Students Make Toys from Scratch for Kids

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

PALYMYRA TOWNSHIP -- Some high school students are learning how to design and create toys with 3-D technology, all while embodying the spirit of Christmas.

Mr. Heckman's Technology and Engineering classes at Wallenpaupack Area High School have spent that past few weeks creating children's toys from scratch.

With the help of modern technology, something called a 3-D printer, their toys are ready to be wrapped for Christmas day and given to some deserving kids.

From the outside, Wallenpaupack Area High School somewhat resembles the North Pole.

Inside, classroom 251 is as busy as Santa's workshop with students putting the finishing touches on toys.

Once the toys are in their boxes, these students will have been there through each step of the toy-making process.

"We learned how to sketch it out first, sketch on paper, then put it into the computer," said 9th grader Tanner Badoud.

The students sent the design through the computer concept to the real thing.

"We put it in Autocad and Inventor, made everything 3-D, extruded everything, made all the holes then we put it on Makerbot and it made it," said 9th grader Austin Rozsitch.

In layman's terms, the toys came from a 3-D printer, a state-of-the-art machine that can create objects from plastic and other materials.

Engineering teacher Dave Heckman said the technology has come down in price and materials are rather inexpensive.

"Start to finish really neat, with a little imagination and a little creativity and some support kids can do anything," said Heckman.

It was a couple of weeks of design work, then students at WAHS put their designs into Makerbot, which created 15 toys that will now to go children who might otherwise not have had toys this Christmas.

"They're going to kids who don't have toys and will be able to open them up on Christmas morning," said Rozsitch.

15 toys, including Gus the Gorilla and Hexabot will go to a boy or girl this Christmas, the high-school-aged toy makers get a lesson in engineering and in giving to others this holiday season.

"Doing good things can take a lot of work but in the end it's worth it," said Badoud.

Makerbot is the 3-D printer used in that Wallenpaupack Area High School classroom.

It costs about $3,000 not much more than a new table-saw, said Mr. Heckman.