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3D printing for Art

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The Ridge sat down with Nathan Dodds, an art teacher at ARHS, to discuss the topic of 3D printing, it’s various uses and the role that it plays at Ashley Ridge. “Its great! People think it’s engineering and artist’s make the objects come to life,” Dodds said, “It’s used for industrial and personal reasons.”

A 3D printer uses plastic filament and extruder which heats up the plastic to around 180 degrees. When the plastic melts, it forms into hard objects molded and set by the computer software. “It’s entertaining to watch the plastic melt. It’s very satisfying.” Dodds said. “It never takes long for an object to get finished and it gets them done right on time.” The 3D printer is precise and improves how detailed an object can be. It also is safer for the environment because it uses less materials.

Dodds does not regret having the printer. “It’s so much better. I would have to sculpt and subtract it to make the shape. It would somewhat take days. Sometimes weeks.” He said. “The art teachers and I wrote a grant for the printer together. People think the school bought it, but it wasn’t the school. It was actually us art teachers.” These printers can cost anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars.

Having the printer makes the creations more personalized. However, some of the objects that people try to make might not end how they wanted it to be. According to Dodds , “It’s a little hard, but it is perfect for students that struggle in art like painting, drawing, sculpting, etc.” When asked if it was difficult to use, Dodds replied, “No, it’s pretty easy to use.”

In the future, students can expect to see things such as USB’s, chess sets, fidget spinners, and other combinations in designs  and engineering from Ashley Ridge’s new 3D printer. You can view the 3D printer in Dodds art room located downstairs in A hall.

 

 

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3D printing for Art