Monday, June 27, 2016

3D Printed Token Box

Slot with token being inserted
Challenge: Students to design a token box suitable for holding the school reward for behavior tokens.
Background: Behaviour for students is rewarded by a coupon system.  The coupons are rewarded for positive behaviour and used as an incentive during assembly.  At the end of assembly student house leaders collect the tokens.  Currently this has been done by using a cup.   The intention was to involve the older school students (Y7/8) 12 and 13 year olds to design something practical that would make use of the printers.
Slot visible with ruler for scale
Task: Students to create and 3D image a design that had an opening to allow the tokens to be placed into the box, a lid to allow the removal of the tokens after assembly so they could be placed in the larger token box, and something to represent the house/section of school.
Name of the house in rear
Level of Difficulty: Low - students had seen the 'classroom cash' boxes created in the next door class so they knew that they could complete these relatively easily.  Given that the numbers of tokens is varied from assembly to assembly the size of the slot was the major variable and the ability of the lid to slide on and off.
Issues: None - the finished product managed to meet the brief and fulfill the designed role.
Size: 10cm width, 9cm depth, 10cm height - for base the lid was printed separately in same print run and was essentially just a 3mm thick sheet to slide into the slot of the top of the box.
Timeframe: Forty hours on a fast print setting this included the box and the slide on lid.
Process: Influence by some of the boxes produced in the next class the idea came together following a creation in Tinkercad which was converted to Cura (Ultimaker 2 Software) and then to GCode for Printing.  For additional recognition for the Whanau the name of the house was sunken into the back of the box.  The houses have four primary colours however this is 'blue'.
Recommendation: As a high visibility use of the 3d Printers that has a regular use, potentially for a significant amount of time.   Perhaps the filament could have used that was matching the Whanau colour (although technically it could be painted, realistically it won't be as to get a decent finish it would need to be spray painted).

Friday, June 24, 2016

Student Creation: Pencil Topper

The Print before it was removed
Challenge: Student brief was use the 3D Printer to create and design something that was of practical use in the classroom.
Background: The classroom mentioned has been where a lot of the recent featured work on this site is coming from.  The students are showing increased aptitude with the 3D Printers and are feeding off each other to produce creative and interesting designs.   This task started as a isometric design in Tinkercad with an oval for the base, the features of the chicken came as a consequence of applying shapes.  The final stage was to determine while the print was finalised what the purpose would be.  It was decided the most practical use was as a 'pencil topper' an object to sit on a regular student pencil.
Note egg shell on the head of the chicken
Task: Students to create a project for the 3D printer that was original and innovative.
Level of Difficulty: Low - the design was original and a free task.
Issues: The eggshell design on the top of the design didn't print as anticipated, however there was no attempt at any rafting.
Size: 10cm by 15cm
Timeframe: Four hours on a fast print setting.
Process: This print came as an organic creation process involving a design with Tinkercad - as mentioned the brief  was a creative design that originated from the students, to use the printers.
Recommendation: This process should hopefully lead to another group of students to utilize the printers and to do so in a more creative manner.  This is a basic introduction task as a stepping stone for more complex tasks.  By having it in the classroom in a visible place it would work as a conversation starter too.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

3D Printing Site: Maker Club

For those of you who have not seen this site linked on the right hand side of the page I would strongly recommend that you check it out.

It has some fantastic practical examples of 3D Printing student projects that can be completed and some excellent resources and material.  You can click on the link on the right hand side or on the link here.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

3D Printed Cookie Cutters

The Print fresh off the machine
Challenge: For students to produce a working cookie cutter capable of producing cookies.
Background: The teacher was looking for a task concerned that would allow students to create a unique and individual piece, with a practical use, that would be allowed to be printed over a short time frame.  Previously I have seen numerous versions of this task based around the print time.
Task: Student to design and create a 3D model for a working cookie cutter, then convert the model to 3D printed GCode and then print the piece.
Level of Difficulty: Low.  While the shape allows for individuality and the student needed to print it in reverse this was an excellent introduction to 3D printing task that would produce something straightforward for the student in a short time frame.
Issues: None.  The first print run produced a working prototype.  The only considering on viewing the print would be the width of the cutter outline.  It was set to fast print setting and would appear to be not very robust in a couple of places.   Consideration would be given once it has been fully tested to expand the width of the print and improve its strength.
Reverse of the cookie cutter
Size: 20cm by 15cm with a depth of a centimetre.
Timeframe: Two hours on fast print setting - consideration for a 'normal' or thicker print.
Process: A straight forward print that followed the process outlined in task - the use of the item will determine whether the process needs to be refined.  As mentioned in numerous other posts the process of Tinkercad/Cura/Ultimaker2 was followed to complete the process and finish.  Again as noted on this blog, the students are anticipated to be refining subsequent prints in the series once the idea has been discussed and the prototype in the series has been fully tested and use.  This is anticipated to be the first print in a series of classroom items following this theme.
Recommendations: This would be a good introduction task for students to 3D Print.  It allows the students individualism with the design (this student is a huge golf fan) and above all the projected print time would mean it would be possible to print an entire class during the period of a week.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

