Tyler Potter works in the Lodi School District as their technology integrator. Tyler started 3D printing in December of last year and has since acquired 12 MOD-ts for the Lodi School District, implementing the printers into the STEM class curriculum.
How did you hear about New Matter’s MOD-t?
I had done a lot of research through Ed-tech sites. The price point of the MOD-t was good for what we were looking for. So, I bought one to try it out and we were pretty happy with it. At that time, there was a big sale so we bought 7 more and then ordered 4 more after that.
What initially interested you about 3D printing?
I wanted to try to incorporate more STEM activities into the classroom curriculum including robotics, 3D printing, and circuitry.
Have you used a 3D printer before the MOD-t? If not, how is the user experience of the MOD-t?
No, I had never used a 3D printer before. The user experience of the MOD-t has been really good. From what I hear, it is a basic level printer with the ability to do moderately detailed prints. Also, the customer service has been incredible. Whenever parts of the printer break or do not work properly, customer service is always willing to help.
How has the MOD-t changed the atmosphere of your classroom?
It seems to have increased the focus on STEM district wide. I would put the 3D printers in very visible locations district wide and have something printing and that would gain interest. We then started to offer after school programs incorporating the 3D printers and those filled up. Then we started offering summer programs and those filled up.
How have you incorporated the MOD-t into your classroom curriculum?
“We use it for whatever we can. We have used it in history classes. Specifically in the 5th grade, the students did a state project and they used Tinkercad to find an image of a state and then they customized it, putting the name of the state or a star where the capital would be. We have also integrated the printer into our tech ed classes at the middle school and it is used a lot in STEM classes.”
There is a new class offered at the Lodi high school that will be 6-8 weeks and the students will design and create a project from start to finish using Tinkercad to design and the MOD-t to create.
In what ways do you believe your students have benefitted from having access to a 3D printer in the classroom?
I think it definitely engages their engineering thinking in that they have to visualize what they want, then create and build it. Sometimes things don’t work how you want them to so the students need to problem solve.
What do you think the coolest project/ object you or your students have made with the MOD-t? (If you can include pictures that would be awesome!)
“We developed our own curriculum that takes the students through the basics like accessing the New Matter Store and uploading that to the library and printing from their to creating articulated models in Tinkercad and uploading those files to the New Matter library.”
Tyler told me about a couple cool projects his students and even adults have done including printing pieces of a robot that snap together. Tyler held an adult 3D printing class where grandparents printed toys for their grandchildren. A firefighter from their local fire department participated in the class and printed wedges used for opening car doors, etc. Since the wedges are easily lost, the MOD-t enables them to print more whenever necessary.
In your opinion, what is the future of 3D printing?
I think 3D printing is one of the many newer tools that are coming out that students leaving high school should know how to use because it is becoming one of the things that’s a mainstay in manufacturing. Even if they don’t use the 3D printers in their careers, the skills they develop to design, create and problem solve are very useful in any profession.