The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

October 28, 2013

BOCES class goes 3-D

Medina Journal-Register

Medina Journal-Register — The students in Bill Rakonczay’s Precision Machine Technology Program are getting to learn a new technology that most area businesses do not have. The class, located at the Orleans/Niagara BOCES’ Orleans Career and Technical Education Center, recently acquired a state of the art 3D printer.

“It has been in my teaching plan for a while,” said Rakonczay.  “It is very advanced technology and I think it will give the students some very marketable skills when they are looking for work or continuing their studies. We have already had a local company ask us to help with making a replacement part for a pump using the printer.”

Noah Hillman, a Newfane senior in the program, has become the resident expert.  “When it came in I volunteered to assemble it, so I read the manual and started playing with it until I got better and better with it. It is really cool.”

How it works is that students either use the software that it comes with to make an item or they draw one in AutoCAD and export the file into the machine to make whatever they design. Using plastic, the printer heats it up and molds the design. The students have made animals, cars, jewelry, ornaments and different machine parts for practice. 

“It takes a long time, but the end result is amazing,” said Hillman.

Classmate Ben Smead, also from Newfane, has been working on the lens cover part that the company has requested.  “I had to take apart the pump and drew the part and now we are recreating the piece,” he said. “We are lucky to have this printer. It is very expensive and not many companies in the area have one. I really like using it.” 

For more information about the Precision Machine Technology Program or the 3D printer, contact Bill Rakonczay at