Thursday, August 15, 2019

3D Printed Pest Control Sound Lure

Background/Details: This is an update of a previous post featured on this blog.   In this project we are partnering with a number of local groups and government organizations to produce a sound lure.   The sound lure is to attract pests (Brush Tailed Possums, Stoats, Weasels and Ferrets) to a standard or traditional trap.   The benefits of the 3D Printer with this process is that it is allowing flexibility for the selection of the speakers to be used.  We have ordered a variety of different sized speakers online (from primarily Aliexpress) and these have varied in size (deliberately on our part).    We are looking for combinations of features such as power use (solar) or different sized batteries (A4 or 12 Volt).  We've been in contact with the Department of Conservation about the lures that have been deployed in the past, they've had a buzzer sound to attract pests and a ten to twelve day battery lifespan.   Our students (who are ten and eleven years old) have spent the last four weeks looking at
considerably improving on the existing design. 

  • They are replacing the battery with a lithium battery or a solar panel - this should extend its operating life considerably
  • They have already spent time looking at replacing an industrial buzzer noise with an authentic Kiwi sound recording, which should make the lure more effective   
The 3D Printer is key to this design - it allows flexibility with the creation of a variety of shapes and designs to accommodate the different sizes of speakers that have been ordered but can also mean that the speaker will be water proofed to protect it from the elements.  We have conducted a running experiment with having the assembly numbers for the school in case of an event outside and exposed to the elements for over a year.    These designs are showing little evidence of any degradation in the PLA from being exposed to the outside environment .   Once completed these sound lures are being deployed in the environment they are going to be deployed in conjunction with regular traps to remove local pests.    (For our international visitors New Zealand has significant pest problems from introduced species - these are predominantly the Brush Tailed Possum but also Stoats, Weasels and Ferrets, all of which spread disease and prey on the native species of New Zealand.   Further details about these pests can be located on this Department of Conservation website.

Top: original speaker limited by size
The initial design was able to house the smaller speaker, however the students have been looking at refining the design, improving it (introducing the drill holes that are shown in the print above in the four corners of the device).   

As shown left the initial two watt speaker is shown above and the second three watt speaker shown below.    The initial supplied box design would not fit with the bottom speaker as its too large, this is not the problem for a custom made box to suit the second speaker, which is created by the 3D Printer.

This is a considerable long term project that is is the very definition of the term 'cutting edge' as the sound lures are very much in their infancy and our students are able to use the technology that is available to them to improve and create, the 3D Printer is a crucial aspect to allow the flexibility and creativity to work with the project.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

3D Printed Possum Trap Adjustment

Above: The commercial trap with container
Challenge: To add an extra component to a commercial Possum Trap to increase its efficiency's.
Background: This is a possum trap that is deployed on a farm belonging to a student in the classroom.  The Australian Brush Tailed Possum is a horrendous pest in New Zealand causing terrible damage to the New Zealand environment.   A number of our students are actively encouraging pest control and assisting their parents on running of farms.   This trap is a commercial trap with a bar that is sprung when the possum reaches into the trap to take the bait contained on the inside.    The student concerned with this trap wanted to protect the bait which was removed by a possum before the trap was sprung.    He wanted to house the bait inside the trap, which was a combination of Cinnamon and apple, which would attract the possum by the smell, causing the Possum to spring the trap but not to be able to actually get to the bait, allowing the student to replace the bait and re-set the trap.     3D Printing allowed the student to modify the trap by producing a custom component for the bar to complete the project easily.    Testing of the trap once the bait container was added allowed the student to see clearly that the bait would be held in place and the trap mechanism would not be affected.   The trap is now going to be re-set on the students farm to monitor its effectiveness to see if it would complete the project.
Above: Design showing the attachments to the bar
Level of Difficulty: Medium - the piece that was produced to protect the bait needed to be measured carefully as it needed to work in conjunction with existing pieces.    The student also created two connection points so that the container could be attached to the bar.
Size: The box is 80mm high 55mm across and 15mm wide - these dimensions are all relative to the box being fitted to the existing bar. 
Time frame:   Three hours to complete, a basic design project that is more about its practical application than looking good.  Conceivably this could be refined to incorporate storage etc, but the intention is for the smell to still be possible but not allow the animal to access the bait so it does not need to be replaced as often as is currently.    There is potential for refinement but the student just wanted this to work.
What we would do differently/next steps for student: Minimal.   The student is going to deploy this bait container with the trap and test it for its effectiveness, which should be straightforward.  There has been some discussion about creating small holes in the base of the design to see if this would encourage the smelling of the bait, but it will be trailed as is first.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

