VIDEO: Home-school Mum tries 3D printing at Beef Australia

Charlotte and Matilda White are reading the Little House on the Prairie books as they travel their second lap of Australia, and they’re curious what a butter churn is and how it works.

If only they had a 3D printer in their caravan, they could download a pattern from the internet in just minutes, and print out a model in food-safe Pet-G plastic.

Darryl Clare from Brisbane’s CQUniversity campus travelled to Beef Australia at Rockhampton showgrounds to demonstrate the vast range of 3D printing applications.

He showed Charlotte and Matilda the anatomical models – hearts, lungs and skulls - he creates in his usual role as a paramedic lecturer.

“Covid challenged us to investigate more distance education options, and 3D printing is a great way someone can make their own learning materials,” he said.

The girls’ mother, Jess White, said she could see enormous potential to supplement their home-schooling as they embark on their second trip around Australia.

“We did it a few years when there were just the three kids and we loved it so much, we turned around and saved up for another tour,” she said.

“Even when we get back to our home near Grafton, I think we’ll stick to home-schooling.”

“This printing would be great for our kids’ home-schooling, whether it’s maths or geography or anatomy or mechanics.”

The family is staying at the Junabel Miniature Horse and Goat Home Stay at Kunwarara north of Rockhampton.

They don’t come from a rural background but came in to Beef Australia’s People’s Day to take a look around.

BEEF AUSTRALIA 21: Darryl Clare from CQUni's Brisbane campus demonstrates 3D printing technologies
BEEF AUSTRALIA 21: Darryl Clare from CQUni's Brisbane campus demonstrates 3D printing technologies

Mr Clare is here to demonstrate how 3D printing can prove helpful on remote and rural properties.

He can print any special sized spanner in about an hour, for example, or make custom pipe clamps.

Whatever you need that can get you out of trouble, there’s millions of patterns you can download quickly,” he said.

“The filament I’m using in this enclosed space is actually made of cornstarch so it doesn’t produce any fumes, but there some carbon fibre filaments which are super strong.”

The smallest printer Mr Clare brought with him costs under $400 and the largest nearly $800, while the cost of filament to make a scanner would only be about one dollar.



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