human hairs). By repeating this process over and over again, the printer can essentially “print” in three dimensions with surprising detail and accuracy.

Along with the plastic “model material” that the printer employs, it also uses a water soluble “support material” to fill in empty spaces and support structurally weak parts of the object being printed. After the printed part is complete it is placed in a special washer that dissolves all of the “support material” and leaves only the plastic structure.

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