Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Laser Cut Market Day Projects

This was another project from our 2023 School Market Day.  In this example students combined their interest and enjoyment of Basketball and the NBA and designed items that were small enough to work in conjunction with Croc Shoes - jibbitz.  

These items were produced easily on the laser cutter and didn't take more than a few minutes to produce which the students were able to use by using the GIMP. The students created an NBA style jersey and then put a number associated with a particular popular player from that team.

We also had a another group of our senior students who used the industrial laser cutter to take a series of images and pictures and engrave them onto MDF as display pieces.   Some of these have local importance or significance to the students.

Once cut on the laser cutter the students then needed to wipe down the prints and prepare them for sale.  They opted to sell these as shown, without packaging or presenting them further.

School Market Day 2023 - Official Video


We have an amazing person at our school who produces fantastic media related to the school and our events. This is the official video for our School Market Day 2023 which shows a range of the products that our students made.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Using the Vinyl Printer/Sticker Machine: School Market Day 2023

We have addressed the fact that our school has a number of significant items that we are able to use for our students and school events.

Two of these items were used significantly for our 2023 School Market Day, being the HP Latex 335 Printer and the Versa Studio Sign maker Machine.

The larger vinyl prints were made on the HP an example is shown left where the students documented the innovation process and took photographs at each stage of their learning.  They were able to print this poster off and display their learning as part of the market day experience.  This helped shared the learning and creative process with members of the community who came to view the market day.   These prints were extremely large.

The Versa machine was able to produce much smaller prints in a vinyl sticker format that the students used for the packaging of their products.  When combined with the Laser Cutter designing MDF cuts to back the work onto it produced a ready made stand for the display of the work.

The students were able to independently produce the prints using Pic Collage and then convert them for printing using their individual iPads.

Each of the students from the classroom was able to create a unique presentation (as shown left) another bonus was that as it was vinyl the dye used to stain the MDF could be applied after the sticker had been put in place.  This just required the sticker to be wiped down if any dye had moved onto the design.

Another use of the HP Printer was to work in conjunction with some of the Gala games that were run by out senior students at school.   These traditional games had an ideal opportunity to use technology to aide in their creation and advertising and explain the rules of the games.    We had previously contacted some local real estate agents to ask for signs that they did not use and also had sourced some corrugated cardboard for the purpose.  This turned out to be extremely important as it allowed us to have signs that could survive if the weather was slightly inclement - which is was on the night.

It also meant the signs were robust enough to survive some significant wind gusts (which again occurred on the night).   This allowed us to display the events and provide some eye catching graphics.

We were also able to produce the material for specific games that was more durable than would have been possible otherwise.   An example is the golf map shown with this photograph.   This was the target for a game involving throwing ping pong balls at each of the holes with a small prize for being successful.  As it was printed on vinyl it allowed the game to be played numerous times without concern that the game board would be damaged by the competition.

The HP Latex Printer allowed us to print the game board as a single sheet - although it had significant dimensions.

3D Printed Christmas Decorations - 2023

 Each year as a final project for the students we like to engage them by looking at designing Christmas Themed Ornaments that can be created and hung from a tree.   This is a common subject that the students can relate to, have experience with practical examples and it allows some customisation and individualisation of gifts and prints.     Again we have a sequence in place - using the main Tinkercad interface to look at design creation.

The size of the design varies - when we give the classroom of Y3/4 students a free design opportunity they tend to use the scribble command or the basic shapes that are from the main interface.   We print the first few runs of designs and then allow the students to look at their creations and refine, design and modify.

Students who have shown an aptitude or design class in the past we tend to push to come up with more complex designs.

In this instance shown left the print measures 50mm across and is 70mm high.  It is 5mm thick - the student has attempted a 'snowman' type design (interesting fact in our part of New Zealand it does not snow in Winter - we have Christmas at in summertime).

The student will refine and improve this design moving forward and we look to challenge her to increase the degree of difficulty.  The print took just over an hour to print on the default settings (including an infill inside the print of 15%).    We have been asked recently for the .stl files to be available for various prints - as we have stated in the past on this blog these files are the individual creations of the students from our school.    They are intended as ideas for educators and students to create their own individual 3D Printed designs.   If you have a particular interest in a file you can potentially email the teacher ( and I can make it available,

Finally as this blog has been running now for nearly ten years (!) we have a large amount of material available from previous years Christmas themed prints.   You can search the entire blog using the search function on the left or look at the links below which reflect some particular work from previous years:

Sunday, November 26, 2023

School Market Day 2023 - Laser Cut Projects


Our 2023 School Market Day was held on Friday evening where our school had a Gala Night and in addition to this our students were running businesses with the theme of 'innovation' and the expectation that our students were using some of the technology that is available to our students in a creative way.

We have detailed a number of these projects and groups on this blog from our own classroom (in the junior school with students who are seven and eight years old).  Our school of two hundred students includes students who are Year Seven and Year Eight, who are up to twelve and thirteen years old.   An example is the group shown left.   They developed a series of boxes that were based around the use of the school laser cutter (we have an industrial sized one in a room at the back of the school).   The boxes shown in the photo were all produced by the students and the large sign at the front detailed the production process - this in itself was printed on our vinyl poster machine - A1 size.

