White River CAD program pitches in to solve a $2,000 problem

From a press release:

The White River High School CAD class works on various projects, but instructor Bob Brooks likes to focus on functionality.

Last year, the district’s middle school had issues with a broken piece in the mechanism that raises and lowers the basketball hoops. The system is more than 50 years old and the parts are obsolete.

For the unit to function, the district would have to totally retrofit the whole lift motor and switch, costing in the ballpark of $2,000 in parts and labor.

The maintenance department came to Brooks to ask if the computer aided design program—complete with 3D printer—could help.

3D printers are used throughout industry for creating prototypes of parts for testing prior to manufacturing.

“This is an excellent opportunity for students to see how our pre-engineering program can directly relate to the real world," Brooks said.

Sophomore student Dillon Hadaway adopted the task of reverse engineer the mechanism. After precise measuring of the broken pieces, he drew up a new one with the CAD program's 3D Rhino software and “printed” out an exact replica.

The new replacement piece was installed along with a new metal guide plate created in the metals class. Not only were the hoops able to raise and lower for the first time in almost a year, but the switch is actually working better than they were before.

“It’s nice to know the Maintenance Dept. has a resource with the Voc Ed department” said Marty Brewer of the maintenance department.

"It was great to be able to help the district and to challenge my knowledge and skills," Dillon said.

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