Local students make parts for 3-D printers

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — 3-D printing is nothing new to this area, but now high school students are making 3-D printers for other students.

Choffin Career and Technical Center has a prototype 3-D printer, but ones just like it soon will be in 20 schools in Northeast Ohio.

Students from Chaney High School made some of the parts for the printer, while precision machining students at Choffin basically built the backbone of the printer. That task required a lot of math.

“You’re measuring this exactly, like within thousandths of an inch, so it’s very specific,” said precision machining student Jaquan Miller.

“It’s been a really nice experience to actually do things hands on, actually learn just by doing it by yourself,” said fellow student Elijah Bowers.

Printers will be sent to schools in kits so students can build them and learn how they work. That same printer then can be taken apart and sent to another class too.

Because printing is slow, the 20 printers at Choffin will make the final product.

“The printer parts go as a kit to other schools, where the kids will assemble them into a 3-D printer, learn how a 3-D printer works, learn the basics of it, learn how to maintain it, put it together, use it for projects,” said Jack Scott, president of Applied Systems Technology Transfer.

Scott moved his company to Youngstown in 2010. At first, he had a contract to work with high schools like Chaney.

“We’ve expanded it down to primary schools, as well as middle schools,” Scott said.

The 3-D printer partnership with Chaney and Choffin is part of AST2’s Inventor Cloud Program, a STEM education program for students in grades K-12, as well as post-secondary schools. Students as young as 3rd grade are taking Inventor Cloud classes, according to Youngstown School Superintendent Dr. Connie Hathorn.

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