Saturday, January 19, 2019

Challenge: To create an original holder for white board markers for the school staff room.
Background: In the staff room we have a noticeboard.  As part of the notice board it requires whiteboard markers to operate it.  As the markers require something to hold them and to prevent teachers from removing the makers for their personal use.   There was already a specific hook in the staffroom however there was not a specific holder for the whiteboard makers.   This was an ideal task to create something to solve an issue, and while it was not personalized it was able to have a specific message for the purpose of the container, which reads "Do not remove from Staffroom".   The design needed to work in conjunction with the existing hook (which was a commercial MMM hook) hold the whiteboard markers securely.   This was designed by two students who have previously shown talent and creativity on a number projects using the 3D Printer.    This came as a design challenge by another member of staff.   Students were able to create this version which worked at the first attempt (see below for details about one part that did not).
Level of Difficulty: Medium - the design has a specific task to resolve a specific problem.    As a consequence there was little adaptability for the design - the hook had to be specific to fit the one that was there on the wall.   The inside of the holder needed to be specific in terms of depth and width to hold successfully whiteboard markers.   Obviously if these dimensions were not correct then the design would not meet its purpose.
Timeframe: Twelve hours - the design and size is all relative to the whiteboard makers and the purpose of the design.   Given that there was not much specific adaption possible this would be about right to complete the project.
Size: The print measured 110mm across and was 140mm high.   The storage part of the design was also reflected in this size.   This was all relative to the size of the whiteboard markers/hook.

Left: The part of the design that wasn't successful.   The internal storage part of the 3D Print as can be shown - there is clear failure of the printer to print as a solid line, without support or rafting.   This has happened from time to time and could have been solved by creating a support (internally for the design), however as it was the excess PLA was removed after the print had been completed and the holder served it purpose.
What we would do differently/Next steps for student: The main problem with the print was the internal support structure this could have been resolved by introducing either rafting, which then would have been removed after printing or creating a small support structure into the storage (for instance we could have divided the storage into two sections each holding a separate whiteboard maker).

Thursday, January 17, 2019

3D Printed School Number/Signs: Further Updates

Challenge/Background: On August 6th 2018 a student from the classroom produced a series of numbers to represent the classrooms of our school.    The numbers which are for emergency evacuation assembly have been attached to a outside fence and left directly exposed to the elements.   We have previously updated the conditions of these prints on this blog, and have again revisited them in the heat of summer in New Zealand. 

We have now reached the six month mark.   During this time we have had a multitude of weather directly affecting the numbers and they are in an open position on a fence next to a field with no coverage protection what-so-ever.   Given that there is no visible weather to the PLA plastic of the numbering, and very little evidence of the fading of the colouring of the numbers.   This can be illustrated by comparing one of the original prints as mounted on the wall six months ago, compared to a print that has been taken today.   Seen below there is very little evidence of weathering.

As shown today (Thursday 17th of January 2019).    There has been a close up of the print to show clearly that there is no evidence of cracking or any obvious discolouring of the orange colour of the original print.

As originally mounted on the fence in early August 2018.  As compared to print above you can clearly see the colour has been maintained and there is no obvious change in condition.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

3D Printed Exemplar Gift Box

Box shown from front with name dropped into the side
Challenge: To produce a box that would push the Ultimaker 2+ 3D Printer to its limit in terms of design features and size.
Background: At the end of the year one of the students who had been working on designs during the school year (which in New Zealand runs February to December) wanted to finish the year by producing something special.  He wanted to design a box that would test the limits of the 3D Printer in terms of design, such as features on it including size and a drop down lid.   The design was always going to be complex, large and detailed.  Originally it had been conceived as a Glow-in-the-Dark Filament print - however attempts to do so given the scale of the print were less than satisfactory so a change was made to go with a dark blue instead.   Each of the four panels of the box
had a design or a theme to it.  The designs were delibrately sunk into the base of the box to ensure that they looked as visually appealing as possible.    The lid was designed to work specifically in relation to the top of the box featuring a sunken lid design.   There was further personalisation with the lid and the handle. 

Left: Design on the second side of the box featuring a motorcycle. Some of the detailed required minute rafting removal. 
Above: Third side featuring Rugby
Level of Diffculty:   High - for an eleven year student with two years experience of 3D Printing design and creation, this student has shown time and time again that he has a talent for creation.   This sort of design is as difficult as it can get to be successful.