LEGO NXT/EVO3 Robotics Extension Task: Golf Club

Club with the gaps for the pins visible
In a previous post we explained the creation of a series of golf tees that would be created using 3D Printers.  The second part of this activity was the creation and the design of the golf club. 
Challenge: To create a golf club for a EVO3/NXT Robot that would allow the Robot to play golf.
Background: Our Y7/8 students have technology (DPE) once a week.  We have been looking at activities or options that integrate aspects of technology, robotics and 3d printing.   We've previously detailed our 100 hour print speakers from 2015 as part of this process.  Students are capable of programming the robots to complete a variety of tasks - in this variation students have to program the robot to swing a golf club allowing it to hit a ball, with the goal of having the ball move into a target flag.  
Alternative design with rafting
Task: Students to plan, create and design a workable golf club to work in conjunction with a NXT Lego Robot.   Golf Club needs to be able to have the stability and strength to move an actual golf ball.
Level of Difficulty: Low (Golf Club) however it needs to be noted that the programming of the robots is a potentially extremely challenging and without the students having this knowledge the task could not be attempted.
Issues: None - the task was completed in a session with a successful print the holes for the link to the robot was the major potential issue.  However, again it should be pointed out that the programming of the robot will be a complex task further complicated by the size of the golf club and the motion to move or swing the club to successfully move the ball.
Size: 20cm (handle) 10cm head (there are two designs featured in this post of similar size).
Time Frame: Three hours.
Club attached to robotic arm 
Process: The students had involved themselves in designing the Golf Flags in a previous print then spent time programming the robots.   The final part of the process was the design and creation of a working golf club.  Tinkercad was used to design the club, it was then converted to Cura (Ultimaker 2 Software) and G-Code for a 3D Print.  The code was saved to a memory card which was inserted directly into the machine (as is standard for all of the projects featured on this site).  This is the first attempt at completing this task for students from our school.  On the basis of every time the printers have been used these designs and details would be improved on during subsequent print runs from the students.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Junior Robocup: Reprints 'Light Sabres'

The Black Lego Pin is clearly visible.
Robot 'Jedi' with Light Sabre
In a previous post we detailed the 'light sabres' that students had been built as a prop for the 'Junior Robocup' Competition involving EV3/NXT Lego Robots.

The initial print was successful, although so the students thought, however testing from the students concluded that the gap in the base of the light sabre was not narrow enough to allow a tight robotic grip - hence the students were worried about the Light Sabres slipping during performance.  In the initial print the robot is grasping the light sabre around the handle (as can be viewed from the post).  In the amended version a black pin is linking the base of the light sabre which is inserted directly into the hands of the robot - allowing for a much tighter grip during the performance as during testing the first run did not hold the light sabre.

Changes since last print: The time has been amended to 45 minutes per print and the prints feature 0.45m of filament.   The printables are fully paintable however the students are confident given the colour of the filament is suitable to give the desired effect.  All other details remain the same from the initial print.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Junior Robocup Props - Part Two