3D Printed Key Holder - Themed as a Gift

Challenge: To produce an original key holder that could be gifted.
Background: The student who had produced the name badge last week now moved onto a more original project.   They wanted to produce a gift for their parent, which had a 'horse' theme but had the practical application of working as a key ring.   The process for the student was completed independently of any teacher input.  The student used a standard searched for Tinkercad freely available version of a horse.    After re-sizing the horse for the purpose of being a key holder the student then introduced two cylinders into the shape and increased their size so that they came 30mm out of the shape, this was for the hanging of the keys.   The next stage was the personalisation of the 'Mum' lettering, which is easily available from the main Tinkercad interface and took the student less than a minute once it was re-sized.   The final stage of the design was to introduce two holes into the base of the design so it could be mounted.   The student was able to achieve this one week after designing a project in her own time.
Level of Difficulty: Low - this is the students second individual project and is working on the basics and refining her design and creation techniques - the student has a purpose with this print.
Size: The horse measures 150mm across is 110mm high at the head and is 10mm thick - ideal for this print and also means that in terms of mounting it on wood while there is holes built into the design it is also strong enough to be drilled or screwed directly into a wall.
Time frame: Four hours, given the considerations above the strength of the design represented by the thickness of the point is important allowing a variety of mounting options.
What we would do differently/Next steps for the student: Challenge the student to move onto more complex and original projects.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

3D Printed Stationary Holder - Building Themed

Above: Design shown from the front.
Challenge: To create a unique and use able storage container user the 3D Printer to create.
Background: The student came up with the concept for this idea and had very clear intentions and design ideas for this project.   The building/windows theme were strong from the outset and the student wanted to clear go with a combination of colours that would contrast against each other to really make them stand out.   This student is an eleven year old who has shown considerable design innovation and creation during multiple projects.    The input from the teacher into this process to complete this project was minimal, other than the super gluing of the window frames onto the design once they were printed.    The student independently completed all other aspects of the project.
Level of Difficulty: Medium, while the project appears straight forward the student concerned was able to use the resources available to complete it at the second attempt with the potential for some slight adjustments.   More complex additions could be made to the design but she was adamant that it
Above: Design from above showing storage options
needed to remain as it was.
Size: The design measured 150mm across at the front, was 50mm wide and 110mm high.   The internal components of the design were hollow to allow for storage and measured 35mm by 35mm.
This design size was influenced by the purpose of the design which was to store stationary but could be adapted depending on the items that were intended to be put inside them.
Time frame: Fourteen hours for the base, one hour for the tops at end of each design to give the illusion of a roof and two hours for the window frames that were on the outside in black.  A total project time of seventeen hours.
What we would do differently/next steps for the student: While this was a excellent idea and worked well the student could have potentially modified the window frames for the outside of the windows, two fit more or less correctly and the third was out slightly.    The student could have also investigated looking at ledges potentially or adding other details.   However the student was pleased to the extent that they did not want to modify this project further.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

3D Printed Sound Lure - Draft

Original Design on left, student 3D Print on the right
Challenge: To produce a box (water-proof) that could be used as a sound lure.
Background: Our students have begun to undertake a significant project, the creation of a sound lure to be used in predator trapping in New Zealand.     We have been supplied an original device (see photo) and the students were challenged to use technology to produce their own version.   The 3D Printer is a s key component of this project as the sound lures ultimately are intended to be deployed outdoors in the New Zealand environment, this means that they need to be water proofed, which the 3D Printer is ideal to do.     The design is very straightforward as it is essentially a box shape, and so students who had the original device were simple looking to copy this design.    The sound lure requires it to be drilled and mounted on either a trap or a location close to where a regular trap is deployed (essentially the idea is that the sound lure is more effective than a meat or bait lure and it will attract the pest from a larger range making the trap more effective).    The 3D Printer is crucial in this design as it will be more adaptable - in this case if we have to modify the size of the speaker for
Design with lid
instance, to increase its effectiveness, then we can simply take the 3D Printed design and modify it.   The PLA has proven to be durable and long lasting and weather proofing is a simple matter, and this crucially meets this need.    This will be a significant ongoing project moving forward with particular input from 3D Printers to allow our students to produce something that can be used in the outdoors successfully.   
Level of Difficulty: Medium - while the initial design appears for all intent purposes to be a basic box design (which it is at present) there is considerable design features that will need to be added to the design.    (see the what we would do differently section below).
Size: The current size of the box is 80mm long, 50mm long and 30mm high - these are the specific dimensions of the current sound lure that the design was looking to emulate.
Above: the completed project
Time frame: Three and a half hours for both parts of the design, the box and the lid.  These are specific to the component parts of the sound lure and the flexibility of the printer allows them to be easily changed to modify to the respective size of additional speakers etc.
What we would do differently: Next steps for students.   The original design featured an ability to have screws mounted in the lid and the base to secure it closed.   We experimented with making these options available, however made the decision to drill directly into the print when it was completed to allow perfectly adjusted screw sizes.   We have completed this task in the past and the PLA has maintained its shape without damage.   We will be experimenting with this with the next phase of the print and also including screw options and locations into the design.   This will involve considerable testing at this stage to move forward.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

