HHS gets new 3D printer for technology classes


Photo provided by ultimaker.com

HHS purchased a new 3D printer called the Ultimaker 2 Extended.

Josh Freeman, Staff Reporter

Over the past few years, the technology department at HHS has been tinkering with a 3D printer, but this year, the usage of 3D printers by students in technology classes has skyrocketed.

“This year the use has just gone sky high,” said Mr. Tim Amlie, Technology Education.

Students have used the printer so much that the old printer wore out. The printer had been in use at HHS for five years and could no longer handle the workload. One of the biggest issues was the warping of objects as they printed. This has been fixed by a heated plate on the new printer.

After seeing the flaws of the older machine, the school decided to purchase a new 3D printer, The Ultimaker 2 Extended. The “Extended” model is a bigger model for printing slightly bigger objects.

According to reviews, the new printer is quieter, faster, more accurate, more efficient in supply consumption, and looks cooler.

The main purpose for the printer is to be used in HHS engineering classes. The printer would bring the students’ conceptual designs to life from the program CAD.

“CAD stands for Computer-Aided Design,” Amlie said. “At HHS, we use Autodesk products. We use Inventor, Revit and a whole other line of suits that go along with engineering, whether Mechanical, Civil … it’s all there.”

These suits are used for 2D and 3D modeling and design.

Students also use a program called Cura, a 3D modeling software that is open-sourced. Cura allows people to make make edits to the software to fit their needs. The program allows students to take models from the internet and upload them for small edits to prepare for print, and they can also design their own models.

The Ultimaker 2 has two main goals in its design: speed and quality.

“On Monday morning, when the kids came into the room and saw the box in the middle of the floor, they were like kids in a candy shop. They could not wait to get the thing open and see how it worked,” Amlie said.

The printer now has a waiting list of students waiting for their turn to print. The list has gotten to the point where it will run into next year.