New 3D printer gives students immense potential

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Chess pieces created using the new 3D printer.

Now you can make an iPhone case in the computer room.

The addition of a 3D printer in the Upper School Computer Lab was initiated by Matt Zipin. “GFS is typically very slow at adopting technology,” said Zipin, “because technology needs to have educational value. If I think it is useful, I will request one.”

Designs can be scanned from real objects, created in Google Sketchup, or downloaded from the internet. So far, students have made phone cases, chess pieces and various designs. The objects are printed using melted plastic that is layered to form the shapes. The printer is relatively high-end for a school 3D printer.

Zipin is offering “Exploring 3D Printing” as a January Term course. The course will focus on designing and printing objects. The class will be an hour and a half and is open to all students.

At the moment any student with knowledge and Zipin’s permission can use the printer. Evan Gorski ‘17 is one of the student experts. He believes that the printer can be used for more than what is expected. “We made Chess pieces, but we can also create things like a pencil holder for every teacher who needs one,” said Evan. “It’ll be interesting to see where things made by the 3D printer pop up around the campus.”