Timeframe: Thirty six hours for the printing of the box - which was completed with starting with a full roll of filament.   The lid took a further twelve hours.  Again this is not normal but rather a reflection of the scale of the design, there was significant 'rafting' in this design, each of the panels on each side of the box had a false

Above: the final panel with a goat.
Size:  As noted, in at attempt to push the printer to its limits the print was designed to make a large storage box.  This measured 140mm across (the base at the bottom) and was 140mm deep.  There was a significant lip at the top of
the box that was a 10mm square to allow for the drop down lid.   The box from top to bottom measured 100mm.   The width of the sides of the box was 15mm, with an edge of 5mm on the top of the box, the rest of the sides maintaining a 10mm width.   The lid for the top of the box reflected the dimensions of the base - it had a raised drop down lid which overlapped with the top of the edge of the box.   The lettering that dominated the top of the box was raised 10mm.   The handle used for the positioning of the top of the box was 45mm from the top of the lid. 
What we would do differently/Next steps for students: There was one or two slight issues created by the removal of the rafting, this created some marks visible in the final print (in the name panel and the motorcycle panel) these perhaps could have been larger.

Monday, December 17, 2018

3D Printing - Glow in the Dark School Keyring

Challenge: To use Glow-In-The-Dark 3D Printed Filament in a meaningful and creative way to produce a range of short term prints. 
Background: Completing the run of decorations based around Christmas Decorations for the past few weeks we wanted to move in the direction again of using Glow-In-the-Dark (or liumious PLA depending on the branding) to create an effect.    As such we targeted a couple of simple ideas that we have visited in the past, a keyring and a small badge, with the effect created by the filament to compensate for the basic nature of the design.    The student themselves initiaed the idea, a larger print was planned but the printing using the filament was not successful - the print was in the twenty five hour range and after one to two hours it was apparent the PLA would not produce a clean finish.  Level of Difficulty: Low- the idea here is to mass produce something relatively small that will show some creativity for visitors to the school that we can give them as a gift.  We also will tailor made the gift depending on the circumstances to represent local businesses or schools that might visit or we might have interaction with.   The basic design is very straightforward with a basic shape and simple lettering a hole placed for connection the kind of filament of course is the simple 'x factor' related to the print, Glow-In-the-Dark filament is something we've experienced some success with in the past.
Time Frame: Three Hours - the intention is to mass produce these as school related gifts and therefore the idea was to minimise the size - the object in question is designed to create a stir and the filament choice is the primary way to do so.
Size: Again - delibrately chosen as something that we are mass producing as a basic gift.  We therefore wanted to balance the purpose with the keyring being practical but not too large.  It was 5mm thick and was a square that was 50mm across and 50mm high. 
What we would do differently/Next Steps for Students: Having experienced using Glow-In-the-Dark filament before we are intending to run it through to the end of the spool and produce the same print repeadtely.   This is because after experiencing it in the past we have found information that shows it needs to be sealed when not on the machine.   If you don't then it degrades quickly and we want to utilize it as much as possible before this process occurs. 

Saturday, December 8, 2018

3D Printed Lettering Combined with Laser Cutting

Challenge: Student wanted to combine the lettering created with a 3D Printer with the use of the school laser cutter with the goal of producing something as a gift for Chirstmas.
Background: Student has shown excellence in use of 3D Printing in the Classroom.  While they are extremely gifted with design we have been trying to encourage to them to think about combining technologies and ideas.   In this case the student created the lettering first, and then used the school laser cutter to cut into MDF to create the background image.   The image came from a simple online search and took approximatley ten minutes to laser cut.  The lettering was created using Tinkercad from the main interface.   The 'Monty' lettering shown with the above photograph was 15mm high and measured 60mm across - taking forty minutes to print.  It was then superglued to the base.

Left: Further repeating the process the student added a coat of basic gold paint to the same process, the base was wood with MDF again and the lettering was a simple case of creating a basic Tinkercad Font design with lettering which were 20mm high and 40mm across. 

The laser cut aspect of the design took ten minutes for the cutting, the design itself was freely available online.

Left: Another similar design instead featuring a rabbit.  Again a similar process to the other designs, the student is using freely available designs or outlines of creatures (in this case the rabbit) and then painting it with a gold backing colour.   The student has gone with a 'Christmas Red' PLA to contrast with the 'gold paint' producing the red to stand out and for effect.

