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Students Get Hands-on Experience Assembling 3D Printers

Students get hands-on experience assembling 3D printers

A small classroom on the OTC Springfield Campus is filled with the excited chatter of students hard at work assembling parts to build a small machine.

“I get to be one of the first to do this,” said Tyler Letterman, an Industrial Maintenance Technology student from Fordland. “It’s cool to be the first in the program.”

What’s so cool for Tyler and other students is that they are part of a pilot class – Manufacturing 295 3D printing – in which they are not only learning about the cutting–edge printers, but they are actually building four printers that will eventually be used in the program.

“I feel that many of the students are really enjoying the class.  Being the pilot offering, there are a few kinks that need to be worked out, but overall I feel there is a good system in place,” said instructor Lane Crisp.

It teaches time management, organization and the technology behind the printer.”

The class is broken into four groups and each is responsible for a printer that came unassembled from the Printrbot Co., located in northern California.

The students are assigned a manager for the day. The manager assigns the work orders (per Crisp’s predetermined individual job assignments). Each group member then completes their individual tasks throughout the class period, and then at the end of the day, everyone heads back to the classroom and completes their job summaries and timecards.

After all the paperwork is completed, the manager signs off on all the individual team member’s paperwork and turns it into Crisp before the end of class.

“Once the kits are built, then programming and calibrating comes next. Many of the students have figured out that even the instructions that were provided by the company are not perfect,” Crisp said.

“Troubleshooting is a fun process and I still believe we will have functioning 3D printers in just a few class periods.”

Tyler can’t wait to see the printers in action.

“I’m excited. It will be good to see our designs printed out. This is quite an upgrade and improvement to move to 3D printers,” he said.






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