Our junior students - who are five and six years old while too young to use the laser cutter independently used it to create the dream catchers shown left.  The laser cutter cut out the shapes for the bases and the students then individually decorated them by painting them and applying a range of materials to the dream catcher to aide their presentation.

The production process was shown in the photographs of the students making the designs and the finished product so that parents could see the creations.  We also applied sold stickers in order to allow the display to remain intact for the community to view the dream catchers rather then have them removed when they were sold.

Our senior students were able to use their DPE projects as a potential business.   Our students once a week complete their own Technology Classes as part of this program there is a DPE (Design Production Engineering) in this series of workshops students build their own speakers, as featured on this blog.  This group shown left designed boxes as shown but further developed their businesses by producing inserts (shelves and storage) on the inside for the boxes.  The two sizes shown cost the public eight dollars (for the smaller one on the left) and twelve dollars for the one on the right.   This wood used was a MDF composite which was used with the laser cutter cutting on the design and the different pieces and the students were responsible for assembling all of the parts and putting it together.   Further details about this product including the instructions will be posted later on this blog.

We had several groups of students have aspects of their business involved the production of coasters.  We have previously shown examples on this blog about one of the groups, a group of middle school students (Y5/6) who had a particular interest in NBA Basketball teams and logos created a themed series of coasters relating to popular teams.   They were able to have discussions about the Logo and using the insignia of a playing team and what they could and couldn't do related to then selling them.   They were able to work with a group of senior mentors who helped them using GIMP to complete the creation process.

We also used the laser cutter to develop a series of Gala Games that the student could be involved in running.  We used the laser cutter to precision cut the designs for the games such as Cornhole shown left.   The tables for this were laser cut which allowed there to be variation of the size of the hole (the junior one in addition to allowing the students to throw from a closer distance also had a larger target area.

Finally we used our Vinyl Printer to produce A1 sized posters with the rules and details of the games and activities.   Creating them on this machine meant that they were waterproof and could be displayed easily to not only show the students learning process but also display in this case the rules of the game.  We are going to feature this project in a seperate post on this blog.

We have a considerable amount of material related to this major school event and we will start the process of posting the activities and the creations during the remainder of the school year.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Student Market Day - Laser Cut Tiles and Packaging

We have detailed on this blog in the past that the students at our school have the use of and access to a free standing Laser Cutter (an example of our school one is shown on the link here).   We have used this for a variety of projects such as coasters, or laser cut boxes for our school, and in particular this year for our School Market Day.

Another project that has been completed by our students is using the Laser Cutter to engrave on tiles - an example is shown left with the Piwakawaka shown left.   While the students did not create the image this in theory would be possible.  

We have a group of senior students using their use of the Laser Cutter to create MDF/Bamboo backing for the 3D Prints that the students from our junior classroom have created.   These prints (a mixture of original prints and online located and sourced) have then had the students use the Roland Versa Sign Maker to create
 a unique and creative sticker for this business.

You can see the full evolution of the packaging shown here on the left in a variety of designs from the classroom.

The MDF has been cut to a general size to suit the designs - the students have then used Pic collage and Brand Maker to create a logo themed for their business.   The Roland Versa Sign Maker has then printed the stickers which have been attached.   The MDP (which is 130mm wide) has then been decorated with dye as shown.

As always we feel compelled to mention that this is a junior class of students completing this work.  The students in New Zealand are Y3/4 which places their age as 8 and 9 year old students - many using technology that is mentioned with either support from senior students (who are Year 7 and Year 8) or using technology independently for the first time. 

One of the aspects of the students learning that we want to share is the process that the students have been through.  We have shown examples of the students completing this as we prepare for Market Day.

We have taken examples and printed these on another of our school resources our large HP Vinyl Printer.   These are then being mounted on corrugated cardboard and being put on display with the students work.   This will allow members of the public to view the entire process.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Roland Versa Studio Sign Maker BN-20


This is another example of how we are using another significant piece of school technology, in this case it is the Roland Versa Studio Sign Maker.

The business that is relatively advanced in our Y3/4 class has been the 'Fancy Dogs' articulated toy dogs and one of the challenges has been to keep this student challenged to make additional parts of her business going since she completed the 3D Print part of the business some time ago.

In this instance the student used Pic Collage, which is one of key creation apps at school on her iPad in conjunction with Brand Crowd to produce her logo.  It was then converted into printing on the printer.   It has produced a range of adhesive labels that are commercial grade which the student is then using to fix directly to the MDF which she is then using to display her product.  This produces a nice finish and enhances the overall product.

Once this had been successfully completed a number of the other students followed this lead - again they were taking a design which they had created and using the technology present in the school to enhance its viability and presentation.

We have also the ability to produce these on a smaller scale for niche businesses or organisations that might potentially not be able to justify or afford a larger scale run.

This is shown in the example on the bottom left where a student whose parents have connections to a local club sourced the logo and created a sticker specifically for that group.