Byron Robotics Team Goes 3D

Posted at: 03/26/2014 6:41 PM
Updated at: 03/26/2014 6:43 PM
By: Brianna Long

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- 3D printing seems to have gained popularity over the past couple of years. People can make everything from figurines to tools. But a local teacher is looking to bring that technology into the classroom.

Paul Klompenhower is the team captain for the Byron High School Robotics Team.

He helped make this robot, which the team just used in a regional competition over the weekend. Earlier this year, Paul came across a company that was giving away grant money, so his team could get a 3D printer.

"I like to read a lot about just various things and look up stuff that we could use for robotics and I just happen to kind of stumble upon it and its like wait, this is something that we could do," said Klompenhower.

They got that grant, and now instead of buying certain parts, the team can design and make them themselves.

"We can build anything that fits within a 6x6x11 inch space," said Klompenhower.

Not only is it good experience for the students, it's also cost effective. A part like this costs about $10 plus shipping and handling. But using the printer, the students were able to make something similar for about 13 cents.

"We've had the printer for only two weeks and we already are trying lots of different things and have gotten different color plastics to put in there to make different types of parts," said Andy Pethan. He's a math teacher at Byron High School, and the advisor for the robotics team. He's hoping to eventually use the printer in the classroom, to make a more hands-on experience for students.

"You event think about things like scale and volume, area, all those concepts have very real applications. When you're working with it on paper, its sometimes hard to understand.

But right now, the robotics team is using it to learn, and have a little fun while doing so.

The printer costs about $2,500. But because of the grant money, the school only had to pay about $50 for it.