Question: What do you get when you combine an accounting major with a member of the Western equestrian team? Answer: A cost-effective way to make horseshoes!
When senior Ann Frieders got “elected” to head up the Western IHSA team’s entry into Deck the Trees, she remembered the 3-D printer housed in Dr. Chris Ward’s office. The Marketing Club purchased the printer late last year to ultimately use for a student-run business. Right now, students are experimenting with the software and brainstorming ideas for products.
“Since our theme is ‘Hi-Yo Silver!’ I wanted to make some plastic horseshoes to use on our tree,” said Frieders. “ I asked Dr. Ward about using the printer and she was happy to help.” Her goal was to make as many shoes as possible in a limited amount of time. Each shoe took approximately 25 minutes, using a string of plastic that’s heated and crafted into the final product.
Frieders used a free site with searchable “stl” images that she uploaded using the printer’s “Simplify 3-D” software.
“Then I just hit ‘print’ and sit and wait.”
Ward said the printer is one of the smaller models sold and the club was able to purchase it and an accompanying laptop for less than $3,000. They hope to create small, custom UF items like key chains that can be sold to departments or student clubs.
“I think 3-D printers are really designed for products that require a lot of customization,” added Frieders. “I’m not sure they’re made for mass production.” She added that farriers are using 3-D printers to create real horseshoes for racehorses and horses needing special shoes to accommodate injuries. (Click here for a video of the printer in operation.)
The PRSSA Club’ annual Deck the Trees will be held in the AMU Atrium on Monday, Nov. 30. Decorating will take place from 9 -11:00 a.m. and judging will begin at 1:00 p.m. For more information, email PRSSA@findlay.edu