Sunday, February 17, 2019

3D Printed iPad Stand: Mini

Above: Design shown as produced on the printer
Challenge: Student had created a badge for his first 3D Printed project.  Student was challenged to create an original print, personalised that would have a specific purpose.
Background: For his second project he wanted to create an iPad stand.   He designed a project based around this and personalised it with his name.   The dimensions of the print were designed to include storage and an option for including additional items.    The student was working from scratch and measured all of the dimensions for the print (see below).
Level of Difficulty: Medium-Hard: the student was stretching himself for the first time with a design that had mulitple aspects to it, all of which were needed to work in conjunction with each other.   He add limited assistance from other students and the teacher to complete the design.    The student is nine years old.
Above: Same view with rafting removed.
Timeframe: Twelve hours.   Aspects of this print meant that he had not properly considered the design aspects of the size of the print.   However the stand itself works (see below) and as a result the timeframe to successfully complete the challenge works.
Size: The design measures 130mm across and 120mm deep.   The thickness of the design was between 10mm and 5mm depending on the aspect of the print.  The height of the print was 70mm.    As a result of the task these dimensions were successful to complete the task.
What we would do differently/next steps for students: The student included their name on the design and included a propellar on one side.   These were printed in a single colour and could have been completed seperately to given the affect of colour.   The name of the student inclued a lower case letter and should have had a capital.   Under one section of the base there was a raised point of a print.  Given all these aspects the key consideration was the brief - to produce an iPad stand.   This was successful despite reservations about the size of the design as shown on the left.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

3D Printing in the Classroom: Next Project Steps

Background: Over the past few weeks we have engaged a new group of young students in working on basic 3D Printed projects, in many cases for the very first time.  To engage students with the technology the first task for most students is a basic name badge, which can be completed in three basic steps.  For students creating for the first time these can be powerful examples to introduce the technology and the concept of design.  Most of our students are using Tinkercad for their design on the basis that its straightforward and the students (who are nine and ten years old) are able to manipulate and create designs.   The first designs tend to be basic without a very short design brief which the students are able to master nearly always at the first attempt.

Stationary Holder: Prior to removal of the 'rafting'
The next steps is to move students onto more advanced projects.  These examples here are the second runs from this series each of them has an increased print time of six hours to reflect their relative size.

Considerable time is spent with the students prior to printing.   There needs to be an identified purpose and an original or personalised design.   The students are encouraged to think about the scale of what they are completing relative to the design in question.  The print shown left is intended as a stationary storage device.  The student designed it from scratch using a rectangle as the base, and then adding a cylinder and a cube for storage on the top of the box.  The student then met the brief of 'personalisation' by adding his name to the side of the design.   The print time for this design took six hours however the student hadn't considered the overall size of the design relative to what he wanted to accomplish.  Some stationary is able to be stored by the design, however when too many pens or pencils are placed in the design it is unable to cope with the weight.  The student is going to redesign this and triple the size of the design to meet the storage needs of it.   He is shown a little confidence in Mathematics and practical measurement (Tinkercad includes detailed measurement options) and has a desire to complete this project to the correct scale - this is his second ever project with 3D Printed Design.

Left: A second design from another student, with a similar design and scope.  Again the student wanted to create a storage option for stationary to use in the classroom.   The print had a six hour timeframe for completion - again the size of the project was intended to be for storage and the student needed to consider this as a prototype and redesign it relative to completing the brief, something in the region of eighteen to twenty hours if other similar prints are to be considered. 

Left: Student wanted to create a significant name badge or plate.  In this case the student wanted an imposing 'Nascar' themed name plate.   The design featured a six hour print run - a length of 180mm and width of 60mm.   The print was 10mm thick.   Its initial design was as a key ring, hence the hole that was created in the design in the top left handed corner.

For all of the prints on this site and in this series the 'hardward' part of their production remains the same.  We are using an Ultimaker 2+ in the classroom, which is now four years old.   It has the default settings for printing including the use of an 8mm nozzle to speed up the printing as much as possible (it is possible to have a 2mm nozzle but this of course leads to considerably increased print time).  We are using standard PLA (all material and hardware has been sourced in New Zealand from Mindkits)

We will be putting these prints into a specific presentation with tutorial videos explaining the process, including tracking the progression of each of these prints and the development of them from the students perspective.

Friday, February 15, 2019

3D Printing in a Classroom: Starting from the Beginning 2019

Background: In New Zealand the school year runs from February to December.   Different schools have different patterns of class students depending on numbers and details.  In the case of the classroom where the students are currently based roughly half have been in the classroom for 2018 and have had a 'good' level of exposure and practical experience with 3D Printing.   The other half of the class are novices and for these students basic design and ideas need to be started with slowly.  The projects completed here were produced on the basis of students using the technology for the first time and keeping design, print times and size small and simple to allow the students the opportunity to create and then reflect on the process and creation.

A basic name plate for a student to make a label that could be used to indicate ownership of a bag, hold keys etc.   This is a very simple design and idea (which takes three simple steps in Tinkercad) and the print time was minimized to two hours.   The designs dimensions were based around a simple shape of a 80mm square, names 10mm off the plate and the only additional feature was the hole to attach the name badge or key ring.

Essentially the same design and process with the exception being the base design shape which was a heart instead of a cube.   A different colour with the PLA was reflected in the availability of material rather that the choice of the student who created this.   The student shortened her name to ensure that it fit easily on the design.

A simple, basic yet effect design that could suit students of a particular age or be useful for labelling.   A three step design process.
A further slight variation, featuring an actual student nickname to ensure that the design fitted well in the confines of the design and shape (which was 80mm across).   The width of this design was 5mm to ensure a minimum print time, which came in at just under an hour. 

Student was creating for the first time as a nine year old, who had seen others creating projects and this is intended as a stepping stone to more advanced projects in the future.

Left: Similar to the basic designs above but as the first shape the student choose a star for the background.   Given the length of the first and last name of the student, the student made the decision to use her initials for the design - she deliberately choose to include one 'dot' between her initials for the balance of it, rather that the correct format of her initials.   Again this is a basic three step process to design something for the first time and print it to encourage and get a student thinking about where to next.   This is a one and a half hour print completely student designed by a nine year old.

Shortly we will be creating a Google Slide detailing some of these basic prints and producing them with a tutorial relating to the New Zealand Digital Curriculum Levels and Exemplars.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

3D Printed Storage Holder

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.