3D Printed Student Name Badge - with Cow

Badge design featuring the 'Cow" design.
Challenge: To produce a personalized label for a student as a gift.
Background: Having finally finished as a class a significant number of prints that were themed for the school Market Day the shift was now for the students to move back to more individual projects.   One of the significant introductory projects that our students have been involved with is a the printing of a name tag or label.   These typically are a straight forward design being based around one or two simple main shapes that form the base of the design and with a few other features typical of the design in addition to this.  We encourage a level of penalization, which for most students is to include lettering of their name on the base, a hole or way for something to hold it to be inserted (such as a clip or tie) and depending on the individual we have also had students include an image or design with it.   These processes are nearly always created using Tinkercad and are accessible from the main design interface.   In our experience students who are from eight years old and sometimes younger are able to create these projects independently without supervision - we have also created instructional videos in a step by step process to describe this process.   This particular student was working independently as a nine year old and designing something for the first time.  She had the idea for the 'cow' part of the design
Above: Focus on the '
however after searching on Tinkercad she was not satisfied with the designs that she had located. 
As an alternative she searched on Thingiverse and located the cow part of the design.    She was then able to access it from Thingiverse and import it directly into Tinkercad where she was able to incorporate it into the design.   This print was also the first print from a new role of filament.  In our experience these first prints in a run tend to have some small imperfections which seem to result in the printer starting for the first time - as seen around hole in the design and the head of the cow.
Level of Difficulty: Low - this is an introductory task for students taking their first steps in 3D Printing, we have considerable exemplars and examples available from students who have worked on various projects over the past five years that are on this blog including exemplars.
Size: The design was 130mm long was 60mm high and was 10mm thick.   The lettering was raised 5mm from the base of the design and the head of the cow was slightly higher.    These could have been modified slightly but the dimensions relative to the design were as required.
Timeframe: Three and a half hours.   This print was produced to standard dimensions that are essentially the default settings for projects produced and posted on this blog - an 8mm nozzle setting with a 20% infill of the print.   The printers that are featured here are now five years old and there are more efficient and newer models that would produce quicker times and prints.
What we would do differently/next steps for students: Nil - the purpose if for the student to independently create something, which they did, for it to be original and personalized, which it was and for it to have a practical purpose which it does.   Mission accomplished.
A full video tutorial of this project (student created) is located here.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

3D Printed Stamp: Project Update

In this project, detailed previously on this blog, the students wanted to create a stamp for use as part of a business day.   The students used creativity, Tinkercad and the 3D Printer to produce a working stamp.  It was suggested that a further design feature could be the purchase of stamp rubber that could then be laser cut to produce a rubber stamp finish and the 3D Printer could then be used for the handle.   The details of the original post about the project are here. 

The photographs that are with this post show the rubber stamp after it has been cut with a laser cutter.

The combination with the 3D Printer to complete this project was straight-forward.      The student concerned who had designed the project created a 3D Print to produce the handle.   This was a very straight forward project with a basic design of a handle and a connection to the stamp by super gluing it to the base.

The handle in place with the design.   It was a basic design of two simple shapes, the connection to the shape was 5mm thick, the lenght of the handle was 30mm and it was 10mm wide.    It took thirty minutes to print on the regular print settings.   

The student designed the stamp to be used by themselves so the dimensions/size of it were suitable for a ten year olds hand.     The key element of the process was the creation of the process of the stamp and then identifying that a stamp could be produced using a different material and a sourcing and locating it to use the laser cutter.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

3D Printed Fridge Magnet: Improved Version

This print featured on this blog previously.   The intention was always to add additional details onto the cat, which was to include the whiskers and the nose.

The addition of these features was a simple design and a twenty minute prints.   The eyes of the print were using the yellow magnets, which allowed the magnet to hold itself in place.   

All other information on the print remains the same.

Monday, July 8, 2019

3D Printed Student Creative Art Projects: LED Jar/Lights V2.0

Above: LED insert and the double rings.
Left: This is an update of a previous print, as it has been significantly adapted.   The project here was for our 2019 School Market Day.  In the original poste detailed on this blog the 3D Printer was used to create a single line for an LED Light/Jar combination. 

Students sourced an LED light online from an online store.   They then separately purchased a set of jars from an online New Zealand store.  A transfer was then applied to the outside of the jars and they were spray painted.   The transfer was removed meaning the light was able to illuminate specific shapes that the students had created.
Above: The 3D Printed component of the light.

The LED light needed a ring placed around it to allow it to drop into place at the top of the jar in the original design.   Students after testing found a fault with this, as changing the LED light meant the ring couldn't be permanently placed on the top of the jar.   The students came up with a solution for this, they created a set of two rings.   The first, as shown left, was super-glued into place on the jar, and fixed permanently in place.  The LED light was glued into the second ring and this ring sat on the first ring, which meant if it needed to be removed from the jar it could be easily taken out. 

The role of the 3D Printer in completing this project was essential - the rings that were produced needed to be a specific diameter to ensure that the light could be held in place, as without them the light could not be mounted to the jar.     The design while it was basic required a specific size to ensure it worked and involved the students testing twelve protypes until one that met the brief worked successfully.   The print time for the rings was relativeely minimal - the students were aiming to produce 140 rings to ensure that the jars were completed and they had back up lights as well.   These were produced in a batch of six rings at a time which took a combined print time of 90 minutes.  Each
Above: The completed project - with light switched on.
ring had a diameter of 10mm and was 50mm high with a width of 5mm.   If it had been printed individually it would have had a estimated time of 20 minutes to complete.

The project was a fantastic example of combining the 3D Printer with other technology/craft to produce something with a meaningful purpose.  It allowed the project to be completed successfully which would not have been possible without it.   The finish of the lights for the Year 5/6 project needed a little refinement, as shown in the photograph, but this was more in relation to the use of spray paint in the finish, and relative to the number of jars that the students produced.   In hindsight the students would have produced them over time and concentrated on producing a clear finish. 

