Canyon Vista’s 3D Printer

Geometry students got the opportunity to use the 3D printer to produce their own trinkets. Photo by Bernice Chen

Geometry students got the opportunity to use the 3D printer to produce their own trinkets. Photo by Bernice Chen

A few weeks ago, Canyon Vista borrowed a 3D printer to use temporarily. Several items have been printed with this new device, such as a mask for Mr. Ramirez, luggage tags for Geometry classes, and even structures built in Minecraft!

3D printing starts when a virtual design is made into a CAD (Computer Aided Design) file by using a 3D modeling program. A new object may be created, or a 3D scanner can be utilized if the object design already exists (the scanner would make a 3D version of the object and put it in the 3D modeling program). The computer on which the design is stored is then connected to a 3D printer, and the object is sent over to be printed. The printer then turns the whole object into a thousands of tiny slices, and it builds the object from the bottom up, layer by layer. The slices stick together to form the object, and then it is finished. Canyon Vista’s 3D printer, which is the brand Dremel, uses an organic base material to create the object. “3D printing will be bigger than the Internet,” says Mrs. Lind, our technology specialist. “In the future, people will be able to print things they need and they will be able to customize them. And that could potentially change business as far as supply, manufacturing and people selling items.”

Every middle school in the Round Rock ISD district is getting a chance to have the 3D printer for a few weeks thanks to the ITS (Instructional Technology) Department. On April 28th, the 3D printer was passed on from our school to the next school. However, our PTA is interested in the 3D printers and Canyon Vista may even get our own to keep someday. “I think that it is a creative way to start learning about volume.” says Ruhin Homchowdhury, an 8th grader in Geometry. “It was really fun and I hope everyone later on can use it.”