Young students from around the region got a valuable lesson in 3D printing at the National Museum of the United States Air Force thanks to the Wright State University College of Engineering and Computer Science.
Faculty members and students from the college set up and manned a 3D printing display at the museum all day on Jan. 13 as part of Science Discovery and Family Fun Day, which was attended by Gov. Mike DeWine.
Joy Gockel, assistant professor of mechanical and materials engineering, said the display enabled the students to learn the 3D printing process and get creative with it.
“They were really excited to see that new type of technology, be exposed to it,” said Gockel. “It’s great for the future engineers.”
DeWine kicked off the event with a speech in support of STEM education.
The display on the customizability of 3D printing included a computer on which the students used solid modeling design software to change the text on a gear. The students, ranging in age from 8 to 13, put their names, a phrase or favorite animal on the gear model, which was then moved over to the printing software and the printer.
It took about 15 minutes to print each gear. About 20 gears were printed, including some by a few adults.
“It’s really a change in paradigm in how you build things,” said Gockel. “You can design with customization, with complexity in your design, and you couldn’t do that before.”
The event also featured a display from the Wright State College of Science and Mathematics as well as demonstrations and activities from The Ohio State University, Youngstown State, Clark State and Sinclair Community College.