Student Spotlight: How One Student is Crafting His Own World
Independent Study student Dante M. came to Visions in 2019, wanting a more fluid educational experience compared to his brick and mortar middle school. With rigorous learning opportunities, an open schedule and a smoother workflow, Dante found that the freedom and flexibility of Visions perfectly suited his work style.
“Independent study helps keep my schedule open,” says Dante. “Having the freedom to do the work and get it done whenever I need to get it done sets lots of motivation for me.”
Dante has also received continuous support from his teachers, who have helped him manage his assignments and simplify his course load. His counselor, Jen Nino, has also supported Dante by ensuring he stays on track to graduate.
“My teachers and counselors have been all wonderfully supportive and helpful along the way,” shares Dante. “Jen…was also a big help in figuring out what I needed to graduate, all my extracurriculars classes [and] even my Directed Project.”
A Blueprint for Success
Speaking of Directed Projects, Dante was able to use his project to explore one of his favorite hobbies – 3D printing. Something that he’s been interested in for the last few years, Dante has made everything from anatomical hearts to dragon skulls to robots.
“My first big project was a life size model of a Five Nights at Freddy’s character, which I fully put together and custom painted,” explains Dante. “My second biggest finished project [was] a sword from Elden Ring. It took one day to print for the blade and was almost $50 worth in resources all together. It being done in resin [3D printing] made it sturdy and have a beautiful crimson red translucent blade with a custom painted and traditional wrapped hilt by me. Definitely one of the more stunning and large prints I have done.”
With the flexibility in his schedule, Dante is able to dedicate his time to researching and perfecting the art of 3D printing. With so many different machines, printers and programs, figuring out how to best create his pieces is no easy task.
“I have been mainly teaching myself the 3D printing parts…or searching up ideas [and] solutions to parts of the machine or programs I deal with when making the files and prepping the prints,” explains Dante. “Where it actually gets tricky is the modeling after printing and the gluing, sanding, painting, heating [and] adhering. All of those skills either I find out on my own or I get mentorship from my mother who…has done many ‘from scratch’ projects that are considered on a professional level.”
Click through the photos below to see some of Dante’s work! From left to right: Plushtrap from the video game series Five Nights at Freddy’s, a miniature dragon skull model, a replica of a drone from the video game Rainbow 6 Siege, a replica of The Dragon Handle from the anime series Seven Deadly Sins