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Foundation Funds New 3D Printers for DDT Class

photo of student with 3D printed basketball

High school students Bennett Rockwell and teacher Patrick Reed submitted a grant request to the Foundation for new, updated 3D printers for their Drafting and Design Technology (DDT) classes. The Foundation has consistently funded new 3D printers as the technology is ever-changing. These new Bambu Labs X1 3D printers are more consistent, can print in higher volume, and enable more complex prints that were not possible with the older equipment.

Rockwell shared, "The new 3D printers enable our class to participate in many more projects, get them printed faster (~5x as fast) and easier, since the printers are much less prone to failure and therefore waste less filament (print material). The printers also have a feature that allows us to print in more than one color at a time, eliminating the need for paint in some cases. The printers they replaced were very low detail, unreliable, and slow, and the purchase of these new ones encourage 3D printing for us, since they are much quicker, simpler to operate, and print in higher quality. Students are able to upload their files to the control computer, and the printers largely do all the work tuning themselves and doing the actual printing, letting us trust that they will successfully print without us needing to constantly keep checking up on them."

He went on to say, "Bryce Williams (another DDT student pictured above) and I recently printed a model of the Wilson airless basketball that took up the entire volume of the printer, and the print took about 36 hours. A print of that size on an older printer would need to be printed in several parts and would likely have taken over a week of print time."

"We all really appreciate what the Foundation has provided us with. The printers have been a great addition to our classroom, and we've noticed a big uptick in the enthusiasm about printing. They’ve given us much more time to spend designing our parts or learning, rather than wasting time fighting an old, relatively crude, and sometimes broken machine," said Rockwell.