3D Printing Without Limits
Go back in time to your childhood, find a period of boundless imagination — perhaps even a time of prolific creativity…
Can you remember the ideas that YOU drew before you grew up and learned about boundaries and limitations, such as gravity and material constraints? What childlike inventions did YOU dream up? Perhaps you imagined a jetpack or a self-loading crossbow. I personally dreamed of an automatic crocheting machine! Now imagine that someone provided you with a 3d printer and gave you some basic drafting skills at a young age. What would YOU have made?
This is precisely what is happening in Orange County’s classrooms. Hundreds of students (6th grade – junior college) are learning to 3D print and are inventing amazing things! Some of the winners from the 2016-2017 ocMaker Challenge include: a portable radiation detector, a possible cure for Type I diabetes, and even a five-pronged fork that makes eating spaghetti easier!
It’s the ocMaker Challenge and it is the only school-based competition of its kind to integrate 3D printing as one of its requirements. It is not happening anywhere else in the world and it is unique to Orange County, California.
Next month, you can witness hundreds of 3D-printed inventions demonstrated under one roof. This is no ordinary science fair – these are student-produced inventions and they are 3D-printed!
Southern California 3D Printing Students
Organized and promoted by the Orange County Department of Education and CTEoc (Career Technical Education of Orange County) and supported by Vital Link, the ocMaker Challenge is a student 3D-printing competition that ignites students’ interest in STEM subjects. Airwolf 3D proudly serves as the event’s main sponsor and has the honor of providing the prize money for the ocMaker Challenges.
“Every year I see at least a few devices that are on par with designs from some of our professional engineering customers…” – Eva Wolf, Airwolf 3D
Sponsor and supporter since the beginning, Eva Wolf of Airwolf 3D stated, “This is my favorite time of the year. I love checking out the projects. Unlike us, these students are not yet jaded by everyday limitations, such as gravity or manufacturing constraints. They simply dream it up and make it! Every year I see at least a few devices that are on par with designs from some of our professional engineering customers. My personal favorite is still the Cuplate.”
The ocMaker Challenge has grown exponentially since its start in 2013. With three ocMaker Challenges under her belt and the fourth annual installment currently underway, Jillian Johnson-Sharp (from the Orange County Department of Education/CTe Partnership) is the powerhouse behind the ocMaker Challenge and grew the event from only 45 entries in the first year to upwards of 200 this year. Imagine walking into an auditorium filled with hundreds of 3D-printed inventions, devices and contraptions!
ocMaker Challenge by the Numbers
2013-2014 – Exhibit Count: 40 Projects
2014-2015 – Exhibit Count: 90 Projects
2015-2016 – Exhibit Count: 170 Projects
2016-2017 – Exhibit Count: 200+ (estimated)
Why is this important to Orange County Business Owners?
- The Orange County Department of Education is spearheading a program (unlike any other) to bring advanced manufacturing skills to students.
- These Southern California 3D printing students are learning advanced manufacturing and programming on a very large scale, larger than any other workforce in the US.
- In the next few years, Southern California businesses will begin to see the first wave of highly skilled manufacturing workers, inventors, engineers, product designers, and more.
- Given the incoming wave of highly inventive and skilled manufacturers, Southern California is poised to become an even more robust technological hub by 2027.
Why is this important to Southern California Educators?
- A 3D PRINTER IGNITES THE IMAGINATION OF STUDENTS. It’s remarkable how prolific students become once they are empowered with the capability of making their 3D designs into real, physical objects!
- 3D PRINTING CAN AID IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF SPATIAL INTELLIGENCE. It fosters the ability to draw accurate conclusions from observing a three-dimensional environment. It also involves interpreting and making judgments about the shape, size, movement, and relationships between surrounding objects — as well as the ability to envision and manipulate 3D models of things that are not immediately visible.
- A 3D PHYSICAL MODEL CAN BRIDGE AN IMPORTANT GAP. A 3D-printed object held in the hands of the student-designer can bridge the gap between simple visual perception and three-dimensional spatial visualization, inciting a paradigm shift in the way he or she thinks about the physical world.
- INTRODUCE STUDENTS TO MODERN ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING PROCESSES. 3D printing is cutting-edge technology that is poised to burgeon into a $40 billion industry by 2027. To successfully prepare for our future, it is vital that schools educate students in modern production techniques.
- If you are an interested teacher, please follow this link to join the ocMaker Challenge. Or you can follow this link to learn more about 3D Printers in the Classroom: 7 Reasons Why Every School Should Have a 3D Printer
Check Out the Southern California 3D Printing Students Inventions at ocMaker Challenge 2017
Please stop by and check out the ocMaker Challenge and take in some of the amazing devices. Airwolf 3D staff will be 3D printing free souvenirs on-site and will be available to answer any questions you may have about incorporating 3d printing in your classroom.
Friday, May 12, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Saturday, May 13 9:00 AM -2:00 PM (Awards ceremony from 1:00 – 2:00 PM)
Hutton Sports Center at Chapman University
1 University Drive, Orange, CA 92866
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