Thursday, April 25, 2019

3D Printed Tractor Pencil Sharpener

Above: Design shown prior to removal of rafting
Challenge: To incorporate a pencil sharpener into a 3D Printed design.
Background: This challenge came as part of a group of objects supplied to students.   They were given a group of common objects from the classroom - pencil sharpeners and magnets.   There were several other groups of students operating in a process which involved a design/plan on paper and then was followed by a digital creation and feedback.  Other groups of students settled on a Pacman design (as featured on this blog here) and there are other designs to come.   These students opted for a tractor design with the design of the tractor coming from the main Tinkercad interface as the tractor was built from the basic shapes (starting with a rectangle for the base).   The students then added additional features to the tractor and produced the print shown.   Key to this was reviewing the print prior to printing to ensure that it was balanced, as in a review it was shown that the wheels needed to be adjusted.  This was two students who are ten years old first independent and significant 3D Printing project.   It should also be noted
Above: Design showing location of pencil sharpener.
that the students had minimal rafting on the design with the supportive PLA being restricted to the amount that was underneath the base of the tractor.   The students are going to review the print when it is completed and look to add additional details to the tractor.  These are going to be printed in relation to the size of the tractor that has been produced (see below).
Level of Difficulty: High - this design needs to work on two levels, the first aspect is the tractor design and creation.   The second aspect was the location of the pencil sharpener.  The students opted to have a inbuilt part of the tractor that was located at the front with an insert on the front right for the waste created by the pencil sharpener.  Both thsee aspects needed to work in unison for the print to be successful.  The pencil sharpener was a mass produced inexpensive plastic one which allowed the possibility of it being super glued into place or being slightly adapted to fit a specific place with regards to the print.
Time frame: Sixteen hours - given the scope and size of the print this is the minimum that would be required to make this print both robust and successful.
Size: The print was 140mm long and 130mm high including the wheels.   The base of the tractor was 40mm across.  The location hollow for the pencil sharpen was essentially a 30mm by 30mm insert into the base of the tractor. 
What we would do differently: Very little - two students have worked on a design for a considerable amount of time to rework, revise and produce something significant.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

3D Printed iPad Stand

Above: Design shown from the front.
Challenge: Student wanted to create an iPad stand for themselves to use in the classroom.
Background: Student was looking to create an original design in two steps, the second being to personalize the design with details such as their name and objects of interest.   The student has had limited experience with 3D Printing having produced or contributed towards other projects however this is the first time that the student wanted to take the lead and design something for themselves.  A challenge for the student from the teacher was for the design to have minimum rafting (supportive/waste PLA) to ensure that the structure was sound. A key factor in this design was the intention for the secondary printing of the name and the additional material, which will be done in a different colour to highlight or make the design stand
Above: Design shown in use and profile.
Level of Difficulty: Medium - this is a straightforward design which is intended to have a very specific purpose reflected in the design size and the printing time.  The additional material is intended to be letter and basic shape design in a different colour to stand out and contrast with the dark blue.
Time frame: Sixteen hours - given the dimension this is the minimum that was required for this sort of print. 
Size:   The front of the design measures 150mm across.   The block that is at front of the design is 30mm by 25mm (and 150mm long).   The design had a length of 140mm.   The design rises 130mm at the back of the stand to hold the iPad in place.   These dimensions are in place to maintain and hold an iPad of any size.
What we would do differently: Nothing - this design has worked perfectly from the design process, the teacher requirements of minimum PLA rafting has been met exceptionally well.    The next challenge for the student is to design and create the additional printing for the decoration.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

3D Printing: Completing Projects

The 'failed' project shown from above
Challenge: To complete a project that hadn't successfully been completed. 
Showing the internal walls of a typical print
Background: This project was an attempt to complete a significant project that hadn't worked in regular printing time.  This project was a stationary holder (which have been completed in multiple versions featured on this blog).   The project was intended to have a 22 hour print time and was left to print over this timeframe.   When the machine was checked the following day, instead of having a completed print there was a jam, caused at the back of the machine where the PLA had essentailly cut itself off at the feeder meaning that the printer had jammed leaving the print about three quarters of the way through (as you would have experienced this has left the print incomplete but still contributed a significant part of it.  The intention was not to produce something that was incomplete but also not to waste the material that had already been produced by the printer.   This jam of the PLA is something that occurs from time to time and has been avoidable.  I've seen developed printer dispensers at the back of the machines (Ultimaker 2+) to minimise this but have experiences jams like this once every couple of months (again of running a machnine on a more or less non-stop basis.
Level of Difficulty: To complete this print with a second level will be required that will need to replicate the first perfectly - the issue will be the student identifying the point which the print was completed to and then placing a second level successfully on top.
Timeframe: This was intended as a twenty two hour print, that made it to the sixteen hour mark and therefore has a further six hours to go.  The design functionally works at present however there needs to be an additional level added to the design, which would need to be a minimum of 10mm in length to complete the design.    This could take, depending on the design of the student, between an additional one to six hours.
Size: The current print project measures 110mm across and is 120mm deep.  It is currently 85mm high.   The walls of the container are currently 5mm thick and consists of four storage compartments, which range in size from 30mm to 100mm (at the back) and 65mm to 35mm for one at the front.
What we would do differently: The problems with this print not completing were related to the machine jamming at the back, not the design of the print the challenge then is using what has been completed to work it into another project.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

