Zak Wilson demos 3-D Printing to my students

IMG_3466Always wanted to introduce a class on 3-D printing in my computer and technology lab.

Tomorrow, our students will have just that, as Zak Wilson, a mechanical engineer who recently spent 8 months on a NASA-sponsored mission, visits Salt River Elementary. He is our keynote speaker and presenter at Mars Day.

Why is 3-D printing suddenly popping up everywhere? Depending whom you ask, you’ll find out that the ‘maker Movement’ is partly responsible. It’s driving young people to rediscover the art and science of building things from scratch. Libraries began hosting these Maker spaces, and organizations began experimenting with ‘printing’ hardware from a bicycle to an engine transmission. The latter by a mechanical engineer, for a Toyota! Not to mention the medical industry, and the space industry.

Which brings us back to NASA. There’s a 3-D printer on the International Space Station. One of the astronauts recently printed a 4 1/2 inch ratchet wrench, out of plastic. Zak, featured here, printed many small items in the Mars dome, and we will find out more about this.

More about the previous Mars Days, here if you are interested.

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