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Outside-the-box thinking at Westside Academy

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Mason Gouger (r) shows how a scanner captured Ella Odell’s image to print a 3D portrait.

Westside Academy students are taking 3D printing far beyond the boundaries of any box, thanks to inventive thinking by teacher Tom Carpenter and instructional Tech/Media Specialist Lindsay Neumire.

Students at the school have been using 3D software programs like Skanect and Blender for a couple of years. They were creating visionary characters and creatures onscreen, but had no way to generate physical art. This year, BOCES 2 Library Services began offering our component district libraries 3D printing equipment. Westside, however, has no onsite library. They were technically not eligible to borrow the equipment.

That didn’t stop Carpenter and Neumire from making it happen. Neumire realized that Westside was the perfect test site. The students were already prepared to stretch the limits of the equipment, and had the support from Carpenter to experiment. She pushed to have the rules changed.

“The things the kids at Westside are doing with our equipment are far beyond what anyone else is doing now,” said Neumire. “It is really inspiring to know that Library Services has made this possible.”

Christian Martinez-Gilbert created this original creature with special software and 3D printer.

Christian Martinez-Gilbert created this original creature with special software and 3D printer.

Rayanne Thurston creating a 3D model of her drawing. One of her creations sits on the printer.

Rayanne Thurston creating a 3D model of her drawing. One of her creations sits on the printer.