School Committee approves additional 3D printer for LHS

School Committee approves additional 3D printer for LHS

This 3D printer is used by students in Robert Gervais' design and engineering classes at Lincoln High School. An additional printer was approved by the School Committee and will be paid for through a grant.

LINCOLN - To help the ever expanding Design and Engineering Academy at Lincoln High School, the School Committee approved a bid for a second 3D printer, which will allow students to print objects simultaneously during class.

At the Oct. 20 School Committee meeting, Business Manager Lori Miller said two bids were reviewed from Advanced Educational Technologies LLC.

The first bid, which received approval, was for a $17,114 3D printer, while the second bid of $23,241 included the printer, a warranty and extra supplies.

Miller told the committee that the high school already had supplies, and the warranty could be purchased at a later date.

Heidi Godowski, assistant principal at Lincoln High School, led the charge on getting another 3D printer, alongside teacher Robert Gervais.

Godowski said the first printer was purchased for the high school five years ago, but with the growing number of students enrolled in the design and engineering programs, an additional printer was needed.

"The students, now, are trying to print simultaneously, and it takes time to create an object because it's layers and layers of plastic, so this will give students a chance to utilize the printer at the same time," she said.

Both printers were acquired through a Perkins Career and Technical Education grant and are no cost to the district.

These grants are given to schools to enhance and develop career and technical classes in schools throughout the country.

To date, Lincoln High School offers these types of classes in different fields, such as journalism, international business, law, and design and engineering.

She said students in Gervais' design and engineering class use the printers, as well as students in Brian Grant's structure and design class and robotics class.

"As part of the program, they use a 3D printer to make small items, so students can see how it operates and they can design and create," she said. "The classes also utilize SolidWorks, a computer program to do designing."

Godowski said Gervais, who is new to the Lincoln school system, has taught in the design and engineering field for 15 years and shows a deep "passion for what he does."

As students work through the curriculum during the year, the objects they create become more difficult.

Godowski said that in the robotics class, students are using a small hand prototype as a model before they learn to create larger objects.

In the end, the students will turn the model into a life-like 3D hand with movable parts.

"There is a lot of design that goes into the hand. Students that have been part of the design and engineering classes leave with the skills to design products like the hand," she said. "So it enables the students to not only be able to design the pieces and utilize the 3D programming, but have a final usable product."

This 3D lion's head, above, was created by students from the Design and Engineering Academy at LHS using a 3D printer.
This hand prototype is being used as a model for the robotics students to see as they explore ideas in creating larger items, such as a large hand with movable fingers, as a goal for the class.