The retail price for a 3D printer ranges from a few hundred dollars at the low end of the spectrum to several thousand dollars for more luxurious models. Without that kind of money, the only other option would be to build one, which is what a few dedicated and tech-minded students at Adair County High School are currently doing.
The project is a joint effort between two new programs at ACHS: Brett Reliford’s college prep seminar class and the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Club. “One part of the class is research, and one of the topics is 3D printing and its implications for the future,” explains junior Ben Hancock. “So for our project, we decided to build one. We’re probably about halfway done at this point.”
Using less than $60 worth of materials, the students stay after school every Friday to work on the printer. Currently, the group is almost done with the hardware, and will soon move on to software installation and assembly. Reliford says the initiative has been almost entirely student-driven.
“I opened the door for them and they took it and ran with it,” Reliford says. “I’m not standing over their shoulders as they do this—they’re doing it after school on their own time. It’s really awesome to see students take the theory and discussion and actually put it into practice.”
By Wes Feese
Media Relations, Adair County Schools