3D PRINTING AT MLHS
2021 VIDEO PRODUCED BY MEDIA BROADCASTING STUDENT
ANNA SCHULTZ ABOUT 3D PRINTING CLASS AT MLHS
MLHS working with area businesses
When the first 3D printer was purchased in 2017, instructor Nate Watt had no idea where the program would go. He didn’t imagine that items made in our lab would go all over the country or businesses would seek us out to produce equipment for them. He simply was fascinated with the science behind 3D printing and wanted to share it with interested students. Since then, eight printers have been built by students and more have been purchased for use in the lab. Items printed include: ear guards for healthcare workers, chess pieces, 3D printers, game pieces, toys, chachkies, and entire games.
This spring Travis Warner, Land Surveyor Crew Chief for Bolton & Menk, had no idea that a simple google search would lead him to Martin Luther High School’s 3D Printing Lab. He was frustrated because a small, plastic clip on his equipment kept breaking. To replace it, he had to purchase the entire bracket which cost the company $70.00. He wanted to find a better, more cost-effective way to deal with this issue. After googling “3D printers Fairmont”, he came upon the 2017 Sentinel article about Martin Luther High School adding a 3D printing course to the science technology program. A phone call was all it took to get the wheels of production turning. Junior Jonah Hackett and Instructor Nate Watt met with Travis to understand his needs and put together a plan. Hackett and Watt went back to the lab and designed a program to print the small clip. After several trips back and forth from the lab to the field to test newly printed clips, the three designers perfected the 3D printed clip at a cost of just $5.00 per clip. Travis was thrilled, “This is just what I was hoping for. It doesn’t break easily. If the equipment tips over and hits the ground the clip releases so the computer is protected—all for a fraction of the cost we had been paying.” Warner also ordered several 3D printed push buttons to use on the tripods to lock them into place. “We push those buttons in at least 40 times a day and they wear out fast. We have been paying big prices to replace them. Now I can get them so much cheaper and save the company money while supporting a local program.” commented Warner.
Jonah Hackett, right, drops surveying equipment to the ground to test if the clip holding the computer will perform as desired. Instructor Nate Watt, left, and Travis Warner, Land Survey Crew Chief of Bolton & Menk anticipate the results.
Hackett, Watt, and Warner discuss the performance of 3D printed clips and tabs while Warner places his order for more items.
Martin Luther High School Junior Jonah Hackett holds the tiny, but valuable, clip that he 3D printed for Bolton & Menk Land Surveyors.