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Press Release



July 15, 2014


Clasen demonstrates 3D Printer for youngsters in Winfield


Cowley College’s Career and Technical ClasenEducation Department Chair Joe Clasen recently traveled to Winfield to visit with approximately 35 students ranging from 10 to 12 years old. These “Tweens” are enrolled in a summer program called “Spark A Reaction” hosted by the Winfield Public Library.

“Spark A Reaction” explores numerous topics while being focused on literacy. Students stay active with reading, playing games, making stuff, or just hanging out. This group meets once a week during June and July. The subject for July 10 was, “Say it with plastic”.

Cowley College was invited to demonstrate its 3D Printer from the Manufacturing Technology (Mechatronics) classroom. Clasen explained how this piece of equipment is used for manufacturing prototyping, and described the details of how it operates, from programming the design on computer, to inserting a cartridge of plastic filament into the printer and finally removing the finished part.

mechatronicsThe filament is fed into the 3D printer’s print head, where a gear pulls the piece of filament through the print head, which has a pointed nozzle coming out of it. The filament passes through a heated tube which liquefies it just before it is extruded by the nozzle in ultra-fine layers. The print head moves side to side, back and forth, and up and down to create the 3D image. The plastic solidifies very quickly sealing the layers together.

When the 3D printers were first launched, they were mainly used in the manufacturing or medical sector, and as technology improved, the 3D printer expanded to aerospace, military, arts, and other fields.

Schedule a visit with our Manufacturing Technology Instructor for a demonstration of the 3D printer, or learn about any other programs available at Cowley College’s Industrial Technology department by calling 620-441-5279.