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SCC Students Have Access to 3D Printing Technology Just as Featured in Disneys Big Hero 6

Above: One of SCCs 3D printers at work. Disneys latest movie, Big Hero 6, which premiers tomorrow, is expected to introduce the technology to a mass audience.
Above: Big Hero 6s robot, Baymax, is shown above. In the movie, which premiers tomorrow, the main character uses intuitive 3D CAD tools and industrial scale 3D printers, according to the Develop 3D blog. The 3D printer is shown in the above photo at right. SCC currently works with five 3D printers in classes.
When Disneys latest movie, Big Hero 6, hits theatres on tomorrow, November 7, viewers may be exposed to a relatively new, but growing, technology 3D printing.

Big Hero 6 is an original action-comedy-adventure about a robotics prodigy and a plus-sized inflatable robot, who develop a special bond on a quest to solve an unsettling mystery, according to the Disney production notes for the movie.

In the film, Hiro Hamadas older brother Tadashi created a robot named Baymax who is designed to do good and care for people. Hiro is smart, but isnt using his talents for good. Through a series of events, Hiro faces danger and the city of San Fransokyo faces a devastating event, forcing Hiro to turn Baymax and his friends into high-tech heroes, called Big Hero 6.

The transformation, and building of armor, tools and other items, is done in a world of workshops, intuitive 3D CAD tools and industrial scale 3D printers, according to the Develop 3D blog.

At Somerset Community College, students may not be printing with steel, like Hiro does in the movie, but students have the capacity to print in materials such as plastic, chocolate, rubber, synthetic wood and full color sandstone, according to Eric Wooldridge, associate professor and creator of SCCs new 3D printing class.

Wooldridge, a licensed engineer and architect, said that Disneys Big Hero 6 is anticipated to generate a lot of interest in 3D printing technology, especially among younger viewers.

Disney is really putting a lot of emphasis on the 3D printing aspect of the film, currently they are hosting a contest to 3D print robotic designs for folks in the anticipation of the movie. said Wooldridge. For the last several years Disneys research labs have been developing a multitude of new 3D printing applications and technologies. I believe this movie is a well-planned effort by Disney to create high interest in 3D printing and its possibilities.

This year, SCC began offering DPT100, a class designed to introduce students to 3D printing and computer technology.

We do exactly what the film does in the classroom, said Wooldridge. We take creativity, technology and imagination and come up with original designs and new inventions. Right now there are at least five student innovations, resulting from this class, which I believe are fully marketable products.

In terms of education, Wooldridge said that SCC is already in a position to take the interest generated by Big Hero 6 and translate it into real-life application.

We are in a position to take interest and turn it into real skill. We can take that cool and futuristic technology and let people start turning it into tangible items and products.

SCC currently has five 3D printers, with a sixth on the way and a grant for a large-scale printer (capable of printing four to six feet in size) being currently considered. The class, and the access to cutting-edge technology, has allowed students like Kathy Patscheck, an SCC employee and student, to design household items and share them with the world.

Patscheck recently designed a toothpaste squeezer in Wooldridges class. The design was submitted on thingiverse.com, which was part of the assignment, and has currently been viewed 409 times and downloaded for reproduction 117 times, as of November 5.

Kathy needed something to help her get every last drop of toothpaste from her tube, so she created it, said Wooldridge. This type of resourcefulness is what we will begin seeing more of in the future as this technology becomes more wide-spread. Instead of buying something, why not create it and print it at home? 3D printing may change many aspects of how we live and shop.

Likewise, Jeaneth Holt, another of Wooldridges students, has been creating products that have generated some buzz on thingiverse.com. Holt, originally from the Philippines and now a resident of Gravel Switch, KY, has designed several earrings and other items. One set of items, which contains a carving tool, snow man, earrings and a vase, has been downloaded by others 82 times and has collected more than 200 views.

And Wooldridge said the innovation and creativity doesnt stop there as SCC plans to expand 3D classes and introduce new technology in the future.

In addition to 3D printing, we are now turning our attention towards robotics and drone applications, and with combination of these technologies, I believe folks are going to be surprised by what SCC will be creating over the next few years, he said.

To find out more about 3D classes at SCC, contact Wooldridge at 606-451-6878.