Tupper Secondary is on the cutting edge with the addition of a new three dimensional printer.
The printer, purchased specifically for the shop and trades department at Tupper Secondary, cost approximately $6,000, with plastic material, or 'ink' at $60 per roll. The funds were provided personally by Russ Evans, a Tupper teacher, with help from the Tupper Parents Committee. The new snazzy printer will be made available to all departments. It uses corn, or petroleum-based tubing, and a robotic arm on an X-Y-Z axis to create 3 dimensional models, most commonly used for building prototypes for the drafting and shop classes.
To create something using the printer, users simply program a design into the machine and select 'print'. The 3-D designs can be made on software called SolidWorks, in addition to any software that will produce a model that can be saved as a .stl file. These objects can include anything from plastic model ducks to two-tone whistles. Other products can be made from the printer, include objects such as nuts and bolts that can be threaded together, and printed in no time. This technological stepping stone is available for use by any Tupper staff member or student. It will particularly be useful for art or graphics classes.
This jump in technology is just a start for schools of the Vancouver School Board. Secondary schools like Tupper are hopeful and look forward to expanding their inventory with other advanced gizmos and gadgets. Tupper may be new to a 3-D printer, but it won't be long before a machine far more advanced comes along. This is only the beginning.