Saturday, November 27, 2021

Ongoing Student Projects: November 2021


Left: We have a group of boys in class who have a particular interest in MotorX and Dirt Bike racing.  To engage them with the use of the 3D Printer in the classroom we used Thingiverse to locate some 3D printed practical parts for the motorbike - in this case it was an exhaust plug.   While usually students need to develop something original to use the 3D Printer this was a good positive example which I felt the students would be able to replicate and adapt depending on the size of the print.  We found an entire range of accessories on Thingiverse - more so than available on Tinkercad.   Students are now adapting the designs to suit their own bikes.

Left: As detailed extensively on this blog we have another group of students who are using commercial engravers rubber to combine with the 3D Printer to create a series of stamps that are unique to local clubs, organisations and the students themselves.

These projects are ongoing with the intention that the students will be capable of running the entire projects from start to finish.

This is another independent project with a particular person in mind, or having the object designed for.  This was started prior to a COVID-19 break and the idea is to have the project completed before Christmas as a family gift.

The students have experimented with combing three seperate prints together to form one complete print, with three aspects to it.   There is intended to be no input from the teacher and the nine and ten year olds are currently on schedule to complete the entire print themselves.  In this instance the person the print is for is being very particular about its design, forcing a number of reprints from the students.  This has been a very positive experience as it is forcing the students to consider someone elses input and direction and then having to adapt their print as required.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

3D Printed Stamps: Further Examples and Works in Progress

We have a number of students who are working on the 'stamp' project that is currently being developed.  In this project we are using the 3D Printer to produce the base and plate for a stamp, including having the name of the person or the organisation clearly marked on the base and then we are using a laser cutter to produce from engravers stamp rubber a laser cut of the stamp design.

Students were asked to choose either a personal stamp or one for an organisation that they were part of or had an association with, as shown by the local rugby club on the left.

The handle and base have been designed as a single print in Tinkercad by students who are ten and eleven years old with limited experience in 3D Printing.   This is then combined with the use of Inkscape to produce a laser cut template which is then cut into the engravers rubber (which was sourced from a speciality engravers shop.    The use of Inkscape has allowed the logo of the organisation to be imported directly into the printing progress without it having to be adapted or created separately.   

The size was left up to the students but the adage that 'bigger is better' was applied to this particularly with the lettering as this was clearly visible in the larger scale prints while it was just holding itself together in the smaller scale prints as seen below by 'Jackie'.    The connection between the top of the stamp and the design on the rubber has developed as well as the students have abandoned the idea of just repeating the
same design twice and instead focussed on having two seperate prints/designs - one at the base and one on the handle/design.   

The prints have ranged in length from three to six hours and the designs have varied in size, the Opunake Surf Club design being effectively twice the size of the 'Coastal Rugby' one.   

Once the process of the laser cutting of the base rubber has been completed the two designs will be combined, via superglue and the design and process will be complete.

This level of project would not feasibly be completed by a classroom due to the length of time that would need to be combined to successfully complete all the prints in the series.    Further updates in the process will continue and be detailed here.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

3D Printed Earrings - Six Minutes: Pacman Ghosts

Challenge: Earrings designed with a ghost theme - the ghost from Pac Man.

Background: This is a complimentary task from yesterday where the theme was continued.  Yesterdays print involved a Pac Man design that the student was creating for a earrings business.   With the task today she was looking to complement the design with something else - hence the use of the ghost from Pac Man.   All of the other details for this post are similar to yesterdays work - and therefore don't need to be repeated as such.

Level of Difficulty: Low - the student had the idea right from the start of the process was focussed on what she wanted to print and was able to articulate and work through a design process without any assistance from the classroom teacher whose job was simply to print the completed design.    As should be obvious but the subject choice lent itself to a minimum of detail.   

Size: At 30mm across this was one of the smallest prints that the student had attempted this however fitted in with the idea of having a small easily produced print that would serve a purpose.   The student opted to not make the earrings any biggest as a result.

Timeframe: Six minutes for the two earrings, which came in at three minutes each.

