3D printing has Tri-County students excited to learn.


Tri-County instructor Andy Thomas and his seventh and eighth grade classes stand with the 3D printer, which was donated by Richard and Betty Armstrong. 

           If you feel as though you are seeing things in 3D in Mr. Andy Thomas’s classroom at Tri County, be assured you are not hallucinating. There is a new 3D printer that was made possible by a donation from Richard and Betty Armstrong. “Richard and Betty Armstrong were kind enough to donate the money for a 3D printer after we had a conversation about what the Junior High could use in the classroom that they currently did not have access to. We spoke about getting a 3D printer and after some joint research landed on the make and model. The printer is a Makerbot Replicator+ and is one of the finest pieces of equipment in its field.  Through a program called open SCAD the students can create a 3 Dimensional blueprint in which the printer begins producing with the click of a button”, Thomas says.

            The printer uses a PLA filament that is both lightweight and durable, allowing for a wide range of applications.  After several hours of training, Mr. Thomas and his students were able to make an anatomical 3D human heart in which they used for a science lesson that same day.  The printer allows the students to not only to learn computer coding and languages but also allows them to hold and feel items that they did not have access before. “The possibilities with this machine are near endless as the student's imagination is a vital part in the production process.  The printer was purchased from Makerbot directly which has provided great warranty and support when needed.  The donation was made to the junior high STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) program and will be utilized in a variety of different ways ranging from computer design to life and biological sciences to math and beyond. This is a phenomenal tool and will be incorporated in to as many aspects of the learning environment as possible”, Thomas added.