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OCC Art Department Purchases 3D Printer with Funding from Foundation

3D Printer Photo

Forbes Magazine cited 3D printing in its Top 10 list of emerging technologies for 2015. The Olney Central College Art Department is making this technology available to students with $2,950 in funding it received from the OCC Foundation.

Instructor Michael Conn said the 3D printer is a great addition to the Art Department and the design courses it offers.“This is an essential tool for the type of job skills designers need now and in the future,” he said. “In design, the first element is building the object and the second part is turning the object you have created on the computer into a physical object. With the 3D printer, you can design and manipulate on the computer screen and then print the physical object. You can check the size and shape of something to see if it works well."

The 3D printer uses plastic filaments in a variety of colors to produce the design. During the printing process, the filament is melted and built up in layers to create the desired object. 

Conn noted 3D printers are utilized not only in art, computer gaming and animation but also for manufacturing and product design. They are even entering the medical field where they are being used for a number of applications including generating prosthetics

.“The printing isn’t a skill limited to a single discipline,” Conn said. “There is a lot of intersection.”

As the technology continues to emerge, even more uses will arise. 

 “In the future, they are predicting every home will have a 3D printer,” Conn said. “You will buy products online and then print them at home.” 

In addition to the design classes, Conn said the Art Department is making the 3D printer available to other OCC programs that would like to use it for special projects. 

“The students are very excited to have the 3D printer,” Conn said. “There has been a lot of student interest. We’ve had students who aren’t a part of the art program who have come to check it out. This is a great tool for learning. We are very grateful to the OCC Foundation for making the funds available so we can provide this opportunity to the students of OCC.”


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