Webster’s newest bit of technology is a Makerbot Replicator 2 3D printer. The Robotics team has adopted it into regular use, printing parts and models for its robots.
The printer cost $2,500 and was acquired by a grant from the Alumni Association. The printer uses filament that it melts and sprays into shapes.
Sophomore Prem Rao also won a Cubify 3D printer, which prints with recycled material, in an essay competition. The prompt was simply why your school should receive the printer. “I thought it would be a great asset to our team. It allows us to recycle failed prints which saves money and helps the environment as well,” said Rao.
The robotics team primarily uses the printer to do quick prototyping of different projects. It also uses the printer to print parts it doesn’t have. For example, the team prints battery cases for Tetrix because manufacturing doesn’t make them.
At this point, the team hasn’t decided whether or not it will go to competition. It has gone to State the last two years and placed among the middle. This year’s challenge, Cascade Effect, is “more difficult, more nuanced,” team coach Nicholas Kirschman said. State is in six weeks, if the team decides to go.
The team meets after school on Mondays and Thursdays and on Saturdays. The robotics class is not required to participate on the team.