JANUARY 5, 2023

New 3D Printers Bring Middle School Students’ Ideas to Life

3 D Printers have taken the world by storm and Briarcliff Middle School has recently jumped on the bandwagon and now has three brand-new 3D printers for students to use.

Last year, eighth grade math and special education teacher Austin Perry and his students designed multiple 3D designs for Project Lead the Way, but since they could not be printed, he decided to apply for a grant for 3D printers with the Briarcliff Manor Education Foundation.“I thought it would be nice to translate the virtual design into a tangible object,” he said. “I was thrilled when my grant was approved. I am very appreciative of the BMEF’s generosity.”

Mr. Perry met with Briarcliff High School teachers Chris Lo and Ted Sandomenico, to discuss how us use and apply 3D printer to a middle school curriculum that would align with future high school courses.

“It is fairly easy,” he said. “You do have to teach the students how to use the computer program that creates the items, and you need some computer knowledge to transfer the files to the printer.”

Recently, students in his seventh-grade Design and Modeling class created personalized keychains using the printers.

“We use the software Autodesk Tinkercad to introduce students to digital design, and now they are able to bring their projects to life by using the printers,” he said. “Eighth graders in my Computer Science for Innovators and Makers course have also used the printers for their end-of-the quarter projects.”

Mr. Perry looks forward to showing teachers across the building how to incorporate the printers into their own curriculum.

“Teachers have seen them and have been asking about them,” he said. “Students can print 3D maps for social studies class, or make transformations and shapes in math class,” he said. “Hopefully, teachers will be utilizing the printers by the end of this year or early next year.”

Mr. Perry plans to have students design and print birdhouses for specific birds, as well as three-dimensional puzzle cubes.

“We will build the cubes with wooden blocks, and then design them online and print them,” he said.

For now, there is plenty of material, as the printers came with a starter kit that includes a few different printer materials, including PLA (Polylactic Acid), PETG and ECO-ABS, an eco-friendly plastic that is biodegradable.


The Briarcliff Manor Education Foundation, established in 1995, seeks to enhance the education of students in the Briarcliff Manor school district by granting innovative, cutting-edge programs and projects that are beyond the scope of public school funding.