Cal State Dominguez Hills students recently got to build the cars of their childhood dreams – in a 3D lab.
Students from the university’s Center for Innovation in STEM Education built 3D replicas of cars drawn by children – ages 4 to 15 – for Toyota’s Dream Car USA Art competition.
The art competition allows children to explore their imagination by drawing fantastic cars straight out of their wildest dreams. The CSUDH, near Carson, brought some of the winning entries from the 2021 competition to life.
“The Dream Car Art Contest encourages young people to dream of the future of mobility, and CSU Dominguez Hills students helped bring that dream to life for last year’s contest winners,” Michael R. Medalla, director of the Toyota USA Foundation, said in a statement. “Through this activity, the students received hands-on learning to further develop their skills, and we are so amazed at what they were able to accomplish.”
The team spent about eight months in the school’s fabrication lab, which includes 3D printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters, 3D modeling software, an electronic workbench and other tools, according to the school website.
The students participated in the entire process – from planning to production – using the tools of the fab lab to print, cut and create these replica cars.
“When I first saw the drawings, I thought, ‘Where do I start?’ said Maritza Trujillo, one of the CSUDH students who worked on the project. “There were so many little details. With the help of the members of my group, everything went very well.
Now that the project is complete, the models are on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles and will remain there until March 27.
“When people visit the museum, I hope they can see our hard work and dedication to this project,” said Nicol Funes, a technician in the school’s fabrication lab. “It’s a great way to show people what we can do here. Hopefully this project will help expose more kids to STEM fields and lead them to explore STEM majors on their own.
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.