Sunday, May 3, 2009 5:00 AM
BURLINGTON, Mass., USA - The state of Hawaii is using Z Corporation 3D printers to enrich career and technical education (CTE), prepare high school students for rewarding careers, and help the state attract high-powered industry. Hawaii is the first and only state to have implemented prototyping technology at the statewide level, and Z Corporation's 3D printers - the fastest and most affordable available - are the de facto standard.
As high school students from throughout the Hawaiian Islands complete 3D design projects, they send 3D design files to the Hawaii State Department of Education CTE office in Honolulu. The office prints out physical models from the files with a Z Corporation 3D printer and ships them back to the students, who review the models and refine their designs. 3D printing is an increasingly mainstream technology that produces physical objects from 3D data much as a traditional office printer creates a document from digital text.
"Although students have used computer-aided design software for years, the result of their work until now has generally been an intangible computer image or piece of paper," said Sherilyn Lau, Education Specialist, Hawaii CTE. "Now students are creating actual physical prototypes just as in industry, which has significant educational implications: Students learn that they can actually bring a concept to production. They become more deeply engaged in their work and discover flaws that might not have shown up on the computer. And they gain experience that will improve their prospects with higher education institutions and employers."
Statewide design competition features ZPrinting
CTE - along with Z Corporation, 3D CAD software maker DeskArtes, and 3D printing service bureau and Z Corporation partner RAPID Technology LLC - are reinforcing students' passion for 3D printing by sponsoring a two-day student design competition, "Career and Technical Education 3D Design and Printing," May 4 and 5. Students will receive a secret challenge on day one of the competition: to redesign a certain everyday device to accommodate users with limitations to be explained at the contest. Competitors will have one day to design the product and the next day to present their idea and ZPrinted prototype to a panel of professional engineers and educators.
"We're eager to help students in Hawaii and the rest of the world acquire the technology skills they need to earn well-paying jobs, enter the best schools, and attract manufacturing to their regions," said Z Corporation CEO John Kawola. "This is just one example of how 3D printing is becoming a powerful learning tool for students at every level, from elementary to graduate school."
RAPID is lending two Z Corporation 3D printers to the competition - a ZPrinter® 310 Plus and ZPrinter 450 multicolor printer - and CTE is lending a second ZPrinter 310 Plus. Because of the ZPrinters' speed, it's easy for day one's designs to become day two's concept models, even en masse. "These 3D printers are ready to go, and we're eager to show students, in a tangible way, what they have conceived," said Russ Ogi, RAPID's COO. "Hopefully, students will be inspired to learn and do more."
DeskArtes is donating 24 licenses of ZEdit™ Pro software, which will help students prepare files and apply colors and labels for 3D printing. Z Corporation is providing consumable materials for the 3D printers and iPod Shuffles as prizes.
Lau operates CTE's ZPrinter 310 Plus in her office. Despite her lack of engineering experience, she has no problem using the device. "It's easy to learn and use, and it's clean and self-contained, making it compatible with our professional office environment. It really belongs in the classroom, however, and I'm eager to get it in the hands of the right instructor."
About CTE in Hawaii
CTE programs are offered in all of Hawaii's public high schools and community colleges. The CTE Center, the State Director's Office, provides administrative leadership, direction and coordination for the total of career and technical education in Hawaii and coordinates with other institutions and agencies engaged in economic development, workforce education and training. Student performance-based events such as the 3D Design and Printing Competition are all part of Hawaii's Career Pathway system that the CTE center supports. For more information, visit http://www.hawaii.edu/cte/.
About Z Corporation
Z Corporation makes products that enable users to capture, edit, and print 3D data with unprecedented speed, ease, versatility and affordability. These products include the world's fastest high-definition 3D printers — machines that produce physical 3D models from digital data in multiple colors - and uniquely portable 3D scanners - handheld machines that digitize 3D surfaces in real time. Z Corp. technology is enabling a wide range of applications in manufacturing, architecture, civil engineering, reverse engineering, geographic information systems (GIS), medicine and entertainment.
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