3D Printing

3D Printed Racers In School

Vinny Garrison, Technology Teacher for grades five to eight at the A. MacArthur Middle School, has starred in a recent MakerBot video short to give us all another interesting insight into the prospective applications of 3D printing in the classroom.

Pupils at the A. MacArthur Middle School have found an innovative way to express themselves as an individual creatively, pick up some extra design and engineering skills, alongside a bit of fun competition with each other in a group – as they design a car, build it and then race it.  The aim is to create a miniature vehicle made in a way that is as light as possible. The lighter the car the faster it is and thus more likely to win the race, so there is every reason to look to materially efficient 3D printing here – especially as it doubles the amount of engineering skills being taught in the class.

As they design and build, the pupils are under the keen eye and mentorship of Mr. Garrison. The tutor decided to make his classes even more interesting by adding a 3D printer into the mix after he realised that it provided a way to make the wheels needed for his pupils’ car projects, and moreover make them with less materials resulting in a lighter component. The opportunity to provide some digital manufacturing education alongside the rest of the design and engineering skills the project provided seemed too good to pass up.

The teens here clearly gained a lot from this project. There is a really fun video behind this which I would only detract from by writing much more here, two minutes that are worth watching to see what can happen when a simple  educational application meets 3D printing.