What we would do differently/next step for the students:  Once the student had completed the print the student decided to combine the pac man from yesterday with one of the ghosts into a set (instead of having two of each so one was chasing the other.   A key aspect of making this successful will be the decoration - the student is looking to locate a classic bright yellow spray and red for pac man and the ghost respectively.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

3D Printed Earrings - In Three Minutes!


Challenge: Student wanted to create a 3D pair of earnings designing them using the printer.

Background: This student has strong ideas and creativity and has been responsible for a series of significant prints that have been shared via this blog in the past two years.    They also have a small side business selling and designing jewellery.   She has been talking for a while about using the 3D Printer to design items of jewellery and follow it being fixed attempted a basic design.  She came to the process with a strong design idea about what would would, what it might look like and the dimensions that she wanted.

The issue with the print was simply the design process and having the student using a different medium.   She presently used clay and bakes it - using the 3D Printer allows her to work with a different medium.    The initial print in this series was constructed and printed in eight minutes for both earrings.  The design was based on pac man, from the Pac man game.  Tinkercad was used to create the design, a small emphasis was placed on using a circle to locate the eye and a hole was made for the earring links.

The printer being used for this project is the Ultimaker 2+ with a 8mm nozzle and standard PLA.

Level of Difficulty: Low - this is a very simple design that translated well in the first stage to a design.    Other than the mounting of the hole inside the design there was a small degree of difficulty.

Size: 40mm across and 3mm thick.   This is the first exploratory print using the printer to design earrings and the student will come with a variety of sizes that will follow.

Timeframe: Six minutes - that is a total print time with a 20% infill - making this quite possibly the shortest and smallest print that has been ever featured on this blog in six years.   The potential for this is huge, as an entire class of students could easily complete the project in a short time frame.

What we would do/next steps for the students: This is the first in what one would expect to a large number of projects.  The student is intending to spray paint the earrings yellow, to make sure that it is clearly visible as a Pac Man and then either apply black paint with a small brush or use vivid.   The student is going to spend time researching the original figure and then adjusting the print to reflect features such as the mouth and its angle, position of the eye and then position of the hole for the attachment.   The student is also going to look at the infill - this has the standard infill of 20% and the intention is to try different levels of this to modify the print.

This potentially would be a great class project given that individual design students could complete the entire print in under ten minutes.

3D Printed and Laser Cut Stamp

Challenge: A student wanted to create an original and customised (for themselves) stamp.

Background:  A version of this project was completed last year.    A student who had an interest in completing this project used the project, detailed on this blog here as their template.   This was a student who had some 3D Printing experience but wanted to stretch themselves further by designing something that was different but had a purpose.   They had seen the previous effort from last year, had an interest in craft related matters and were keen to produce a working stamp.   Previously we had created the entire object using a 3D Printer and made the stamp element from a print as well, however we decided that the quality needed to be improved.   The answer to this was found in the use of a laser cutter to cut rubber.  We purchased this from an engraving shop, who had engraving rubber that could be used with the laser cutter and were able to cut the rubber which produced a quality print for the students.

Level of Difficulty: Medium.   The student was able to produce the handle and base including the design of their name, and their heart at the first attempt.  There was rafting about the base of the design, as shown in the photo that was easily able to be removed with pliers giving the finish shown.  The student is eleven years old.

Size: The base of the print measure 90mm wide, 60mm deep and was 5mm high.   The handle was a total heigh of 35mm

Timeframe: Two hours to complete the print, the rafting that was required couldn't be avoided to have a working handle as part of the design.   Given the dimensions and purpose the print this would be near the minimum to have an effective design.  

What we would do differently/Next Steps for Student: The obvious next step is the laser cutting.  We purchased the rubber at a small price as an A4 sheet, which would be enough to produce ten stamps easily so its realistic to consider that a class set (assuming 25 students) could be produced during a week of printing, using a single machine.   The positive aspect of this for us is that the student herself has managed the entire project, designed the print was happy with the result and the design via Tinkercad matched expectations (sometimes elaborate prints do not translate well in terms of finish or purpose).

The other thing to consider is the age of the technology that we are using to complete this project.   The Ultimaker 2+ is a recondition printer that is seven years old now, it produces reliable basic prints which are useable in the classroom.

