A new dimension in technology


Science teacher Mr. John Barry demonstrates new equipment to his students.


From plastic folders to professional grade printer powder, 3D printers are revolutionizing the way the science program runs.   The Gloucester High School science program received two 3D printers last spring, and these printers have already been used to create light switches, model boats and a GoPro Camera holder to attach to a drone. 

One of the printers is a cube 3 plastic printer, and the other is a more expensive rapid prototype powder printer. The rapid prototype printer creates a lot of objects in high resolution, while the cube 3D printer creates single objects with less resolution.

GHS science teacher Mr. John Barry says this year students will be creating their own designs and using the printers. He hopes the printers will increase student interest in CAD and “spark career interests that would have otherwise lain dormant,” said Barry

Last spring, some Barry’s Engineering Applied Technology Honors students had the opportunity to see how the printer works. Sophomore Lily Kuhns said the 3D printers were “pretty easy, and simple to use”.

Barry says these printers are assets to the CAD and Robotics classes, because they can make objects much more efficiently, with less room for error.  Before, the objects they built would be made from metal or plastic folders. The ones made from metal would go through a machinist who would take the designs and create them from Aluminum. However, if there was a problem with the design, the turnaround process would take one to two months, because the students would have to start from scratch.

In the future the classes plan to use it create fins for rockets and propellers for submarines. Last year they used the printer to make a guitar pickguard and small scale model towers.

Kyle Manley, a sophomore, says, “The Gloucester High-School robotics class will be using the printer to print parts and accessories cheaper than online.” 

With the arrival of the 3D printer the CAD and science teachers hope to increase interest in their programs and move into the modern age with their manufacturing techniques – while giving GHS students an opportunity to use professional equipment and industry-standard software.