The next time a visiting dignitary or other VIP receives an honorary key to the city in Cody, it will be a big bronze one designed by a Cody Middle School student.
Trey Davis, 14, received a visit Friday at CMS from Mayor Matt Hall, who was able to pick up the 3D printed model. He also thanked Davis and STEM teacher Sean Conaway for the help in giving a personalized upgrade to an old brass key.
The model includes a design of the Buffalo Bill Scout on the top.
“Thank you for your work,” Hall said. “It’s nice to have the Scout on there as the representative of the town.”
Davis was happy to be a part of the process.
“It feels pretty good,” he said. “Definitely some bragging rights.”
Davis has plenty of projects to brag about, some of which took much longer to produce than the plastic key model. He said he spent around seven hours over a month developing a model of a 1993 F-350 pickup truck.
With the key, he said, the toughest part was making the Scout and border on top, which took about an hour. He also worked with city staff to finalize the design. He worked through a number of different concepts while using a computer design program.
After Davis was one of two students to complete the extra project, city staff chose his design.
“Trey has done just a fantastic job,” Conaway said. “He’s picked this stuff up quick and he’s taken it to another level.”
Davis only started 3D-printing a year ago, but when the mayor’s office first contacted the middle school in February to offer the opportunity, he was one of those ready to take it on.
“A number of my students, in the midst of learning the Fusion 360 CAD program took up the project,” Conaway said. “Mayor Hall sent us over a reference key and my students mocked up a replica and added the logo to it, with plenty of feedback from Town Hall.”
It’s a lengthy process, nearly all of it involving a computer and only toward the end the 3D printer, which turns the design into a plastic model.
The students in Conaway’s advanced class also use a wood-cutting machine that works like a 3D printer in reverse, by using cutting coordinates to carve a solid block of wood into a model.
Davis has really gotten into it. Recently he put together designs to add to some old wooden chairs his mom had bought.
“I’ve always been pretty good with my hands, always designing things,” Davis said.
Soon one of his designs will be at City Hall. Hall took the model to Caleco Foundry where the plan was to make a mold and cast around 20 new bronze keys.
Hall said he hasn’t yet handed out a key to the city, but now he’ll have a bunch of oversized bronze keys ready.
The next person who receives a key to the city will get one designed and poured right in town, showing off the past and future of Cody.