Carson teen uses school project to help family farm

Published: Jul. 5, 2017 at 6:40 PM CDT
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Some kids build tree houses. Kurt Muggli wanted to build a plasma cutter.

"It was something I wanted to build for a long time and I saw it online. It just kind of gave me the excuse to get started or get going at it,” said Muggli.

He got his chance to build a CNC plasma cutter as part of a class with the Missouri River Area Career and Technical Center. Kurt's project was the result of the class "Genius Hour", where students were given time to work on any kind of project that interested them.

"It's something we couldn't do before, like it wasn't even possible for us to cut metal out like that. And it allows us to do more stuff on the farm and not outsource the job or pay somebody else to do it,” said Muggli.

Buying a commercial grade plasma cutter could cost as much as 10,000 dollars. Using his 3D printer, Kurt built his for about $200. Dale Hoerauf, the director of the career and tech center, says this class is about providing kids with useful skills.

"The ability to be able to design or come up with something at the last minute, kind of like that MacGuyver thing, you know you can really just kind of fix it and be able to do that. That kind of critical thinking and exploring is what I think all this can lead to,” said Hoerauf.

And if a part breaks, Kurt says that won't be an issue.

"If you cut one part out, you have the file saved forever. So if I need to go back and cut more parts out, it's as easy as clicking a button,” said Muggli.

Which will keep the farming going another day. There were 47 kids from 12 different schools in the class last semester.