Staff Contact:

Andrea J. Burney, APR

Director of  Public Relations




3D Printers Pesented to High School Technology Teachers

New 3D printers were presented by Danville Community College to area high schools through a “Make It Happen? grant from the Danville Regional Foundation. The technology instructors and students are shown with their printers. Pictured, left to right, are: Dave Bandy, Tunstall High School; Jodi Knowlton-Martin, Dan River High School; Caleb Rowles, Chatham High School student; Matt Weatherford, Chatham High School; John Henderson, George Washington High School; Chelsea Porter, Instructor of Digital Effects and Animation Technology, Piedmont Community College; Robert Huffman, DCC Associate Professor of Drafting and Design; and Jerry Franklin, DCC Director of Manufacturing and Technical Services.


DANVILLE, VA, October 8, 2012 - Area high school technology instructors came to Danville Community College on a Saturday morning to receive, set up and learn to use new additive manufacturing technology 3-D printers. The printers were purchased with funds through a “Make It Happen? grant to DCC from the Danville Regional Foundation. DCC presented the printers to Chatham, Dan River, Tunstall, George Washington and Gretna High Schools, along with Piedmont Community College’s Career and College Promise program offered to local high school students.

Jerry Franklin, Director of Manufacturing and Technical Services, and Rob Huffman, Professor of Drafting and Design, recently helped area technology instructors and their students assemble and use the new printers. DCC will also guide the instructors in a design project that utilizes the advantage of 3D printing. Huffman explained that “additive manufacturing? is a term used to describe the process of making three-dimensional objects using only digital data to describe the object.

“The digital data comes from CAD 3D design software such as Solidworks® or Pro Engineering®, etc. Solidworks® is currently taught at DCC and in the local high schools as a dual enrollment credit course,? Huffman said. “Addictive manufacturing is in its early stages of use, but it is projected to become a major method to manufacture objects in the future.

“An additional benefit of making parts directly from design data is that the designer gets immediate feedback as to the suitability of the design. This ability to ‘fail faster’ is critical in converging on an optimum design and speeds the design process,? Huffman added.

DCC has used this technology for the past 10 years to train drafting and design students. As an outreach to local entrepreneurs and industry, the College also provides a product development service through the Regional Center for Advanced Technology and Training’s (RCATT) Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) additive manufacturing technologies. Huffman added that next fall, as a follow up, DCC plans to host a design contest to engage the students in using the new printers to develop the best possible design.

“Our goal is to encourage high school and college students to develop interest and skill in an engaging technology that has real-world implications for the future,? Huffman said. “This project is a great way to make Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) topics appealing to the students.?

For more information about additive manufacturing technologies, please contact Robert Huffman at 434.797.8548, or Jerry Franklin at 434.797.8573, or
click here.


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