Thursday, June 20, 2019

3D Printed Projects: Various Updates

Left: Stationary Holder.   These prints have been attempted and completed before and a number have featured on this blog.   This student designed an original one using basic geometric shapes.  During this process when the printer was in operation and the print was being produced the print 'slipped' producing an effect which is shown left where the layers of the print instead of being smooth were layered.  The student concerned felt that the result (which still worked perfectly despite the appearance) was exceptional, so much so he was keen to try and replicate it (which is not been possible as it always been an accident when occurred and at times has wrecked the print.  This was a major print of significant time - twenty six hours by a ten year old who is developing his 3D Printing Skills.   No further changes needed.

Left: Name Tag/Badge/Key Ring.   These objects have been detailed significantly in the past on this site and can be located by the label menu on the left.    This one was particular pleasing as it was the students first ever 3D Print and there was really positive composition and layout to the print.   The print design was relatively straightforward with some peer mentoring and the student was thrilled with the result.   No further development required a two hour print with the regular settings (4mm nozzle/20% infill for).

Left: Signs for Market Day.   One of the recent significant projects is for a Market Day taking place this coming week.   One group of students are producing inspirational signs on stained wood, where the lettering on the signs has been 3D Printed.   The students are still experimenting with the font size and appearance but some of the developed signs are shown on the left.   This process has been previously detailed on the blog.    The lettering typically is 45mm high and 5mm thick with two hours a sign print time.

 Left: 3D Print Stamp results.   Previously on this blog students have identified and created a stamp by 3D Printing.   This prototype has undergone significant development as we have identified that we can Laser Cut the Rubber and order it online to produce a quality finish close or as good as a commerical stamp.   In this example shown a 3D Printed stamp, detailed here, has been used with regular poster paint (not ink) to produce this image.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

3D Printed Stamp

Above: The finished design from the lettering side
Challenge: Students wanted to produce a working stamp using the 3D Printer to produce a template for a stamp.
Background: This was part of the students process of designing for a Market Day that we are having at the school, where students run a business.   The students in this group have formed a group with the initials 'FBT' they were selling items in a regular paper bag, and as part of the presentation for the bag they wanted to create a stamp that would allow them to mark their work consistently.   The students were a mix of ten and eleven year old students who had a mixture of experience with 3D Printing.   The process to produce a stamp was extremely easy - the lettering was produced with the main Tinkercad interface, the lettering was introduced into the stamp and then the students started to investigate the need to reverse the lettering.   As with a lot of options on Tinkercad there was already icon which allowed the students to flip/reverse/mirror image the print on screen - this was simply done with a two click process which took the students in the region of three minutes to design.  The last aspect was simply designing something that would work with regards to the size, which the students had been aware of from previous projects.
Level of Difficulty: Low - the only issue here was the identification and the selection of the flip/mirror image icon, which is in the main interface of Tinkercad the rest of the design aspect was simply about selection a concept or design idea, which the students were able to come to the teacher and identify. 
Size: The print measures 120mm wide/across is 80mm high and the base is 5mm thick.  The lettering that is featured as the print font is 10mm high, 80mm across and 50mm high.  This task is all about creating a working stamp that can mass produce some individualized lettering.  This print was completed with a 4mm nozzle and printed with a 20% infill.
Time frame: This print came in at two and a half hours.  This was all about the lettering and the size of the stamp that the students wanted to produce.
What we would do differently/Next steps for the students: Students need to look at producing a handle on the other side (reverse) of the stamp to allow them to stamp effectively - it currently has a block at the back which while it will allow the students to operate the stamp on a pad would be better suited for handling if one was produced.    This is potentially a very good idea as it would allow the students or others a very easy way to customize something that could then have a practical application.  Testing with the students will show how successful the print is with ink - and paper, then we will also look at potentially changing the PLA or the thickness of the print (which is at a default of 4mm).

Monday, June 10, 2019

3D Printed Personalised Magnetic Memo Holder

Challenge: To use a common stationary item (in this case a magnet) and combine this with a 3D Print.
Background: Looking for students to be introduced to 3D Printing by starting with something straightforward and basic the students could easily produce.   The student was ten years old and was producing for thier first time.   The object that they were given were two pin-magnets.   The student decided that she wanted to create a 3D Print linking her name with space for the magnets.   The basic design is familiar to everyone who has seen the main Tinkercad Interface.  The name of the student and then the production of the holes inside the design follow a very similar format to the design of the name badge and key rings.  The total design time for this student took five minutes (for her first print) and this was the complete successful print.
Level of Difficulty: Low this student was able to work this out with minimum input (ie none) from others and worked to complete the finished product independently.
Size: 110mm long, 30mm high and 5mm deep.   This was perfect for the design.
Timeframe: One hours and twenty minutes - given the design the idea was to get someone to produce something in a short timeframe that was going to be successful.
What we would do differently: This student was wanting to produce something in a short time frame.  the hole where the magnets went could have been more precise but worked with the intent.  The student is going to move onto more complex and difficult projects.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Project Update: Art Letter for Market Day

