The invention of the steam engine is considered the start of the Industrial Revolution. We can say that with the implementation 3D printing another technological revolution is beginning. Three dimensional printing is a method of turning virtual 3D models into physical objects.

The story begins way back in 1987, when a company called 3D Systems invented the first 3D printer. In the next few years 3D technology developed further (printing with different materials, more accurate printers…). Until 2009 the price of 3D printers was too high. Since then printers have been getting cheaper and easier to get so there are much more of them available. The number of printers went from 1800 to over 230.000. Now we will tell you how the whole process goes so you won’t think we are telling you bedtime stories. It all starts from a model that is created in many different programs on a computer. Modeling is the most important part of printing. After that, the model is printed by creating plastic layers on the surface of the board in the printer. There are many variants and possibilities in printing.

PRELOG PEOPLE ARE PRINTING THREEDIMENSIONALY

Students Anja Hruškar, Marko Polić, Bernard Kazazić and Matija Mrvčić are part of the 3D print group in our school. The group was lead by professor Nemec and this year the group was taken over by professor Galović. Students and professors participated in lectures by professors from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture. At the end of their one-year education they presented their work to professors from the Faculty, together with their colleagues from 1st technical school Tesla. The first thing they made was a pendant with the school logo. The pendant was a hit and 50 copies were made. Encouraged with the success, they continued to print. As Prelog is a science school, they made a rack for test tubes for chemistry, a model of the human heart for biology, geometrical shapes for mathematics. There were some creative objects like a cookie mold in shape of the batman logo and a figure for table soccer. The last and most interesting was a little plastic robot. He was named Otto. Currently, Otto dances but they are planning future developments of his capabilities.

INCREDIBLE CAPABILITIES FOR SCIENCE

The group has their own classroom for school work. Ambitiously and curiosly they continue their work with their robot Otto. Their plan is to realize ideas like a “flying wing”. Maybe you’ll hear more about it int he near future.

But, is 3D printing just a joke for little kids? Is the logo of our school, which  we can happily put on a pendant and on our keychains, the best of it? Far from that. It is used in medicine for creating artificial hips, for educational purposes in schools, in mass production of some parts of weapons, cars, airplanes, electronics… Even food is being printed! Who knows, in a few years maybe you will be able to print your soul mate 😉

Matija Mrvčić, Bernard Kazazić, Miran Grgić