High School Students Show off 3D Scanner at Tom Tom Fest
People at Charlottesville's Tom Tom Festival have a chance to get a 3D scan of themselves.
A group of Monticello High School students is putting the finishing touches on a project featured at the festival that's also helping out a classmate. MHS senior Collin Murphy decided to make a 3D scanner and printer to help one of his classmates, who's been blind since birth.
"He's never been able to see his reflection in a mirror, or see his best friend or see anything so the only way he can really see is through feel,” Murphy said.
Murphy hopes his team's new 3D scanner and printer will help his classmate finally see his own face.
"Being able to print out a 3D object or a 3D face for him to feel gives him a chance to finally see,” Murphy said.
To take a 3D scan of yourself, you sit down and spin 360 degrees while a camera takes your picture, which then it goes to a computer and prints out a 3D replica.
In addition to helping out a classmate and building something new, Murphy and his friends get school credit for the project as part of Monticello High School's internship program.
“It's a lot of work but it doesn't feel like work because with this sort of stuff you're not doing stuff that you don't want to do,” said Quinton Miller, junior at MHS.
Advisor Ida Mae Craddock says she helps the students design their curriculum. She started the year with simple projects like fixing computers. But from there, she says, it escalated.
“They began to knock it out of the park, so they've started making projects that they will in fact use in their regular lives,” Craddock said.
In addition to the machine they’re showing off as part of the festival, the team has also created a stylus made out of potato chips and a device to help communicate with the hearing-impaired. Murphy says the program is helping him get ready to attend Piedmont Virginia Community College this fall. But he says it’s also preparing him for the real world.
“It gives us more hands-on interaction with things, like we actually learn how things work and it gives us more real-world usage,” Murphy said.
You can see the 3D printer in action if you stop by the Tom Tom Festival in Charlottesville's Lee Park Saturday between noon and 3 p.m. The team is letting anyone stop by and get scanned for a 3D image.
Reported by Sean Cudahy