By Mr. Frank Misurelli (Picatinny)March 5, 2018
PICATINNY ARSENAL -- Over the years, 3-D printing has been used in many aspects of everyday life, from building low-cost prosthetic limbs, cars, guns, jet plane parts, and houses.
So, why not use the technology to create art?
Picatinny Arsenal's science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program recently hosted 12 New Jersey art teachers for its first 3-D printer workshop for art teachers.
MakerBot, a 3-D equipment manufacturer, supplied the printers that art teachers used to learn the hardware and software.
The class also explored the capabilities that 3-D printing can offer elementary and high school art students.
"We hosted this two-day program that began on Jan. 11, training art teachers to utilize CAD programs such as 360Fusion, Tinker CAD and other software to print products," said Shah Dabiri, Director of the STEM outreach program.
"I have never done this before," said Rhett Eveland, an art teacher for 23 years at Pequannock High School. "This is really interesting, I wanted to see from an art prospective what I can do to incorporate 3-D printing into the art program.
"I wanted to learn the program and see how I can make it come to fruition. I can definitely use 3-D printing in the sculpture section of my curriculum. I can't wait to start building stuff."
"I'm really excited to learn the program. I have mentored robotics," said Angela Yanette, an art teacher from Montclair High School. "The students are very much into 3-D printing. I have never used a 3-D printer, and the art department doesn't have one."
Arlene Sullivan, an art teacher from Morris Catholic High School, said the "sky's the limit" regarding creative possibilities from the use of 3-D printing in art class.
Steve Coleman, who teaches at Randolph High School, explained that 3-D printing makes it possible to integrate art with engineering, thus creating new products.
At the end of the two-day session, teachers were surprised when the MakerBot instructor told them that the 3-D printers they had been using were being donated to them individually.
"I actually cried," said Bonnie Taylor, an art teacher from East Orange High School.
"I was so motivated that I brought it into school that Tuesday and got right to work. I learned valuable skills that have taken my teaching to the next level. This was by far the best professional development session that I have ever attended, and it is not because of the fabulous gift," Taylor added.
"I say this because I learned so much and will continue to learn more. This teacher is also an excited student."