Northview High School 3D Printer

State of the art technology is bringing architecture to life for Dothan technology students.

It's a 3D printer.

The center has had it for a few months, but new software is now allowing students to design and print anything.

If Dothan technology drafting students can dream it, even if it's complicated, this 3D printer can make it.

"It's pretty cool. The things that we've printed out are pretty awesome," said Northview High School student Wesley Davis.

Those things include an IPod case, miniature Buddha, and even an Auburn logo.

The machine works by pulling thin PVC plastic sheets and then slicing the layers to mold the desired shape.

Drafting instructor Drew Mckibben says what it can teach students is amazing.

“For them to be able to make a multi-view drawing and take that from the paper and actually visualize it, there visualization is the hardest part for them to grasp. So it actually makes something and shows them how that works on 2D on a drawing, that's what has helped us a lot,” said McKibben.

Many students want to be future architects and say that this printer will help them.

Although printing is as easy as 1-2-3, it does have one draw-back.

"We have a gear box that we’re about to print out now that’s maybe 4 inches, and it's going to take 8 hours to print it out," said Davis.

However for students, what this machine can do is well worth the wait.

The school says the machine does waste a lot of plastic, but it does have recycling alternatives and they still have plenty to print with.

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