Project Update: As detailed previously on this blog the students from this classroom have an upcoming Market Day project where they have to run a small scale business.  The students were keen to adapt the 3D Printer to provide a means for producing word art of phrases that they could then mount on wood.   They wanted to use the 3D Printer to produce the lettering.    In various testing and trialing the students attempted to print various phrases and lettering as detailed in the previous print.   After deciding to use pallet wood as their backing wood, the students then used sandpaper to take away the rough edges of the wood and then used a commercial staining wood stain that was available to produce a finished affect on the wood.   The last stage was then to determine which colour PLA worked with the stained wood and the size of the font and lettering used.    The students made the decision to focus on the "Dream & Achieve" phrase.   The font Dream measured 130mm across and was 60mm high as well as being 5mm thick.   The ampersand in the middle was by far the smallest of the three
measuring 30mm by 30mm.   The final part of the design was the "Achieve" this was also 130mm across but in contrast to the 'Dream' was only 30mm wide but also 5mm high.     This lettering was designed to sit on wood that was 450mm long and was 50mm high.   Originally it was thought the 'dream' would be in a different colour, such as the purple PLA.   However as is shown in the test print on the left the 'Dream' part of the print has a dark stain created on the wood and while the 'achieve' stands out the 'dream' part of the project is hard to identify at distance.  The next step for the student is to work through different colours contrasting to the dark background to see what stands out and is effective at making the print be more of a display piece.   The students have already identified Glow-In-the-Dark Filament as important to this project.   The teacher has given feedback to the students related to the print and how best to attach the lettering to the wood (currently experimenting with wood glue).   The teacher has also spoken to the students about the mounting of the 3D Printed lettering.  In the last prototype shown above the students have not spaced the lettering evenly, and although it is not obvious from the photograph they have not removed the excess PLA from the lettering meaning that some of the lettering is not sitting flat on the wood.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

3D Printed Part for a Composite Bow and Arrow

Above: Final draft with the 3D Printed end point visible.
Challenge: Student had a composite hunting bow.  He wanted to produce a replica for a tip of an arrow so he could use it to shoot his bow and arrow.
Background: This came about as the student who is ten years old had purchased a bow and arrow.  As part of this the arrow heads had a plastic attachment and covering.   The student wanted to 3D Print this to allow him to modify it to improve his aim with his bow and arrow.   He had the design in mind when he first had the bow and arrow and thought that by 3D Printing the top of the arrow it would allow him to customize it for his own use.    He experimented with the size of the top of the arrow and by measuring and adjusting it was able to quickly produce a piece that fitted extremely well with the arrow.   The second step was to consider changing the variables.   In nearly every post on this site we've used three consistent - regular PLA and a infill for the print of 20% as well as a 8mm nozzle.  This has been reflected in the need to produce a class (thirty student) set of prints.   This targeted print needs to see these things addressed as we are dealing with something that potentially would benefit from having the variables
Above: The design shown separated.
changed.  Given the print times the student is able to produce a variety of prints quickly that he is then going to test to determine the best fit that produces the best result. 
Level of Difficulty: High - this student while producing a small print is creating something that has a very specific target and he is doing so with a high degree of accuracy needed.   This also needs to be adapted to improve his accuracy and work to improve the use of his hunting bow.
Size: The component pieces for this as shown are relatively small, but need to work in conjunction with the arrow itself - it was relatively small 5mm across by 20mm long.  This is entirely dependant on the length and width of the arrow relative to being able to use it to fire.   The student is going to experiment this with differing length and design.   His key task to identify the best and most accurate way to fire the bow.
Time frame: This print is currently coming in at twenty minutes.   We are expecting this to be considerably altered when the final design has been determined by testing.   This also needs to again address the issue of the variables that are regularly
What we would do differently: Most of the issues that have been addressed with this project have already been mentioned in the other details of the print.   Those things will be working on conjunction with extensive testing and creating of this print.

Monday, June 3, 2019

3D Printed Art Lettering for Market Day Project

Above: the 20mm 'STAY' lettering
Challenge: A student project team are working on running a classroom business for a market day want to utilise the 3D Printer to produce lettering for words and phrases that could be then combined with wooden blocks/lettering to produce a finished piece of art.
Background: The students of the school have a project this term for them to run a business.  A number of the students groups are producing art based projects.   One group was interested in looking at producing signage on wooden blocks of themes or sayings.   To produce the lettering part of the art project the students wanted to utilise the 3D Printer to produce the lettering and then mount it onto the wood.    This involved the students selecting a design that they were happy with and producing a font that reflected a design and style and that could be combined with the wood.  For the wood the students selected a wood pallet and used the school Woodwork room to cut the wood into blocks.    The students were dealing with a block that was
Above: Live featured as 30mm design
50mm high and 500mm across.    They had the potential to shorten the length of the block dependant of the length of the words or phrase.    The students were able to trial print the lettering and then work out the dimensions of the wood that they wanted to use.   The students started with a basic design and font, worked out the dimensions and then develop an idea of concepts related to that.  They also identified key areas to move forward successfully with the product - that they would need a Wood Glue to mount the lettering onto the wood and also for the wood to be stained to help enhance the look of the lettering.   The colour of the PLA will be contrasted with the staining of the wood.   Once completed the price of the design was minimum - the PLA for the plastic for the 3D Printing and the Wood Glue and stain were the only expenses that the group needed to account for.   The students also are keen to experiment with different PLA relative to the stained wood and look into using different filaments with the potential for the use of glow-in-the-dark PLA.
#3DPrintEdu - 120mm x 60mm
Level of Difficulty: Low - the single challenge for the production of the art block and combination with the 3D Printing.    The font selection from Tinkercad is significant the only aspect that the students needed to determine was the size of the font that they were printing.
Size: As shown in the photograph the 'Stay' font measured 20mm high and was grouped (clustered) as 60mm across.   This font was designed to be 5mm deep.   The 'Live' font shown in photograph was 30mm high, 70mm across and 10mm deep.    The #3DPrintEDU chat font was 120mm across groupd and 60mm high.   The depth of the print was 5mm.    The largest print that was run in this run was the 'LAUGH' print and font - this font was larger that the block of wood that it was intended for.    This measured 130mm wide and 70mm high.  It had a depth of 10mm.
Above: the final trial design
Timeframe: As this was a series of prints the lettering itself varied significantly.   In the four featured prints here the 'Stay' print took thirty minutes.   The 'Live' print was forty five minutes.   The '#3DPrintEDU' print took one hour.    'Laugh' was the biggest print of the series (as noted it is essentially oversized) which took two and half hours.     This would vary depending on the size of the block that the students would anticipate using - that had a measurement of 50mm high (but again could be cut to size). 
What we would do differently: The students have a lot of potential development to come relative to the size of the wood that they had produced and cut.    The colour of the wood that is produced from the staining will influence the final design and PLA choices by the students.   The students are also looking for a 'wow' factor and want to experiment with different PLA options and choices including Glow-In-the-Dark filament.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

