3D printing is one of the new cool things out there, and now that it’s gaining steam people are finding a lot of uses for the technology.
One of those uses is in engineering. Since engineers create solutions to problems, they usually have to make or modify something to make that solution work. Those problems are unique a lot of the time, which means you need a one-of-a-kind part to make it work.
To give you an example: we recently talked about one unique problem that took a one-of-a-kind part in its solution. Instances like this are common.
As a lot of high-school-level engineers know, you do a lot of work with CAD and similar programs–doing 3D modeling to create. Now imagine if you could take your designs to the next level by printing them out. Imagine if you could design parts for your trebuchet project, which many high school engineering classes have (or at least some project like it).
Take that idea and the fact that some 3D printers are as cheap as $1400–which might sound like a lot for one person, but isn’t so much for an entire school’s entire science department to buy and share–and you’ve got yourself a feasible proposal to take to your school.
Talk to your science teachers, your folks, your science and engineering classmates–anyone who might agree and could somehow help–and get your school a 3D printer. One design that fits the bill for education is the RepRap Mendel, an open-design 3D printer which is designed to be affordable, self-replicating, and pretty easy to use.