The 1/25th scale model of the school being presented in the library. Built by the advanced CAD group, the walls are constructed out of wood. Bricks were outlined using a CNC Router and painted with coloured mud by hand. All of the stairs, windows, interior detail items, and planter were created by a 3D printer. The roof and floors are made of wood while the ceilings and walls are made out of foam board. The ground features a grass carpet and painted concrete. It won best multiple pupil project in the Fort Hays Tech Fair. Photo by Emma Frey.
Advanced CAD Model, the result of more than 900 hours of student work, places first at tech fair
After a long year of hard work, a 1/25th model of the WHS main building constructed by advanced CAD students traveled to to the Fort Hays Tech Fair where it claimed best senior project as well as the prized Dennis McKee award for best multi-student project.
Seniors Luke Barber, Sean Dugger, Dillon Spellman and Kinsey Stuewe decided that they would work on a project together for their final year. The project began as a model of the city of Alma.
After initial planning, the students transitioned to a more focused project. The goal became a model of the WHS campus, but transportation limits and scale choice shrunk the plan one step further to the main WHS building.
“It was more realistic and I’m glad we changed it,” Barber said.
The project hit a roadblock before it had begun as the architectural plans to the building, built in 1939 and renovated multiple times since then, could not be located. Even after a few weeks of searching, the plans could not be found, so the team decided to measure the entire building by hand.
“All of the false walls and dead spaces we didn’t know about made measuring difficult,” Stuewe said.
After a majority of the measurements had been taken, the students began drawing the plans in Autodesk Revit, architectural software. Since there was only a year to complete the project, the group split up. Barber and Spellman worked on the scale model while Dugger and Stuewe worked on the plans.
“I don’t think it could have gotten done separately,” CAD instructor Amy Cassell said. “Each one of them had their own specialty which made the project amazing.”
While the idea of making the model never changed, some of the plans had to evolve. The inside of the model was only completed for the front due to the difficulty of some rooms in the back, such as the auditorium, and time constraints.
“I didn’t think we would have time to do any of the inside, but we got the front done and it added so much,” Barber said.
To balance the time frame given with all of the work needed, the team created schedules and to-do lists and placed everywhere in the workplace. Each member worked on the model during free time as well as coming in on staff development days. Work nights were popular with the group as they were able to work together for a few more hours after practices.
“Work nights were fairly effective,” Spellman said. “It felt like it was less intense but we still got a lot of work done.”
After a combined effort of more than 900 hours, the model was completed along with a set of plans, a smaller 3D printed version of the model, a model that represents the assembly process and a rendering made from the Revit program.
“I learned that you can do anything that you put your mind to and that teamwork is important,” Stuewe said.
Thought to be large enough, the trailer the team planned to use to carry the large project was less than an inch wider than the base of the model. To fit it in the only transportation means accessible, the model was tilted to allow it to fit through which was difficult to do even with four people carrying it.
The model arrived to the tech fair mostly undamaged after a two-hour trip. The chimney attempted to separate off the building but was able to be reattached and other minor issues were fixed once set down for competition.
“It was a tiring process but it felt so accomplishing to see it at the fair,” Barber said.
Junior Katlyn Meseke joined the group to Fort Hays State University where they would compete in the live competitions as well as showcase house plans drawn by members in the Computer Aided Drafting class.
“At first, I thought it was just going to be drafting, but there was woodworking, metalworking and more,” Meseke said. “It was great to see the projects everyone had been working on.”
The group placed first in the Live Communication Competition and second in the Technology challenge. All of the architectural plans drawn by the juniors in CAD class received a blue ribbons for their superior quality. The model received a blue ribbon as well as a medal for an outstanding project. With everything else, the Dennis McKee award was given to WHS, a first in the school’s history, for bringing the best multi pupil project of the fair. The award is named after a longtime metals instructor from Fort Hays State.
“It shows that all of the hard work done by the students paid off by receiving top in the class that they were in,” Cassell said.
The entire project of the model, house plans, and the awards received will be on display in the library for the remainder of the year.
— Sean Dugger, @seandugger01