3D Printed 'Cat' Themed Magnet Fridge Holder

Above: Complete Cat 3D Printed Fridge Magnet
Challenge: To use two magnets in a way that uses them in conjunction with 3D Print.
Background: Student who had limited exposure to 3D Printing.  She was given the challenge of using a common item and tasked to 3D Print some aspect of it.   This task has been used repeatedly to create the students an opportunity to design something with a 3D Printing theme.   Previous examples of prints in this series featured on the blog include the Robotic Pencil Sharpener and 3D Printed Magnet Holder which are detailed on this blog.

In this example the student choose to concentrate on creating a note holder that could be placed as a reminder on a noticeboard or the fridge.   The design was available online from a simple search from Tinkercad main interface.  Following that the students only task was to check the dimensions of the print and width of the print.   The final task was the introduction of two holes that were cut into the design, these formed the eyes of the design. The student measured and attempted to replicate the diameter of the holes to ensure that the eyes were securely attached to the base of the design.  The student involved in this design is nine year old.
Level of Difficulty: Low - this was an introductory task for a student who wanted to learn and develop her skills with 3D Printing.  This was her first independent project despite contributing to other projects that students have worked on.
Size: 80mm wide, 90mm high and 5mm thick.  The purpose of the design was based around a print working with the eyes, which initially were two different colours, the student wanted to switch to using two yellow pins to convey the theme of eyes. This was about the right dimensions for this product - which was intended as an introduction to showcase 3D Printing without the print project taking to long to get to the finish.  The weight of the product is also dependant on the thickness of the design, there have been other prints using similar magnets that have been too heavy which have caused the magnets to slide down their intended surface.   This was shown by the previous magnet challenge.
Time Frame: One hour twenty on our typical default settings - using 8mm nozzle and 20% infill.
What we would do differently: While the student was particularly happy with the design and finished product there are obvious extensions that could be completed.   There could be the potential to print, in a relative short space of time, whiskers or additional basic features.  The fact that the design could be completed relatively easily would also lend itself to a series of similar kinds of designs that might then be completed in large numbers over a few days (ie monsters etc).

Monday, May 27, 2019

3D Printed Art Proejcts - Completing LED Lights/Jars

Above: Light with additional support in place, blue tacked.
Challenge: As a separate art project students had created a glass jar with an LED light.   The project needed finishing because the area around the LED light was too small for the jar - the 3D Printer was used to create additional support for the light so it would sit perfectly.
Background: This was a project that required the 3D Printer to integrate with what was already produced, the 3D printer was used to produce the finishing.  The student had created the art project but was also a student who had used the 3D Printer extensively so when the light needed additional support to hold it in place she knew immediately that she wanted the 3D Printer to produce the additional support for the LED light.  The design was based around the light, relative to the size of the jar and allowed the extra width for the light, created by the 3D Printer.   The light was then able to sit perfectly in place on the top of the jar.   This is a fantastic example of using the 3D Printer to complete a project in a simple but extremely effective way.    The print was designed by the student and a trial completed by using blue tack to hold the LED light and extra print in place.
Level of Difficulty: This is low - the design is simple, however the concept and idea came from the student who identified that the 3D Printer would be able to complete the job perfectly.
Time frame: Six Minutes - this is possibly the shortest print to ever be featured on this blog in five years, however nothing additional was required - the light was supported to fit perfectly.
Size: The design was 5mm thick which is the minimum that would allow this to be successful, the size of it was relative to the jar and the size that was required to complete the project, nothing additional was required as it.
What we would do differently: Nothing - while this was a very straightforward print it was a perfect use of a 3D Print to complete a project.   The LED lights that were featured in this design were ordered online, as were the jars.   The students then used a stencil and duroseal to create a design on the outside of the jar.   The jar then had spray paint applied to it from an aerosol can.   The final product was a 'Night Light' that was produced - the light was concealed in the lid of the jar.  The students were intending to experiment with different stencils for affect on the jar itself - although this would not change the 3D Printed aspect of the design.

