Mines News

Release Date Friday, April 6, 2018

SD Mines Offers Free 3-D Printing Camps for Youth

Cory Mohill-Smith, a mechanical engineering senior at SD Mines, shows two middle-school students, a 3-D printed object during a design workshop.

RAPID CITY, SD (April 6, 2018) – The Department of Mechanical Engineering  at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is offering two free 3-D printing camps as part of the “Fab Labs” workshops sponsored by Halliburton. Students in grades 6-8 are invited to join on April 11, and students in grades 9-12 are welcome on April 18. The youth workshops focus on fabrication in the real world using hands-on demonstrations that highlight principals in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). The workshops are led by experts at SD Mines. Those interested in attending can register here. Space is limited and participants are accepted on a first-come first-served basis.

Members of the media are welcome to attend either camp to interview Mines students and 3-D printing experts.

These 3-D printing camps are an extension of previous outreach projects between the mechanical engineering department and the community. Cory Mohill-Smith, a mechanical engineering senior at SD Mines, has been instrumental in the process of developing the curriculum. Mohill-Smith has spent the past two years assisting Rapid City Public Library Makerspace and the Hermosa Middle School in building training sessions for 3-D print design software.

Both Hermosa Middle School and the Rapid City Public Library Makerspace acquired 3-D printers that quickly proved popular with local patrons and students. However, users were limited to printing pre-designed models downloaded from the internet. “The real power of 3-D printing is the ability to prototype and print original designs,” says Mohill-Smith. The library and middle school struggled with the use of design software, until Mohill-Smith offered assistance and helped build training sessions for students using Google SketchUp, an open-source 3D modeling design software.

Jayne Leusink, a Hermosa Middle School teacher, originally contacted Mines’ mechanical engineering department for assistance setting up 3-D printers and training users. Mohill-Smith and Leusink worked together to create a successful and fun curriculum. Through this process, Mohill-Smith obtained a grant of five tablets from SD Mines Information Technology Services for the task. He and fellow SD Mines mechanical engineering students, Taylor Muncie, Hans Leonhardt and Tyler Afdahl, spent several afternoons training the middle schoolers in design software and manufacturing.

“Cory Mohill-Smith and his team at SD Mines have gone above and beyond in their outreach program,” says Leusink. “We are very grateful and the students have thoroughly enjoyed learning more about 3D Printing.” The curriculum culminated in a design contest at Hermosa Middle School. The winning design was machined in the SD Mines vertical machining center.

Conversations between the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Stephan Tafoya, manager of Rapid City Public Library Makerspace, identified value in Mohill-Smith assisting with the library’s design software training. He has been working with makerspace staff to bring them up-to-speed with the software and tailoring Hermosa Middle School’s training to suit the library’s equipment and patrons.   

The 3-D printing camps at SD Mines are part of several youth “Fab Lab” workshops sponsored by Halliburton. More information on all the workshops can be found here.


About South Dakota Mines  

Founded in 1885, South Dakota Mines is one of the nation’s leading engineering, science and technology universities. South Dakota Mines offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and a best-in-class education at an affordable price. The university enrolls 2,493 students with an average class size of 24. The South Dakota Mines placement rate for graduates is 98 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $70,036. For these reasons  South Dakota Mines is ranked among the best engineering schools in the country for return on investment. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on FacebookTwitter, LinkedInInstagram, and Snapchat.

Contact: Charles Michael Ray, 605-394-6082, charles.ray@sdsmt.edu