Friday, July 3, 2020

3D Printing: Developing More Details with Work in Progress

 Left: Stationary holders [in progress].   The students have worked on producing more completicated and larger scale prints, and started experimenting with using spray paint to aid the decoration.  The other thing that we have been trying to instill with the students is the need to personalise the designs and make sure that they have a purpose for the design. 

In these instances here the studenet had met both of these key elements to his print.  He has utilized Tinkercad to use the pre-determined created designs but has included his name on the base, simply a matter of adding the text and also an emoji next to it.   Furthermore the student concerned has strong ideas about what he wants to do with the design and print to personalise it further.

Left: Oversized Key Ring
 In the second print the students were designing and creating an oversized keyring as a gift for a staff member to ensure that they didn't loose their classroom key.   The original design was created in white, the students hadn't checked the exact wording of the teachers name (hence the subtle adjustment).   They also made adjustments in the thickness of the print to ensure that it was more manageable.  We have printed designs like this in an effort to ensure that they were not lost or placed in a adult or teachers pocket.  This was not one of them.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

3D Printed Unique Key Ring

Challenge: For a nine year old to create an original design from scratch.
Background: This student was keen to involve himself in 3D Printing and wanted a gift for a family member who had a specific interest in farming and diggers.   They were looking at ways to include design and challenge.    With this design the brief was for a farming digger. 

There was no basic digger design that was available for use from the student so the student concerned designed one from basic shapes available on the main Tinkercad Design portal.   The geometric shapes were linked together to create the image.   The student needed a specific shape for the scoop and having tried various combinations of regular shapes decided to use the 'scribble' icon to custom make the shape.   From here it was a basic addition of a font to label the design for the person it was intended for.   The rectangular shape of the base was intended to use the block as a child (three year olds) toy.   It was intended as something for the child to play with.   It was an introduction to show this particular student the potential creativity that was possible with the 3D Printer.
Degree of Difficulty: Low - this is the students first attempt of the 3D Printer.

Size: 140mm across, 160mm high.   The design is also 20mm thick.   In hindsight this part of the design could well have been reduced - the student who designed it was thinking about their cousins age and making sure the block was robust enough. 

Timeframe: Ten Hours - this is reflective of the size of the print.

What we would do differently/Next steps for students:
The student was very pleased with his first attempt to produce something with the 3D Printer there is much more complex designs and projects to come from this student.   They have simply used the printer to create soemthing with encouragement.

Monday, June 29, 2020

3D Printed Stationary Holder: Developing the next level of prints

Challenge: To take a standard 3D Printed stationary stand and combine PLA (prints) and add additional features and designs to increase the appeal of the overall print.
Background: Students are well versed in producing considerably large prints to serve as stationary holders or desk tidy items for the students.   The design of these come as premade or students are able to use Tinkercad to quickly take some of basic shapes and group them, creating a stand using the basic shapes (as shown in the photograph on the left).    The student responsible for this design is a nine year old Y5 student who has self taught himself to identify projects that he could complete with his developing skillset.   He is using Tinkercad in the classroom where appropriate but also in his own time at home to come up with designs such as this which he is subsequently bringing into the
classroom - the teacher role at this point is to check the prints, discuss the intention or purpose of the prints and press the print button.  It is not to create the project or direct the students. 

The challenge for the student is not to create in this instance - it is to challenge the student capable of producing a product like this and look towards combing PLA, spray painting the PLA and adding the addition of 'wow' factors.   The student is going to combine this print with PLA combinations, with spray painting and include LED lighting in the design.

Degree of Difficulty: High - this print design is going to be the first layer of the print, with a combination of as much as possible additional features.  The intention has always been to push this student who has shown talent to apply himself.
Size: The print measures 120mm across.   The print base is 10mm thick.   The tallest of the towers for storage of stationary items is 90mm high.    The smallest of the towers is 30mm.   
Timeframe: Sixteen hours to print this design.   This is the base of the design and does not include the time for the additional features that are going to be added.   Given the scale of the print this is the minimum sort of timeframe possible with this technology and hardware set up.

What we would do differently/next step for students: The student will be pushed to develop additional features and creative aspects of this design, not limited to different PLA, spray painting and adding LED lights to the design.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Misc 3D Printed Projects - Term 2: 2020

The return to school in New Zealand this term, and a return to regular classroom programs has allowed the students to be back designing and creating in the classroom (the 3D Printer used to create everything on this site is a single Ultimaker 2+ which is why there are colour themes for particular print runs.   We felt to due every print justice that we would feature a few individually and also put up a sequence of some of the others.   These are a selection of prints that our students are currently working on.
A basic design, with plenty of examples and exemplars on this site, allowing someone to create something (following a tutorial created last year as a 'Flipped' video by ten year old students) which is functional and allowing someone to be successful and design something at their first attempt.

The print took two and a half hours to print included a small amount of rafting (which was just the outside outline as shown.   No refinements etc were required.

A second student designed something similar and independent of the other student.   The student is nine years old and working with Tinkercad for the first time. 

They were given a 1:1 explanation of how to use this by another student who was able to follow these verbal instructions and produce this print.   The print took two and a half hours to complete was 100mm across, 90mm high and 5mm thick.   The student was extremely pleased with the design and wanted to use white as a base colour and then spray paint at least two colours over the top.