The fully completed design (with 3D Printed element obscured by the lid, which is in place as intended) is shown on the left.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

3D Printing - Junior Art Moulds

Above: A collection of the art mould 3D Printed designs
Challenge: For Y2/3 students (seven and eight year old students) to produce a 3D Print Art Mould which they can then use for an art project for the school market day.
Background: This class of students are from our junior school so they are younger than the usual students who start working with 3D Printing.  In this case each of the design were created with the assistance of a mentor who was a senior student from the school.   The students needed to create a regular three dimensional shape and that shape could be of the students own design.    The students were designing for the first time using Tinkercad, so the designs were limited to shapes that the students felt comfortable with.   The idea being that a production of thirty moulds for a class of thirty students would be possible in a week.   Once the moulds were completed the idea is for a mixture of wax and crayons to be poured into them and for them to then be combined to produce the art piece.    The students had some variation as is show in the photographs.   There is a student who opted to include his name, in the left middle, although this was completly separate from the print itself so it was just free lettering.   Another student opted to design a cat head and did so by creating the ears that can be seen in the top right.  This was also a positive opportunity to involve a teacher in using 3D Printing in a meaningful and creative way.
Level of Difficulty: Low - the idea was for the young students to be successful and for an entire class to produce something that could be individualised, tutored or mentored by older students.   The shapes are all from the main Tinkercad interface and so the key aspect was the selection and sizing of them to ensure that they could work as a low level (ie not higher than 25mm-30mm range).    It was also about planting a seed with students who
Timeframe: Given that there are so many prints in the set and series the timeframe varies somewhat.  As a general rule most of the shown prints are clocking in between two and two and a half hours.   The purpose of the art project is involving having shallow moulds so anything of a higher depth would prove difficult for the melted wax and material to be removed. 
Size: The designs varied in size but generally were in the region of 80mm-100mm across and as designed were 25mm high from the base.  We limited the base of the designs to 5mm as this was what was required to support thier purpose and enable the removal of the moulds.   Likewise the moulds couldn't be too large as that would affect the desired art project that they were part of.
What we would do differently: We are always looking for opportunities to expose new students to 3D Printing and this was a good starter for the juniors although we would usually try and personalise them there was little opportunity given the aim of the design and challenge.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

3D Printing - Scanning an Object with Qlone

Two of the hands - the left is an incomplete print
Challenge: For a ten year old to scan an object and convert it into a 3D Print (using Qlone).
Background: This started as an art project and genuine question from one of the students - how could they scan their hands for a print idea that they had for a Mothers Day Art Project.   This involved the student concerned conducting research into an app that could be used (in conjunction with an iPad) that was inexpensive (see below) to scan an object and then convert this to a .stl file and then print the result.   There was an assumption before this process was begun that there would be multiple apps for an iPad that might fit this bill, but upon using search engines and investigation there aren't too many.   The student read a review for an App called qlone which is featured on this website.   When used in conjunction with an iPad there is an interface that allows repeated scanning of an object to produce a 3D Copy of the model.   This was produced by ten year old student taking multiple pictures of the object (this is explained in a video that will show the entire process, it was involving taking several shots to complete the scan of thier hand (close to fifty would be a basic estimate).    The student then went to convert the 3D image to an .stl file for the purpose of ensuring a 3D Print could be completed.  This is when the pay scale for the app revealed itself.   The purpose of this post is not to criticise a product but the license to convert to an .stl is based around a sliding scale that bottoms out at $50.00 for unlimited conversions.   As a school we decided to proceed with this purchased on a single device so that the scanning could be completed.    This allowed the student to produce a series of scans of the hands of herself and two of her sisters.
Level of Difficutly: Medium the scanning itself is straight forward and was able to produce a pleasing replica of the students hands.    The conversion from here to a 3D Print was very straightforward however the time taken to take the photographs for the scan was time consuming.
Timeframe: The hands that made up the series of prints went for six hours or so each.   Given that they were intended to be part of a gift and to scale there was little ability to reduce the print time, with the standard thickness settings and a 8mm nozzle meaning this would be the minimum required.
Size: Its the hand of a four year old student featured in the black PLA her sister is four years old in the example shown in white as a size comparison.   It was all relative to the object that was scanned as the student did not want to reduce the size.
What we would do differently: We are interested in hearing if there are other apps and opportunities to easily scan objects for 3D Printing that would be available to our students.   There are a number of objects that we are intending to replicate over the next few weeks to test the reliability and accuracy of the scanning using the app so we can assess the results.  We also want to balance the app with having to purchase additional hardware.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

