3D Competition: Difficult, Determined, Delightful

Abigail Reagan

3D printing is achieved by laying down multiple layers of material until the object is created. Each layer can be seen individually as a horizontal cross section. Before you even start printing, you make a virtual design of what you want to print, and then transfer that information to the printer. Harwood is fortunate to have two 3D printers of their own located in the STEM classrooms.

What is 3D Vermont?

It’s a state wide competition that’s held on March 24, 2017 at Judd Hall at Vermont Tech College in Randolph VT. The contest has rules: each team has to consist of two to ten students with an advisor. The team needs to create a 3D printed model, and a multimedia presentation of the building they have chosen at the competition.

This year Harwood has a team that is going to the competition this year.  Mr. Sargent, a history teacher and Mr. Bushey, a STEM teacher, are leading the current six students on the team. Junior River Haberle, and seniors Riley Powell, Cole Fekert, Caleb Goodman, Tenaya Hubble-Wood, and Abby Reagan. The team has decided on 3D printing of the old Waterbury State Hospital.

Recently, they received the floor plans of the original building and plan on starting on printing it soon. They have research completed on the history of the building and what went on inside, and are ready to start the presentation.

A few questions were asked to Mr. Sargent about whether or not this will be an option for students next year, and if Bushey and himself want to expand the team in future years.

Sargent said, “At this point, I’m planning to organize a team next year. I’m fortunate to have the support of Mr. Bushey. Without his help, the 3D printing would be very difficult to accomplish. I’m also lucky to have six motivated students who want to research and learn how to use Desktop Inventor.”

Desktop Inventor is the site that’s being used by the students to put in the dimensions of the plans so that they can be converted and put into the 3D printer and ready to print.

If more students are interested, Sargent and Bushey would consider adding a second team in the future.  A big goal of theirs for the school, is to someday add a middle school team, alongside the high school.


If you’re interested in what is looks like to 3D print and how the process works here are two linked videos down below:

Video of something being printed:


Video of the process