Engineering and Wood Shop Classes Collaborate on Chess Board Project

Chris Norris, Reporter

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James Rayburn’s engineering class has teamed up with Garth Hoffman’s wood shop class to design and construct a set of chess boards.

A major goal of the project is to help prepare students for real world skills in manufacturing and mass production.

Rayburn’s class will focus primarily on designing the chess boards and pieces, while Hoffman’s class will complete the actual construction of the boards.

Sophomore Jake Eden works on one of his chess piece designs. Rayburn’s students use the program “Inventor” to create and edit their 3D designs. Photo by Christopher Norris

Hoffman believes the collaboration aspect is important because his class can give feedback to Rayburn and the engineering students.

“What these kids are learning is how to develop relationships between two departments,” said Hoffman. “ I think these are real world projects.”

Due to some early design flaws, Rayburn noted that the collaborative work was helpful.

“At first I think we were overly complicated with our [chess board] designs,” said Rayburn. “When they reviewed them for us in woodshop, we came back to edit them and simplify them.”

Besides some basic restrictions, Rayburn has let his engineering students, including sophomore Jake Eden, get creative with their designs.

“It’s basically been all our own ideas and drawings,” said Eden. “It’s gone wherever we want to go with it.”

This chess board design was created by sophomore Joe Gusherowski and senior Tony Krol. It shows the board broken down into pieces and the fully constructed color version. Photo by Christopher Norris

One tool that is necessary to make the pieces is the 3D printer.

The printer works by melting layers of plastic to form 3D designs that are linked with the printer’s computer software.

This is the 3D printer in motion. The printer will always start from the bottom of the 3D piece, and it works its way up. Photo by Christopher Norris

At the end of the day, Rayburn is very proud of how the students have taken on the project.

“They have done a great job,” said Rayburn. “The students are working so hard and working so well together.”

Construction of the chess boards is currently on hiatus, as some Rayburn’s students are focusing on other projects.

Hoffman hopes they can start the building phase within the next few weeks.

 

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Engineering and Wood Shop Classes Collaborate on Chess Board Project