Indian Creek STEM Students Create 3-D Model of 1800’s Printing Press for "Newsies"

by Abbie Ellicott
One of the big challenges of producing Newsies was to build a printing press that realistically portrayed the news presses from the 1800s. Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) program students Adam Bizri '19, Sarah Hawes '21 and Olivia Boucher '21 volunteered for the job. Working together over many weeks, they created a 3-D model of a newspaper printing press for the show which was used to build the full sale press that you will see on stage in the production.

Adam took the lead on this challenge, by making a design for the news press based on similar presses that were constructed in the 1800s. He painstakingly created a 3-D prototype of a printing press so the group would have a visual model to use as a reference. (More information and a video of this 3D printed prototype can be found in this previous newsletter article.)

In developing the prototype, Adam calculated the specific measurements for the actual printing press, ensuring that the measurements were accurate to the nearest tenth of a millimeter. He developed an Excel spread sheet that included every individual part of the press, its model and full scale dimensions, and the size and amount of wood needed for construction. Sarah and Olivia joined Adam in working on the printing press at this point. The three students used Adam’s measurements to map out the different pieces of the printing press, which they then cut out and sanded. After screwing all the parts together, the students checked the gears numerous times to ensure that they were working properly. The final touch was to paint the press with a coat of metallic silver spray paint.

Click here to see a video of the Printing Press at work.

The 3-D model, which will be on display in the atrium during the Newsies performances, is precisely 1/20 of the dimensions of the full scale model, which is made of hard wood.

This project is a wonderful example of STEM and Arts collaboration at Indian Creek. Kudos to Adam, Olivia and Sarah for your initiative, creativity and hard work!