By: Raul Estrada
The 3D printer was first introduced in the mid 1980s by engineer Chuck Hull in Clifton, Colorado. As years went by, Hull continued to improve upon the device, thus increasing its capabilities. Companies soon heard of the invention and began to create their own versions. One company that changed the 3D printing industry was Makerbot who published their blueprints on how they made the Replicator 2. They put the plan out for other people to see because they thought that engineers would take their version and make the next better version of this open source hardware.
Many companies came out with their own 3D printers and started to test out the printers by printing everyday objects in order to make them available to people who could not otherwise afford them. The printers are being used in many fields such as the medical field. Prosthetic arms, hands, and legs have all been produced on 3D printers. This is a more affordable and efficient way for people who need prosthetic limbs to obtain them. There are many schools that have introduced the 3D printing industry to their students to show them what can be accomplished with them and engineering innovation as a whole.
One of many schools that has the privilege of a 3D printing was North Eugene High School. North Eugene got its 3D printer through the STEAM Grant which is short for the Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. With the grant, North Eugene High School was able to buy the Wanhao Duplicator 4. Much like the Makerbot Replicator 2, the Duplicator 4 is a similar version of Makerbot’s printer just a more economically friendly printer. North offers North students called Digital Media Design where they can create projects using the 3D printer and can print some fun things.