If you are producing prints inspired by this post or have produced posts similar we would love to hear about it and have you share it with us via this blog or by emailing the teacher in charge.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

3D Printed Customised Spider - Prototype

Challenge: As part of the art project that students are currently involved in the students are creating an original 3D Print to complement the wire art design.   

Background: This student in question with this design considered himself to be a capable student able to create unique designs from scratch and targeted producing a spider to work in combination with his art.    The student researched potential spiders that would be present on the plant and spent time researching the spider, before making a detailed sketch of its key features and likeness.    The student then switched to Tinkercad for the design of the animal.    The student used the main interface to produce the shapes and legs, as shown left.    One issue was discovered when the PLA support rafting was removed - the thickness of the legs relative to the main print caused on of the legs to snap off - which will need to be addressed by the student moving forward.   

There are a couple of options that we have used when this issue has developed previously, one would obviously to thicken the width and connection points of the legs - the second is to print the legs separately from the main print and attach them separately.

Level of Difficulty: High.   The student has had to conduct research into the insect/animal that they are printing spending time identifying its key features and sketching it in detail.  This detail has then been transferred across to Tinkercad taking into account the design of the arachnid to represent it correctly to scale.    This is going to take several reprints to correct the detail and address issues that have developed as a consequence of the print such as the issue that has been identified with the spiders legs.   This is the kind of project to challenge a confident student rather than to challenge someone just developing their ideas.   Student is eleven years old.

Size: The main body of the arachnid measures 12cm (120mm) long and was 6cm (60mm) across.  In addition to this the print was 50mm high.    This is actually considerably bigger than the actual size of this spider - the student had increased its size considerably and didn't realise that until the print was complete.

Timeframe: Two and a half hours - this is by far the largest print and subsequently had the longest time out of any of the projects in this sequence.  As noted the size of the spider is incorrect, and needs to be downsized meaning the print time will be subsequently reduced.

What we would do differently/next step for students: As noted there are issues with the print that needs to be addressed - not to sound repetitive but the legs and overall size.    The students has clear ideas about how to proceed with the decoration and additional features that might be added to the print.

Friday, August 13, 2021

3D Customised Art Insects

Challenge: For an art design project/sculpture project created by the students to create and 3D design an insect that would work in conjunction with the art display.

Background: Using an Ultimaker 2+ as a printing tool, using Tinkercad as a design tool the students first sketched a diagram of an insect that was related to a plant that they were making that was constructed from wire - for instance a dragonfly with a cactus.    The students in the classroom were confident with using the 3D Printer having completed the introductory tasks that are listed on this blog.   The insects were designed by the ten and eleven year old students using the basic interface design and additional tools.    Students were concentrating on producing a print that was to scale so the print time for all of the insects or animals described here did not exceed twenty minutes and some of the smaller ones were under ten minutes.    

The students brief was to use the 3D Printer to design the insect/animal and additional features of the insects would be added once the creations had been spray painted.    Some of the smaller aspects of the insects are going to be added using additional media, such as wire for the antenna.

Level of Difficulty: Medium there are a variety of designs and creations in this sequence all of which have slightly different aspects.   These designs were all created by students who have used Tinkercad before and were confident in their abilities.   The final design of the plants themselves (such as the cactus shown on the left) is still to be completed so the size o the plants may be altered.   

Size: All of the prints were as close to the possible of the size of the actual insect - so they ranged from a few centimetres to the largest in this sequence which was the dragonfly.   This was 10cm long.  Some of the smaller designs, such as the Ladybugs shown on the left were only two or three centimetres across.

Timeframe: These prints did not take the typical length of time that are listed on this blog, this is primarily because of the scale of them.   By far the longest in the set was the dragonfly which came in at fifty minutes, as mentioned the smaller ones in the series were under ten each.

What we would do differently/Next Steps for the students: Using spray paint to decorate a number of the insects will be key to finishing their details and design.    Once a base coat has been applied additional details can be added to finish the designs.  The students also have been challenged to produce the insects to scale to complete the art design so there is potential to adjust some of the prints - given the length of time for each one and the PLA involved this is not a particularly major deal.