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Realize partners to educate students about 3D Printing

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 by Ray

Science and Engineering made exciting through 3D Printing Technology!


Realize Inc. is very proud of our industry and we are always looking for new ways to help create excitement and deliver knowledge about additive manufacturing. The process of informing a new generation of students and creating better awareness about the technology, and how it can be utilized moving forward, is important to us. Recently we partnered with Brad Lowell, a Science teacher at Fall Creek Intermediate School in Fishers, Indiana to help him reach the goal on the project: Science and Engineering Made Exciting Through 3D Technology! We interviewed Mr. Lowell about the project and how he thinks 3D Printing technology might be applied in classrooms around the country.


Realize: Why is the addition of a 3D Printer important for students and the school?  

Mr. Lowell: As our school is moving into our One 2 One initiative this next year where every student has an iPad, the 3D printer is another tool that will better prepare them for their futures. We have researched printers in the field of medicine that can print cell after cell to create sheets of skin and in the future maybe even replacement organs. 3D metal printers are being used to create car parts. We have seen printers that can produces incredible chocolate sculptures and another that builds 3D pancake creations. Like student imagination, the possibilities of the printer are limitless.  


How did Realize help you reach your goal?  
Through a sizable donation, Realize was an amazing partner in making our 3D dreams a reality. Realize also sent some great video examples that excited students and really illustrated how incredible the industry is.
What do you love about 3D Printing?  
I love that with 3D printing really anything is possible. It will allow them to take their 2 dimensional ideas and create real 3 dimensional working prototypes.
How can you see 3D Printing helping students in the future?  
I see a future where when something breaks around the house or in their classroom, students could merely go to their computer and print a replacement part.   
How have the kids reacted and what projects have you worked on?  
Students were so excited to see the MakerBot box show up at school! Unfortunately, with the arrival so late in the year we were not able to do much in the way of our own designs but did really explore what the printer was capable of. We successfully created a working prosthetic hand and some parts for our water rockets engineering lab activity. Some students also came in and worked during lunch with me and created their own cell phone cases.
Looking into next year and beyond, how will you use additive manufacturing in the classroom?  
This next year I am hoping to spend a great deal of time at the beginning of the year teaching the kids 3D CAD designing on their ipads so that all of our engineering activities can be built on the printer. We will build prototype gravity racers, plastic boats to test Archimedes’s principle of buoyancy, bio engineer surgical tools to assist us in our Frankenstein-style  ‘open heart’ surgery lab, design rocket fins and parts for our rocketry labs, and countless other activities. We’re hoping this next year to look into the possibility of the MakerBot 3D scanner where students can scan and replicate parts.
What do you think students need more information on regarding the additive manufacturing industry?  
We are still really learning about the additive manufacturing industry and would welcome any additional information that could be provided on the industry. We’d love to have future communication with Realize.
If you could 3D Print anything, what would that be?
The kid in me would love to create, print, and build  a working R2D2 droid. My son, however, absolutely fell in love with your outdoor ukulele and was trying to convince me to try to make one of those.



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