History and Technology teacher, Mike Hathorn, brings 3D modeling and 3D printing to students at Hartford High School in White River Junction, Vermont, and now to all Vermont students through the annual 3D VT competition. What began as an idea in 2008 to use new software to create three-dimensional buildings and record the accompanying history of the buildings has continued to evolve over the years to include many exciting 3D printing projects.

At Hartford High School, we’re turning our ideas into reality. By using 3D modeling programs like SketchUp, students are creating both assigned and original designs. Students then learn how to convert their designs into 3D printed models using a Makerbot Replicator 3D printer. Students are following their designs from model to print, allowing them to go through real-world problem solving and optimization applications in order to see their visions become reality. Things change rapidly in our world today, and we are continuing to evolve in our classroom. What started with an idea to use new software to create three-dimensional buildings and record the history of these buildings has continued to expand, and we are now printing 3D models of our subjects.

3D modeling has been around for a long time, used by architects, surveyors, artists, manufacturers and more. SketchUp is a fun, easy tool to learn. Once you have the basics down, you will be able to create the digital models of your dreams. This fabulous tool will bring out the creator in all of us.

Now it’s time to bring the art and science of 3D modeling into the 3D printed world. Using the models we create in SketchUp, we are creating models of everything from historical buildings to phone cases, dice to tablet stands. Currently, we are using printers from Makerbot, Makergear and Stratasys. Our Makerbot and Stratasys printers are curtesy of AET Labs.

The 3rd Annual Town History in 3D competition is now under way. The final event will be held in March 24th, 2017. Visit 3Dvermont.org for more information.

For this competition we are looking for students and their advisor(s) to pick historic buildings that are important to their town or surrounding community.

The criteria for picking and researching a buildings:

  1. Building must be 50 years old or more to be considered historic.
  2. You should learn why the building was built, what changes the building went through since being built and what the current uses of the building are.
  3. Use Vermont Historic Preservation Trust website and town and state historical societies, as well as, local research and interviews to find out the most important information about your buildings. The Vermont Historic Preservation Trust welcomes calls and website research and is happy to help teams in their research.
  4. This year we also have a transportation portion of the project, any team that creates a bridge will have a chance to win a separate VTrans award.