Bishop Noll student brings 3D-printed turkey home for Thanksgiving dinner

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HAMMOND, Ind. (November 24, 2020) – A Bishop Noll family’s table will include a new custom centerpiece this Thanksgiving thanks to one student’s ingenuity. The colorful 3D turkey, which took about 12 hours to print on Bishop Noll’s 3D printer, was created by freshman Alexis Vega as part of a new club that began at the school this fall.

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Bishop Noll freshman Alexis Vega created this turkey using the school’s 3D printer. (Photo provided)

Putting skills to festive use

Vega is a member of the Workshop Club, which meets in the Bishop Noll’s new STREAM Lab. For her first club project, Vega decided to make the 3D turkey as a Thanksgiving gift for her mom.

“I wanted to make something kind of funny as well as cartoonish,” Vega said. “So I decided to put a full round turkey in a pot with stuffing on the side of it. I wanted to make it for my mom because she was very interested in a piece I had done before.”

The piece is 11 cm long, 15 cm wide, and 13 cm tall. It is made from filament in the STREAM Lab’s 3D printer. Vega used her iPad to design the piece on an app called Tinkercad. She then sent the file to Workshop Club sponsor Brian Lambie who loaded it into the printer to start its 12-hour printing process. Vega put the finishing touches on the piece at home with acrylic paints.

“Tinkercad is an app where you make 3D models, whether you use the simple shapes they have or create some of your own,” Vega explained. “I used spheres, cylinders, cubes and scribble, which is how I made the feathers.”

Workshop Club and STREAM Lab foster creativity

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Bishop Noll freshman Alexis Vega (Photo provided)

Vega enjoys the Workshop Club because she is able to work on projects that mean something to her. She has few limitations in the lab and likes that students can work during lunch hour because she is involved in other clubs that meet after school.

Vega was part of last year’s Bishop Noll’s eighth-grade STEM program, which brings students from local elementary schools to Bishop Noll for a morning STEM and math class. She is currently enrolled in Lambie’s Intro to Engineering class.

“Alexis has excellent skills doing 3D modeling,” Lambie said. “She is able to hone her skills by creating models on her own; and through the Workshop Club, she is able to print them out and see how they look in real life as a physical object. This helps her to make decisions about how to improve future models.”

Sponsored by Lambie and STEM teacher Mary Albrecht, the Workshop Club benefits students by opening up the STREAM Lab for them to create personal projects outside of normal class hours. The students can work on projects from their own imaginations and in their own time.

“This has been great for all BNI students because some of them have not had a chance to work in the STREAM Lab,” Albrecht said. “This club gives everyone a chance to design, create and build in this great space.”

We get a wide variety of projects and they’re all purely interest-driven,” Lambie said. “If a student comes in with an idea of what he or she wants to make, we get to talk about how to do it together, and come up with a plan to create it. There’s always room for mistakes because nothing that we make is following instructions. It’s just creating stuff based on our own ideas. It’s a great chance to get creative and work with materials and tools you might not normally, like 3D printed materials, wood, drills and saws.” 

Bishop Noll Institute is located at 1519 Hoffman St, Hammond, IN.

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