3D Printer Project News

Manufacturing Day

Students use 3D technology to help change lives

Titan Hand
Source: Up North Live

TRAVERSE CITY, Mi (WPBN/WGTU) – Students in northern Michigan are helping to make not only people, but animals lives easier all through 3D technology.

Monday morning 7&4’s Alyssa Hearin was live from Traverse City West Senior High School with the Titans Robotics to see what they’re creating.

In just minutes, individual fingers for a prosthetic hand are printed from the Athena machine, it was designed by a professor at Michigan Tech University.

Students at Traverse City West Senior High School have already built five of these 3D printers.

So far Titan Robotics have helped a father make a joy- stick for his daughters homemade wheelchair and now they are teaming up with the AP Biology students in hopes to work with an area veterinarian and find an animal in need of a prosthetic leg.

Interlochen Elementary Printer Demo Day

Granite, TC West Sophomore, showcasing the printer to Interlochen students.
Granite, TC West Sophomore, showcasing the printer to Interlochen students.

The 3D Printing PLC had a printer demo day, on December 9, 2013, for the students at Interlochen Elementary School. Danelle Brostrom of TCAPS presented 3D printing basics to the students while Granite, a sophomore at West Senior High School, Chris Nesbit of Alpha 3D Professionals, Shelly VanderMuelen and Stephie Luyt of TCAPS, and Drea Weiner of Michigan Works/TBAISD showcase the 3D printers in action.

Michigan Association for School Boards


Granite, Ryan of West Senior High School and Dante of Central High School along with Philip Leete, robotics and math teacher at West Senior High School presented what they have learned through 3D printing and their experience with the 3D Printing PLC to the Michigan Association for School Boards on Friday, October 23, 2015. They talked about how they got involved in 3D printing, what they learned from taking apart the “magic black box”, what they could do with the software, and how working with 3D printers prepares them for a successful career in the 21st century. Our students received a standing ovation and did a fabulous job presenting to the 600 Michigan school board members in attendance.


K-12 Manufacturing Tools Support STEM In Traverse Bay Area Schools

Education’s Business: Taking Positive Actions
October 14, 2015 4:30 PM

Entrepreneurship, STEMBringing learning experiences centered around manufacturing and STEM education are at the heart of a very dedicated team in the Traverse City Intermediate School District and community.

At the reigns is Drea Weiner, a young and energetic coordinator that has opportunities to align business partners, the ISD and the local students and teachers. 3D printers are the primary tools through which new pathways are being created, giving teachers the technology of today, to build our workforce of tomorrow.

Listen to the podcast here.

3D Printing Comes Of Age In Traverse City from The Ticker

3D Printing Comes Of Age In Traverse CitySome call it additive manufacturing, others rapid prototyping. Whatever the name, 3D printing has arrived in Traverse City everywhere from manufacturing floors to elementary schools.Calling it printing is a bit misleading, as there’s no ink, toner or paper. Instead, an object is created in a three-dimensional CAD program. Then the computer image is sliced into thousands of layers and actually built by laying down layers of plastic, ceramic or metal.

Locally, companies such as RJG Inc. and Skilled Manufacturing Inc. (SMI) are utilizing the process to produce prototypes or short-run projects. “We’ve used it for about ten years, primarily for prototypes,” says Brooks Holland of SMI.

“If you’re only going to make 100, the mold alone would cost $10,000,” says Mike Groleu at RJG. And, what might have taken two weeks can now be done in as little as two hours.

Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) has made a 3D printing class one of the core requirements for its engineering technology programs. “It’s a tool you need in manufacturing,” says Ed Bailey, the director of NMC’s technical division.

At the other end of the spectrum, students as young as elementary age are being exposed to the process.

“Kids love them,” said Drea Weiner, who coordinates the program for Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District (TBA) and the 3D Printing Professional Learning Community, which brings together educational, manufacturing and other resources.

Traverse City West Middle School was the first local school to get a 3D printer (in January 2014). Next were East Middle School and both TC high schools. Now all the district’s elementary schools have 3D printers, as does the Manufacturing Tech Academy (MTA) at TBA.

Weiner says she hopes to place them in each school in the five-county region serviced by TBA.

Buckley Community Schools got its first 3D printer this year, acquiring one at no cost through an educational crowdfunding website.

At MTA, it’s become part of the coursework for students. “They work with it on a regular basis,” says Weiner.

There have been growing pains, as the new technology is not always foolproof, though even those problems bring opportunities. When something breaks or doesn’t work properly, MTA students learn how to solve the problems. “It’s the community aspect,” says Weiner. “If you break it, you fix it. It’s another learning aspect.”

“It engages the kids pretty quickly,” agrees Ross Clement, owner of Laser Printer Technologies, which has procured printers for some of the schools and also has them at his Traverse City office for client use. “If you have a CAD drawing you can email it to us or bring the file in.”

Clement works closely with Chris Nesbitt of Alpha 3D Professionals. The two have been among the driving forces for the acceptance of 3D printing.

Nesbitt sees great potential. “It’s been a slow build for 30 years. Now there are improvements and innovations at an incredible rate.”

Like Clement, Nesbitt has a number of printers at his facility, which he uses for clients across the country. “We’ve started to develop a print farm. That’s a turning point for the company. We’re doing a lot of product development and one-off pieces,” he says. Customers provide a sketch, which Nesbitt and crew recreate in the computer and then produce.

Clement sees endless uses, from manufacturing to aerospace to sports to medicine. For example, he foresees being able to print custom, artificial joints.

Costs continue to come down, further accelerating the trend. You can now buy a 3D printer for a few hundred dollars. And being able to watch as an object comes into being gives 3D printers “a really big cool factor,” says NMC’s Bailey.

3D Printer Awarded to TBA Career-Tech Center for STEM Top Student Video

The TBAISD Career-Tech Center was awarded a 3D printer by Networks Northwest because their students create the best STEM video in their Student Video Challenge.

3D Printer Awarded to TBA Career-Tech Center for STEM Top Student Video

The TBAISD Career-Tech Center was awarded a 3D printer by Networks Northwest because their students create the best STEM video in their Student Video Challenge..TBA Credit Union awards a grant TBAISD REMC 2TBACU Check presentationOn April 8, 2015, TBA Credit Union presented Michael George III and Drea Weiner a check from their Classroom Improvement Grant. TBAISD wrote the grant to purchase a 3D printer that will be available for teacher check out through REMC 2. Teachers within the TBAISD will be able to use the 3D printer in their classroom for a month.TBA Credit Union was impressed with the community partners RJG, INC. and Laser Printer Technologies who are also contributing to help make this printer available. TBAISD thanks TBA Credit Union for believing in this program and students. TBAISD has already begun to receive requests to have the printer in their classroom.

Eastern Elementary Students Present What They Have Learned Through 3D Printing to the TCAPS School Board

Eastern Students Speaking School BoardOn Monday, January 26, 2014 four of Eastern Elementary fifth grade students co-presented with their teacher Karen Nelson, Mike Groleau, Judie Groleau, Biz Ruskowski, and Drea Weiner. The students spoke about how math and science have become their favorite subjects, that they’re learning how to solve problems, and that though their designs don’t always turn out the first time but they redesign and try printing it again. The explained to attendees the process of 3D printing. Check out the 9 & 10 coverage:https://www.9and10news.com/story/27946874/tc-students-excell-with-3-d-printerEastern School Board Big Pic