New 3D printer enhances learning for science students

From prosthetic hands to true to life models, 3D printers have been changing the world of learning since 1983. It has created a kind of revolution in the recent years, and now the revolution has come to Southmoreland High School in Mr. Zachary Cavalier’s biology classroom.

Mr. Cavalier, teacher of advanced placement biology and anatomy, acquired the funds through a crowdsourcing website called DonorsChoose in which individuals can directly donate to public school classroom projects.

“The entire package, which included the filament, printer, and the software, was $750,” Mr. Cavalier said. “It was nice that I was able to buy everything at once. With the turn of a key, it’s all ready to go.”

When the package arrived in November, Mr. Cavalier wasted no time in exploring the realms of the new technology.

“As soon as I got it, I immediately began making stuff so I could learn how to use it,” he said.
He said he has already created a life sized Australopithecus (the first true species of human) skull and two human legs at 45% scale. He said he has even bigger plans to come.

“I’m looking to build ten full skeletons to use for models in class,” he said. “I also have flexible filament to make muscles and other flexible structure.” He added that the printer “is really a great addition to my anatomy and biology classes.”

Mr. Cavalier is very eager to utilize the printer’s abilities in his classes. Not only will this be an advantage to his students while learning, but also to avoid the unnecessary monetary expenses that would otherwise occur without it.

“It will be very useful to have students hold physical models of the things we talk about in class,” said Mr. Cavalier. “Having a class set of skeletons for anatomy would be great. A good skeleton model costs about $1,000, and now, with the 3D printer, I can make one for pennies.”

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