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Troy University 3D printing program teaching students how to problem solve

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TROY, Ala. (WTVY) – A new wave of students are gearing up for the workforce, with graduation just a few days away.

Some of those students are nearing the end of their time in Troy University’s 3-D printing program. The program is relatively- only being introduced last year.

WTVY got an inside look at the program on Monday, and talked with students about the skills they’ve learned.

Jackson Sanford is a senior at Troy.

“I’ve been doing stuff like this for a long time, just more creative industrial work. And this has been a real interesting avenue just to push that forward and continue making things. Because one of the beauties of 3-D printing and additive manufacturing in general is complexity is free. Which means you can very easily design things that are extremely intricate without it costing a lot of money and it doesn’t take a lot of time, that sort of thing. So that is one of the creative benefits as a problem solver that really helps me,” Sanford said.

“It’s given me a lot of skills that I can take with me to just about any industry, which is really beneficial.”

The minor course teaches students how to problem solve, using 3-D printing.

“We’re really trying to arm students with the skills that are relative to today’s design, digital design and digital fabrication skills. We talk about 3-d printing, but the industry is known as additive manufacturing. Our specialty is in large format, this is a very large printer here, and using sustainable materials, like recycled plastics,” said Frank Marquette, the professor of practice for the course.

Students can create just about anything using the machines.

Junior Sarah Carlson is creating furniture that will be used inside the International Arts Center.

“It’s really exciting. I look forward to being able to put them in there and see how they look. A lot of what I’ve been doing is just designing seats for and then benches and longer things,” Carlson said.

Through the program, students are also learning how to offer constructive disruptions by applying concepts, design and manufacturing communication.

Cost efficiency is also a main part of the program. Students create machines, devices, and furniture using recycled plastics and clay.

“I think its just the aspect of being able to create whatever you want. And not having any restraints as far as what you wanna do,” Carlson said.

“I think for me, the best definition of excelling is to graduate, you’re armed to go after the job you want. And feel confident that you are a good candidate to be awarded that position. That’s basically, being a professor of practice, that’s my emphasis,” Marquette said.

For more information on the program, just click here. You can also reach out to Professor Marquette at fmarquette@troy.edu.

Copyright 2021 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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