|Above: Light Sabre Design|
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'|
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.