All Sizer students have an account on the school’s network that allows them to print paper reports and other academic work – but starting next week, they’ll also have an account with the 3D printer in the Library.
The story of Sizer’s 3D printer started back in the fall of 2013 when Sizer agreed to pilot the use of a NVBOTS 3D printer designed specifically for school use. The device proved so popular that the following year we included a 3D printing as part of our 7th and 8th grade technology classes with Mr Aubuchon. The 8th graders made braille dog tags to supplement a unit in English on Helen Keller, and the 7th graders made bookmarks to go with a fairy tale assignment for English.
This year the creative use of this device continues, and is a source of interest for all classes. Our 7th graders are designing and printing small containers with lids that will be used their math classes to predict and measure volume. The 9th graders will soon begin an interdisciplinary project on change and will have the choice to print 3D objects for this project.
Now that the school has integrated 3D printing into the curriculum, Mr. Sullivan has created accounts for each student. Next week when students get their passwords they will be able to upload their designs directly to the printer’s server, and will be approved by Ms Tarantino or Mr Aubuchon for printing.
Ms Tarantino will be working with Advisors to get every student their password. All students should pay attention to the Friday Flash for tips each week on how to design for the printer.
Why give every student an account with access to 3D printing?
We’ve decided to do this for a few reasons:
1. A part of our school’s vision statement says we will, “do what it takes to inspire passionate, creative and life-long learners.” This is one way to help achieve that vision.
2. Since receiving our first 3D printer in the fall of 2013, Sizer has always had a policy that any student can get an account for the 3D Printer if they take a few online lessons using Tinkercad, a free 3D design software service. In the fall of 2014, we began including 3D printing as a part of our required Middle School Technology class. At this point (January 2016) the majority of our 7th, 8th, and 9th graders have been introduced to designing for 3D printing and have used the printer in class. We are now removing the requirement that students must take a few online lessons before being given an account.
3. Over 13 years ago when our school opened, it was common for a student to be given an account that allowed them to print reports and academic work on two-dimensional paper with a laser printer. We feel it is time to include three-dimensional work too.
Will students be able to print anything they want?
No, students will be able to upload anything they want to the print server, but from there a teacher (currently either Mr Aubuchon, the Technology teacher or Ms Tarantino, the Curriculum &Technology Integration Coach) will have to approve all items before printing.
Does the printer have to be used only for school work?
In general yes. All print jobs must be part of classwork or Sizer clubs. Classes at sizer offers students many opportunities for independent or group projects and clubs offers additional opportunities for students to design and print.
Will students be charged to print?
Not this year. We don’t know about future years. The cost for the 3D printer and its supplies have been donated for the past two years.
Do students have to share their email or other private information to use the printer?
No. The student accounts do not require email to access and students are only allowed to upload designs to the print server. They are unable to chat or exchange information with other people on this server. It is very similar to the process of sending a print job to a regular laser printer at school.