WORKING IN 3D: Senior graphics students Tom Wager, Lachlan Miners, Aayden Taylor and Peta Keller with the schools 3D printer.
WORKING IN 3D: Senior graphics students Tom Wager, Lachlan Miners, Aayden Taylor and Peta Keller with the schools 3D printer. Amy Lyne

Lockyer District High School into third dimension

High school graphics students are turning their ideas into real life three dimensional objects.

Late last year the Lockyer District High School P&C were able to purchase a 3D printer for the school.

The technology, worth $4000, is this year allowing the Year 11 and 12 students to watch their sketches come to life right before their eyes.

Industrial Technology and Design teacher Craig Mabb said the easiest way to describe how the printer works, was like a hot glue gun.

"We have a thin roll of plastic at the back that feeds into the machine where it gets hot and it squeezes out through a little brass nozzle to get a series of layers about half a millimetre wide," he said.

Mr Mabb said the thickness could be adjusted to what was being built, as could the level of detail.

Students use a number of different computer programs to design their models before it is sent to the printer.

Mr Mabb said he thought there would be time, not too far in the future, that this technology would become common place in everyone's home.

"It is what students are going to encounter in their working lives," he said.

"I am teaching for jobs that didn't necessarily exist when I left high school.

"And when these guys get out of high school and when they are finished uni, there could be jobs that don't exist right now and this is one of the things they will need to have so they can prepare themselves for work in those areas."

Year 12 student Elijah Kugel said it was good to see what he had designed come to life.

His model, which was 70mm by 50mm and 80mm high, took around three hours to build.

"It took two weeks to make on the program on the computer and nine sketches to get the final design," he said.

"It is pretty cool to get to hold it and visualise what we have made."


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