3D Printed Catamaran - Exemplar Project Update

The Revised version of the print Catamaran (2019)
Challenge: To produce a boat that could float.
Background:  This has been one of the longest ongoing projects that we have been actively working on or tracking on this site.  In its original format a student two years ago started to investigate the properties and details of a 3D Printed Boat, which eventually moved towards becoming a 3D Printed Catamaran.  Details of those projects can be located here.  The student concerned recently revisited this project (which began when they were nine years old at our School).   This time armed with more knowledge and concepts about the model he looked to complete the project and further modified his design.    One of the aspects of the design that is not shown in the photograph was to aid the buyoancey of the boat is that air pockets were introduced into the twin hulls to further allow it float, the initial designs had simply had a regular infill of 20%.   The teacher who was also invovled in the producing of the boat was interested in experiementing in pasting on a 3D Printed Coating - to allow for further decoration (hence the shiny design feature that is visible in the photograph). 
Above: Design shown in profile
Level of Difficulty: High - this is an exemplar thats design and creation has taken considerable time and reworking, numerous test versions to get to this point.  The scale and design, the details and project have taken hours and hours to get to this point.   Not for the faint hearted.
Timeframe: Fourteen hours to complete this print with the regualation default settings featured on this blog.  There was minimal waste printing so the ability to reduce the time was a small window of opportunity only. 
Size: The hulls of the design were 150mm in length, 20mm wide and 50mm from the top to the bottom of them.   Eyelits were introducted for the possibility of a sail used in combination with the boat, and the size reflects that potential. 
What we would do differently: From this point of view the student appears to be satisified and looking to move forward onto other projects - the is the question of whether or not a motor was placed on the hull or base of the boat, but the emphasis was on a Catamaran.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

3D Printing Project Updates

 Left; This project was originally featured a considerable time ago and is based around using the 3D Printing PLA to produce a Catamaran.  This was first conceived in December 2017.  In this revised version the insides of the hulls have been deliberately left without infill to create air pockets to assist the boat to float. 

This is a considerable print looking at sixteen hours to print in its current form.  Details of the original print/project can be found here.  
Left: The most recent print on this site, the robot that is incorporating a pencil sharpener has had further development which has been driven and come from the student (ten years old) who designed the print.  While the teacher considered that the print had already been completed this student was adamant that it was not completed and was determined to include a second coloured print to contrast with the base colour and produce some basic features that would add depth to the print.   While these were only small additions to the print they produced a striking addition to the print.

Details of the original project/print can be found here. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

3D Printed Pencil Sharpener Exemplar

The design shown without the pencil sharpener inserted
Challenge: Students were given a variety of items that were common classroom items and challenged to produce a 3D Print that used the object in a way that complemented it.
Background: A number of the prints in this series have already been posted and detailed.   Some of them have already featured pencil sharpeners or magnets.    This was a student who wanted to push themselves with an extremely creative and detailed print.   They build the robot that is featured here in the design from 'scratch' using the parts of the Tinker cad main interface that would produce the various features.   They then developed the head of the robot to include an opening for a pencil to be inserted into an a second opening to house the pencil sharpener and also allow the waste from the pencil to exit out the mouth of the design.  Further printing was to include the facial features of the design to include eyes, which were printed separately with a secondary colour to make them stand out.   This student is a ten year old students who has consistently shown outstanding design ability and the idea of creatively making projects that both look appealing and also have a a balance between their size, creation and functionality.   
Above: Design showing pencil insert location in side of head.
Level of Difficulty: High.   This design took several versions to address issues relating to the placement of the pencil sharpener and the location of where it could successfully operate.   The design of the robot itself involved locating a number of features and making sure that they worked in unison with each other to create a design that looked detailed and also appealing.
Time frame: Six hours to complete the print at the standard default settings that we currently use and have done for the past four years or so - a 8mm nozzle with a 20% infill for the printing of regular PLA.    Given the general factors for the design and creation there was little room for adjustment. 
Size:   The print dimensions were 30mm across for the feet 50mm across for the body and arms.  A separate print was completed for the head.   This measured 50mm across and was 50mm high.  The dimensions of this required additional work to be completed. (See below).
What we would do differently: The dimensions of the print as specified above created an issue that the print became top heavy.  It is requiring an additional print to stabilize itself - while it works exceptionally well and looks commercial it was not built with perfect engineering hence the leaning that is taking place in some of the photograph the next step for the student is to design a stand that is suitable to allow the robot to remain standing up.

Monday, May 6, 2019

3D Printed Stationary Holder Exemplar

Challenge: To produce a personalise stationary holder that doubles as an iPad stand.
Background: This design has now been perfected by students in the classroom who are able to produce something that is considered to be an exemplar.   This features the name of the student put just into the base of the design, just above the iPad stand.   Having a template that the students have they have the opportunity to produce something that can be adapted easily for other students.   This stationary holder is developed as a holder for a student who can have the design made for him to have a marker for him to know where he is sitting.    It holds a variety of iPads to be held in place.
Level of Difficulty: Medium: to get this correct and have the dimensions working correctly.  The stationary holder aspect of the design is hollowed out allowing it to have significant storage.   This has required considerable reworking.
Timeframe: Sixteen hours.   This is the minimum that would be expected for the size and dimensions of the print relative to the purpose that it was intended for.
Size: The design is 95mm across the front of the design.   The design that was 150mm long.   The design was 110mm high and the block at the front was 20mm high and 15mm wide.    The name part of the badge raised 70mm above the design, and was 20mm thick. 
What we would do differently:   This is an exemplar.  This has had a number of students collectively working and refining the design to ensure that it works.   

The basic design has come from Tinkercad however the students have refined aspects of it to minimise the rafting (supportive printing or waste PLA).  They have adapted it to ensure that it is personalised, and is being used for students who need to have an identified need to have help with their organisation.