How Does 3D Printing Benefit OLSH?


Testing out the 3D printer in the technology lab.

Annabella S. '22

With the rise of technology, 3D printers have become more common and popular. OLSH has two 3D printers, which gives the students increased chances to do more with this technology.

According to Mrs. Vigrass, technology teacher at OLSH, the first 3D printer was purchased in 2015, when OLSH added the Engineering Design and 3D Modeling class. This class teaches students the engineering design process using Fusion 360 3D Computer Aided Design Software. It unifies design, engineering, and manufacturing into one platform that allows students to create high-quality products faster by positively connecting the development process. Additionally, the acquisition of two Makerbot printers has enabled these students to materialize their ideas into reality by 3D printing prototypes.

This 3D printing technology has been beneficial for students to get the most out of their work. It encourages students’ creative thinking and teaches them problem-solving skills. Both are very essential skills for a career in STEM fields.

3D printing classes offer infinite benefits to students who are planning to take college courses in STEM fields. Problem-solving skills is only one of the many benefits they will learn by analyzing prototypes’ defects and make the corrective actions to achieve the final goal for their product. Senior Jake Gartley said, “This class will benefit me in the future by teaching me the way objects are designed by engineers, and also helping me decide whether engineering is something I want to study or not.”

Currently, there are five students taking this course. The small class gives students the opportunity to print more items for each student. It is noted that these courses are also beneficial for students who want to explore their creativity or want to have hands-on activities. They can print a variety of things. Sophomore Luke Pietrzak said, “I’ve made a phone stand, a coin, a yo-yo, and a replica of the NBA logo. I can’t wait to make more creations; for example, a Christmas ornament.”

Since many students may have 3D printers at home or have access to one, taking this course may help them to better utilize their skills and pursue careers in product design manufacturing or 3D modeling and design. 

Though some people can argue that students are not going to benefit from these courses, it is the consensus that there is no such thing as not benefiting from knowledge. A quote by Dr. Seuss once said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know, the more that you learn, the more places you’ll go”. In addition to having fun through the creation of their own unique products, students can learn to use the 3D printer in a more efficient manner. Everything that students can learn today could potentially benefit them in their future careers.