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NPS Student Introduces Monterey Youth to 3D Printing
Courtesy Photo

NPS Student Introduces Monterey Youth to 3D Printing

By MC2 Michael Ehrlich

Due in large part to the volunteer efforts of NPS Department of Physics student Lt. Todd Coursey, Monterey area youth are being introduced to additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, during a series of free workshops at the Monterey Public Library. To date, Coursey and Library Manager Kim Smith have completed two courses to area youth, and just recently held a third session to introduce the innovative technology to adults.

“Shortly after being stationed here as a student, I approached Monterey Public Library with the idea to purchase a 3D printer, and in return, I offered them help in developing their program by providing access to various CAD (computer-aided design) modeling and teaching tools,” said Coursey.

“3D printing is of course interesting, but what is most beneficial are the doors these machines open to new and sometimes underserved populations in STEAM [science, technology, engineering, art and math) education,” Coursey continued. “They are truly more than machines, they are about individual and community empowerment. For example, at the last class where we designed and printed key-chains, almost half the class was girls. After the girls understood the basics of design, they let their imagination guide them to begin making other things, such as a cell phone cover and a 3D shark. “

Since arriving at NPS, Coursey has been working to develop opportunities for service members to share their ideas with the community. Last summer, he was selected during the Veterans Administration Innovation Day for his ideas on training in additive manufacturing for the betterment of transitioning veterans. This element of community service, he says, is an important part of his obligation to the Navy.

“My hope is that the Monterey community continues to work and coordinate with Naval Postgraduate School students, educators and resources such as the RoboDojo, to expose both old and new generations to the benefits of these exciting technologies; cultivating a culture that embraces STEAM as a non-traditional approach to both learning and growing.”

And Coursey notes that he has some good ideas for upcoming classes.

“In addition to continuing design and print classes, we have plans to have an 'out of the box' adult class focusing on designing and printing a mini-beer mug, and then coordinating with the local brewery to have the adults use their creations,” he said.


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