RIDDLE — Keyboards were clacking, jokes were cracking and the vinyl and 3D printers were hard at work last week at Expanding Horizon’s Drafting and Product Design camp, held at Riddle High School.
The four-day camp introduced students to technology and manufacturing tools and skills like Computer-aided Design Drafting, vinyl sticker printing and 3D printing.
“I’ve learned computer graphics, making 3D objects, putting together and making stuff so it will work properly,” said 13-year-old Caitlyn Powell of Riddle. “Getting the experience and being able to make stuff (has been my favorite).”
The camp is just one of the numerous camps offered this summer by the Umpqua Valley STEAM Hub. Two of the students heard about this camp at a technology and manufacturing camp help in June and decided to attend because they were interested.
“I did a camp up at Roseburg High School that did talk about CAD stuff a little bit,” said 14-year-old Caleb Schartz of Sutherlin. “I wanted to learn more.”
Instructor DeeJay Juárez stepped in last minute when the usual instructor, C.J. Bryant, had a conflict in his schedule. Juárez and Bryant have taught the class together before, but this is Juárez’s first time tackling the class on her own.
“I’ve had some exposure to (this class),” Juárez said. “C.J. and I used to co-teach a couple classes. I would do the business aspect — we would have the students make stickers and I would talk about what your time is worth, how much products cost.”
Being on her own has sparked a few challenges. Juárez, an English instructor at Phoenix School, had to learn some of the programs and machinery along with the students. She had seen them run in previous classes, peeking over shoulders as she assisted, but she has learned the hands-on portion right along with the campers.
“The way C.J. has the camp kind of outlined, the structure of it, we start very basic, like tracing,” she said. “We start with tracing and then we build up to doing multiple layers and once they understand that, they understand that the 3D printer is just doing layers and layers.”
Campers used Rhino CAD Modeling Software to design single layer and multilayer stickers. Projects ranged from making exotic cars like Lamborghinis and Bugattis, to the Minecraft logo, iconic cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny and more.
Each were encouraged to design their own 3D printed dog tag on a Makerbot 3D printer. Many moved on to create other objects, such as drone landing pads, a working nut and bolt set and even a replica of the Hand of the King pin from the HBO show “Game of Thrones.”
“The hardest part was the 3D,” said 11-year-old Eli Kershner of Roseburg. “I’m really not such a computer guy. The stickers were OK, ‘cause you just trace whatever, but 3D you have to put in all the coordinates and it’s a lot harder.”
Eli hopes to continue learning more about stickers and 3D in the future. Many of his fellow campers agreed.
“I am very proud of them and I feel that they should be very proud of what they accomplished,” Juárez said. “Hearing them talk about it outside or at the park and they are like ‘I can’t wait to get back,’ those moments are the really neat. It shows that they have started to connect it with themselves and what they can do later.”