For the printing part of the name the default settings that you will be familar with on this blog apply.
 Next Steps for the Students: The student concerned has developed her use of the 3D Printer to an extremely high standard producing a significant body of work.   The next logical step to extend hereself is to look at combining the two technologies more on significant projects.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

3D Printed Cellphone Stand - Short Term Prints

Above: Design shown in profile
Challenge: Student wanted to create a specific object -  a stand for a cellphone that the student owned.  He wanted to personalize it and put a theme into its base.  This was his first ever print and the student involved is nine years old.
Background: As part of the process of designing 'Christmas' themed decorations in our classroom and now across the school, we also have been trying to expose students to the technology and getting them thinking about projects that they might be able to create to solve a problem or have a purpose to make something work that was currently needing to be completed.  This print came out of that as the student concerned wanted a stand for his cellphone and felt that it needed to be personalized.   As it was also part of a series of festive decorations the student decided to add the star and the Christmas Tree as shown above.   Also of note in the design was the way the name was
Above: Lettering clearly visible
created for the print.  The lettering was large and the student, despite it being his first ever print, wanted to have the lettering sunk down into the base of the design. All in all the student was producing a piece of work that had a specific purpose, it was their first ever design (for a nine year old) and the print was extremely successful. 
Level of Difficulty: Medium - this worked in unison with the sum of its parts.   The print worked perfectly for what it was, its one of those prints that is simple, but extremely effective and is successful that it appears to be straightforward (for instance a cellphone fits perfectly on this as a stand) but it requires a successful print to do so. 

Time frame: Four Hours- given the purpose of what was required this is the absolute minimum print time that would be required.   Testing of this stand with a regular cellphone had it working perfectly but with very little space either side of the phone, hence this would be an absolute minimum time required to complete the print.   There was not rafting what-so-ever with this print.
Size: The print was 75mm across and 70mm deep.   The block at the back for the leaning of the cellphone was 40mm high, 20mm wide and 75mm across.   Given the dimensions of a cellphone there is not more that could be reduced from this, obviously a slightly larger phone would require a larger base, this is perfect for a regular cellphone.
What we would do differently/next steps for students: This was a first attempt at a student producing something with a very specific goal in mind, as is mentioned throughout the print the student was extremely pleased.   The 'Christmas' theme of the design came about as it was created during the festive season, perhaps something less seasonal could have been designed. 

Friday, November 30, 2018

3D Printed Christmas Decorations - Final Run of Designs

 Left: A star designed from scratch.  Instead of using one of the star designs from the template design this student (who is a Y4 student designing for the first time) created a star design using the 'pencil' tool.   The font message on the design says '8 Xmas' in reference to the age of the creator.   He had assistance to create the hole for the hanging of the design from the tree.   Although the design could have been refined he was extremely happy with the result.  Print time to complete the project two hours. 

Left: This student decided to opt instead of producing a single print to create four separate designs on a smaller scale (that were also relatively straight forward and simplistic).   As the brief was to personalize the design the student in this case chose to write the name of their key family members across the front of the design.   Each design was 5mm thick and mainly 50mm across and 60mm high.  Given all this the print time was four hours, which was roughly an hour for each of the four key designs.   This was the students first major independent design, and as such no additional design or reprinting would be required as the brief was met,

Left: The student also peer modelled with a Y1 student (a five year old student).   The student was eager to repeat the process and personalize the decorations for herself, which is shown in the photograph to the left.    It was printed with a 'gold' PLA which was using the regular default settings on this site - a 20% infill for the print, using a 8mm nozzle to increase the print time at the sacrifice of the detail for the print. 

This design had slightly more depth to it than the one above and given the breif and plan there is no intention to reprint at this stage.

Left: Student completing the task choose to approach it by using a square block as the basis for the design.  The student then selected a basic font for the naming, used two simple illustrations for the base of the design and inserted into the top of the design a easy access way to hang the decoration.  The design shape was a 90mm square that was 5mm thick and had the lettering sunk 5mm into the base the design, this was preferable from having it on top as it produced much more definition and sharpness.  A four hour print.

Left: Produced at the same time although independently, and therefore not really influencing each other came this design.   The font used is the same as above,  and the basic layout and the objects that have been added likewise.   The print time is also very similar, although the two students were adamant that they were not working in collaboration or influencing each other, not that this would have been an issue or a bad thing.   Four hour print time.