img_21703D Printing has quickly become the must-have technology for so many industries including engineering, design, entertainment and even education.

On Friday, October 28, Troy Middle School students learned the reasons for this and also participated in a hands-on activity to increase their interest in the technology.

According to PC University Account Manager Francesca McCaren, the presenter for the day, 3D printing is a less expensive alternative to other technologies offering a wider range of options for design. In addition, the material used in many cases is a type of corn syrup, making the end product nontoxic.

20161028-makerbot-2“We’re trying to give the kids an understanding of the technology so that when they enter the workforce, where 3D printing is used everywhere, they will have a leg up over the competition when interviewing for a job,” said McCaren.

Students had the opportunity to see a Makerbot 3D printer in action. They also participated in a hands-on project requiring them to create 3D structure out of straws and 3D printed materials. This structure had to then support the weight of a 2D object, a textbook in this case.

20161028-makerbot-3The District currently has five 3D printers; four in the high school and a fifth was recently installed in the Troy Middle School Library.