The Four Turtle Shells off the printer
Challenge: Create a high quality prop to enhance the students performance in the Junior Robocup.
Background: Students have EV3 Lego Robots for competition.  The groups of three to four students have three robots to move and interact with a theme as part of robotic dance theatre.  A key part of the performance is the costume for the competitors and the costumes - for both the students and the robots.  Traditionally the props for the robots have been made from material such as cardboard and paper.  By using the 3D printer it is possible for the students to produce more high quality costume pieces for the
The three smaller shells mounted on the bugs
robots.  The parts themselves cannot be manufactured as this is against the rules of the competition.
Task: As part of this group of students they have a role assigned to a turtle.  They had build a robot to play the role of the turtle however they used the 3D Printer to create the shell for the turtle and for three smaller turtles for the performance.
Level of Difficulty:  Medium.   The smaller turtle shells worked perfectly.  The larger shell had to be refined.  As noted with a previous post the programming for the robots had already been completed therefore the props were limited to their role and size. Issues: The larger shell was not successfully be able to mounted at this time and needs to be sanded or refined so it able to be used in conjunction with the robotic performance.
Size: The smaller shells were 5cm long and 2cm wide.  The larger object was 20cm by 15cm.
Time Frame: Forty hours for the print of all four objects.
Process: The students Y8 designed the turtle shells as part of the process using Tinkercad.  They specifically searched for a pre-created turtle shell created on Tinkercad and then used that as a basis to design the three smaller shells.   The time frame (three weeks until the competition) meant that the students wanted to minimise the production time.  The photograph to the right shows the shell attempted to be mounted on the robot (which was unsuccessful) a further front to the shell is required to complete the major design features of the turtle shell.  As previously stated these are some of the first attempts to integrate the 3D Printers with the Junior Robocup creations and designs.  It is anticipated that this will create a raft of new creations had the timeframe been more flexible then a considerable number of designs and ideas using 3D Printers would have been created.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Making Props for the Junior Robocup

Above: Light Sabre Design
Learning Challenge: Create high quality props by 3D Printing for students use with their Junior Robocup competition entries.
Background: The school regularly competes in the Junior Robocup competition, including being the 2014 New Zealand and Australian Champions.  As part of their theatre competition the students integrate theatre and robotic performance.  A key part of this is the use of 'props' which previous have been made from materials such as cardboard.  Using the 3D Printers allowed the students to create more high end props for their performance.  Allowing the use of design to create parts to integrate - although students are forbidden from manufacturing actual robotic parts for use with the robots who would be disqualified if they did so, restricting the 3D Printing to creating props.
Task: Students in this robotic performance group have a 'Star Wars' themed act and performance and wanted to use the 3D printers to create the light sabres for use in the performance.
Above: The EV3 Robot with 'Light Sabre'
Level of Difficulty: Low the creation was consisting of two basic shapes and a button.
Issues: The size of the robots dictated the size of the light sabre - the students couldn't create a longer version of the light sabre because it would interfere with the arms movements that had been programme into it.  This was the first print run for the object and the students were very pleased with the results.
Time Frame: The print was completed on 'fast' settings and took 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Size: 2-3cm in diameter and 12cm in length.
Process: The Y8 students in the class (12 and 13 year olds) had a specific prop in mind to enhance their robots performance - having designed the 'Light Sabre' the process was limited by the programming that had already been in place for the movement of the light sabre.  Therefore the length of it was limited (as a longer blade would have interfered with the current programming of the hands of the robot for the performance).   The competition is in three weeks the prop part has been completed last (with the programming of the robot the main focus).  These students are the first time to utilize the 3D Printing possible to enhance the performance.  If the past is anything to go by this will have an energising affect on other groups who will then produce increasing complex designs for props.  The greatest limiting factor will be the timeframe and the programming of the robots prior with the design coming last.  One would anticipate that the 3D Printers will be used from the start of the process in future with increasing complex props.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

3D Printed Box - Part Two

Above: Print with group name visible
Learning Challenge: For a group of students to design, create and print a functional box that was to be the location for classroom 'reward' money for excellent behavior.   This group of students designed a slot and build this into the side of the box for the insertion of the 'classroom money'.
Background: The students were inspired by the previous box print that is described in the previous classroom print.  They were looking at adding additional features to personalise the box, the name of the group of students when working collectively is the 'Smarticles' hence the labelling in the picture.  123D Design was again used in the production process instead of Tinkercad.
Above: the names printed unsuccessfully
Task: To design a functional box that would be clearly identified as belonging to a group of students that would hold classroom 'reward money'.
Level of Difficulty: High - the students in addition to the printing of the box wanted to add additional features including the name of the group and the names of the student on the box.  They neglected to included 'rafting' in the print which had an adverse affect on the printing of the groups names.
Issues: The names on the reverse of the box was unsuccessful - Fergus had an 'e' fall off his name - Jayden rather unfortunately became 'Jaden' and some of the general lettering was untidy.  This was a result of the box being printed from the base up and without rafting - both of which would have potentially resulted in a different result.  The base of the box was successful.
Time Frame: The machine registered an initial print time of thirty one hours for the print.  The lid for the box is to be printed separately but is expected to be in the 14 hour print range.
Size: 20 cm by 10 cm by 10 cm.  The size of the box is relative to the size of the 'classroom money'.'
Process: As an 1:1 iPad School the students are utilizing the App for 123d Design as Tinkercad restricts the students to working on the desktop.