Highland Schools Have 3D Printing Hub

We recently spoke with Josh Umar of the Highland Center and Highland High School sophomore Hannah Adams about the Youth Philanthropy Council, which is funded by the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge. During the course of the interview, we heard about another benevolent venture of the Foundation, funding a 3-D printer manufacturing hub in the Highland School System.

According to Wikipedia, 3-D printing “refers to processes used to synthesize a three-dimensional object[1] in which successive layers of material are formed under computer control to create an object.[2] Objects can be of almost any shape or geometry and are produced using digital model data from a 3D model or another electronic data source .”

IMade3D is a printer business operating in Blue Grass, VA, and on Monday December 12th, founder Ladislav Goc and master of outreach Bruce Troutman of the company visited Highland High School to mentor a number of students on the applications and use of the printer. Ms. Adams was one of those students, and she spoke about the experience.

“A 3-D printer is a box, basically zip-tied together that holds a filament that melts – it’s like a really complex glue gun, and it just lays out filament that is made of plastic, layer by layer.

“You can print whatever you can program. Some of the things that the 3-D printer could be used for, is, a kidney. I know someone has a working 3-D printed kidney – you don’t have to use just plastic. I know they can 3D print skin, for people that need it, for, like, burn victims I guess.”

“We just print little models and toys – we have a little house and a dinosaur, a Christmas ornament and a mobile wheel. They also have chocolate – you can 3D print chocolate into whatever molds you want.”

The ultimate goal is to have the initial trainees mentor other interested students, and ultimately have this as an entrepreneurial venture based in the school.

For a full story on IMADE 3D, stay tuned to Allegheny Mountain Radio. Our thanks to The Recorder for assistance with this story.

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

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