Traverse City Elementary Students Gain Hands-On Experience With - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Traverse City Elementary Students Gain Hands-On Experience With 3D Printing

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3D printing is new cutting edge technology and some local students are getting some hands on experience with it.

3D printing and education came together as some Traverse City area students race cars they designed with 3D printers.

9&10's Sarah Grimmer gives us a closer look at the process behind the student's engineering masterpieces.

"I think this is a form of art, says Willow Hill Elementary Student, Cameron Keillor. “Know how to do this because it takes a lot of time and patience.

Cameron Keillor is one of many Traverse City students learning to use 3D printers and the process to get that final plastic product starts on paper.

"First we kinda sketched out what we wanted to in our engineering logs, and then we made it on the computer, and then our teacher printed it for us and then we had it," says Willow Hill Elementary student, Kate Bosley.

"It's pretty much just a big box with some moving parts up in the top, and then there's a little box that has a nozzle, and then all you do is type something up on the computer, you turn the 3D printer on and then it builds it," says Keillor.

For this project, students made 3D printed cars of their own design.

On Wednesday night the students are racing the plastic automobiles in Newton's Gutter Car Derby.

"You have to make a car that fits in a gutter and it goes down the gutter and there's 3 different categories that the judges are judging for - best design, farthest distance and fastest," explains Bosly.

To qualify for one of the awards there are certain rules.

"You gotta follow the rules,” says Keillor. “You have to have your car a certain how long, a certain height, a certain diameter, and then it has to have a certain fill level.”

The entire project is a fun and engaging way to get student's thinking towards the future, in a 3D way.

"You have to work a lot with dimensions,” adds Keillor. “You have to know all of your dimensions which will really help you later in school. You know all that stuff and you're working with that daily."

Wednesday night's race will start at 6:00 p.m. at Traverse City's Pathfinder School.