This student has shown an interest in design and creation and wanted to customise this design to hold stationary.   On production of the print and trying it with various items of stationary the student made the decision that it would be more suitable for a container that allowed her to store her jewellery and in particular her earings, so had a change of purpose for that.

Design took four hours to print and was done so with minimal PLA.   The student was extremely pleased with this design and creation which was her first independent design.

3D Printed Sign Update: Two Years Later!

Background: In August 2018 a student was tasked with designing a numbering system for the school in the event of an emergency.   The student designed and printed a series of numbers to represent each of the classrooms to the school.   These were printed with mounting holes inside them to allow the numbers to be placed on a wire fence for an outside area.

The numbers were placed in a position that left them completely exposed to the elements without any protection from the weather.    The project is now nearing two years since it was completed.   The numbers themselves have remained in place - with the exception of one number that had a soccer ball kicked into it and it broke at one point.   The prints themselves however have shown no evidence of any damage as a result of being exposed outside, there is a little loss of colour of the filament but other than this they have remained in place and held up remarkably well.

You can see the original post about this task here by clicking on this link, a further update was made in January of 2019 which you can click on here.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Custom Making 3D Printed Solar Panel Stands

Challenge: To produce a custom made design to hold a solar panel (that is tilted to increase exposure to sunlight) that is flexible and adaptable to meet the needs for an electronics project with specific dimensions.
Background:   Over the course of lockdown there have been few posts on this blog.   A lot of time and energy has gone into the COVID19 lockdown situation and also working on the Sound Lure Project that was started in 2019.   3D Printing has a special role to play in this project as the students and the classroom are focussing on a major local and regional project (including partnership funding and details) with a number of external groups.   Full details of this project can be located at the specifc project blog:    Essentially the component parts for this project are being created specific to the pieces used (for instance the speakers for the various sound lures are all different sizes so creating a new box for each different speaker has been a matter of creating a master and then changing dimensions to meet the size of the speaker.   For the
solar panel a simialr requirement was needed to be met.

In this case it was a single sized solar panel, needing to be raised up to decrease the ability for water to pool on the panel (to protect the connection points on the back of the device) that would be stable.    This is the first design in this process with a student who is producing independently for the first time.    A effort to minimise the amount of rafting or PLA that needs to be removed as supports is intended, so this is very much the first prototype of a series until the criteria can be met.

This print took eleven hours, by reducing the amount of PLA, by flipping the design and removing the need for supports that serve no purpose this should be halved at the least.   The student designed wanted to build supports but the base as it is is able to remain upright.

In conversations about the purpose and the aim of the print the student has made some significant adjustments and the next version is about to be designed.  We have highlighted the improvements in the process to show the adaptability of the printer in this case.
Degree of Difficulty: Medium - the adaptability is key otherwise the design itself needs to be able to applied to a basic task - which is simply holding the solar panel in an upright position to maximise sunlight to ensure that the unit is attatched to the sound lure, to ensure that the unit can charge as much as possible.
Timeframe: Eleven Hours - this needs to be reduced considerably, as there is excessive PLA as a result of the unit requiring rafting to be supported.   We are experimenting with flipping the stand so that we print it on its side, which should mean there is minimum rafting required for the print. 
What we would do differently/next steps for the students: This project and this 3D Printing example are designed to get the students thinking, get the students motivated and working again on a significant project which the 3D Printing is ideally suited for.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

3D Printing - Expanding on initial projects

Above: Design shown from above
Challenge: Once students have mastered the concept of producing basic designs and ideas how can they move onto more challenging designs and prints.
Background: This student has shown an aptitude in design and creation, so we have been encouraging her by giving her the lattitude and opportunity to create larger designs with differing purpose.   This design reflected that, for while it appears to be another straight copy of the badge design, using scribble to create the picture, which in essence it is, the student created a significant rectangular lip or frame around the outside of the design.  This had the affect of allowing the design to independently stand on its edge, and balance it.    The student had been using Dash and Dot Robots, as part of a task to code and was looking to expand on something to integrate with that.  Once this design was completed and created the student was using it conjunction with the robot, and had the idea to create a series of targes for the robot to be coded to come into contact with.  The student is intending to colour code the targets, with different point values/phrases for the robots based around the difficulty to get them. 
The same thing could also be created as a target systyem for a form of rocket launcher or technology challenge, as the 3D Printer could easily target a class set of targets or students could develop their own game as a result.  The pieces being 3D Printed are extremely durable, well made and virtually indestructable. 
Degree of Diffculty: Low/Medium - the dimensions etc just determined by the purpose.  You can always spray paint the PLA when finished or actually print it out as different colours.
Timeframe: Six and a half hours - this is not suitable as a badge etc due to its increased dimensions, having said that for the School PE Shed we did exactly this on purpose three years ago (its too big for the students or the staff to easily put the key into their pocket, hence they tend to return it to the location where its suppossed to be,
You could reduce the idea of targets to something smaller but we want to be able to hit them.
What we would do differently next steps for the students: This was produced with a hole in the top right hand corner we would remove this as it serves no purpose.