3D Printed Doorstop

Above: Design shown from above.
Challenge: Student identified that the classroom door had a particular habit of closely sharply and wanted to produce a door stop to prevent it closely prematurely.
Background: We are always encouraging the students to think about problem solving challenges and ways in which they can remedy issues by using technology and in this case the 3D Printer.   This case involved the door in the classroom, but in a move that was initiated by the student they wanted the name of the classroom created on the print so that it wouldn't be removed or taken by someone else.   The door while being a standard classroom door is particularly heavy, so the initial design and size of the door stop, which was a one hour print, wasn't able to stop the force of the door.
Above: Design in profile.
Level of Difficulty: Medium - the student needed to work out the physics of a door stop that would be big enough to stop the weight of the door so a larger print than was originally created was needed to be designed. The two versions were identical, the student concerned had simply enlarged the scale of the design.
Timeframe: The first print was one hour, the second three hours and twenty minutes.  Recent updates with CURA Ultimakers 2's software have considerably reduced the print time for projects.
Size: The second three hour version of this print was 110mm long, 40mm long and 30mm high. 
What we would do differently: Very little the biggest issue that was presented by door itself and solving the issue with a doorstop is a very positive thing but the issue is the weight of the print.  This hasn't been identified by the student yet.  Possible remedies that need to be discussed is the rate of infill (which is currently the default of 20%).  The other option would be for the doorstop to have a casing or being hollow to allow the inserting of something metal to give it more weight. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

3D Printing: Incorperating a common object

Above: Pac-man finished design with sharpener in place
Challenge: For students to design something original that would use another common object - pencil sharpener.
Background: In this example the students were given a choice of objects and asked to design a 3D Print that would work in conjunction with the object.   The items were standard pencil sharpeners and magnets.   Students were then able to use technology to search for inspiration online and look at examples that could be found on various sites.   From there the students were tasked with deconstructing the objects and coming up with their own versions which they had adapted to suit the objects that they were supplied with.   The first pair of students who created an idea quickly choose to go with a pencil sharpener as the object and create a pac-man base for the object to be housed in.   The students are only ten years old so the creation of a pac-man
Above: Design shown from other side.
theme for the item came as a result of being aware of the shape rather than fans of the game (which came out in 1980!).   The challenge for the students was having the two items work together in a practical way and in particular the insert for the pencil relative to the blade for the pencil sharpener.
Level of Difficulty: Medium - as always combining two different aspects of a print or a print and an object can be complicated and difficult for the students to sometimes master, as has been the case for this.   A further unexpected aspect to this print was the shavings from the pencil when the sharpener is used this needs to be put into the rubbish bin - the students hadn't anticipated the sharpening and where that would come as a result of the pencil sharpener being used. 
Timeframe: Five hours.  The print is was relative to the size of the project and the pencil sharpener. 
Size: The design measured 80mm across and was 80mm high.   The design was relative to the shape of the pencil sharpener.  The students had a free choice with what they choose and opted for a double pencil sharpener.  If you look at the photos you can clearly see a single pencil insert.
What we would do differently: This challenged the students who attempted it on the basis of having the relationship between the print and the object.   The students attempted to complete a complex design to work and are constantly reviewing the project.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

3D Printed Horse Shoe Design/ID

Challenge: Student wanted to produce a name plate/badge that could be used in an outdoor setting (such as a stable) as an identification for a horse (such as putting a label on a stable door). 
Background: Students specifically choose 3D Printing as the tool to do this as she wanted something that could potentially get wet (which would exclude Laser Cutting without some form of water proofing).    The student involved is a Y6 student (ten years old) but has consistently shown outstanding design and creation - the teacher had no input into this design what-so-ever the finished product was delivered to the teacher and the student asked it to be printed.   There is consideration for spray painting to further its presentation.
Level of Difficulty - Medium: the student has down time and time again that she is able to adapt designs that are well balanced and creative.  In this instance she integrated having the name of the pony/horse combined with the horseshow design.    The horseshoe was located from a typical search of Tinkercard and the lettering came from the main interface.
Timeframe: One Hour forty minutes - something needs to be adapted with the print as detailed below.  This would extend the timeframe for printing slightly but not significantly.
Size: The design is 110mm across and was 90mm high from top to bottom.   The design was a creation that could be potentially re-sized making it larger as the student deemed it necesarry - which would obviously affect both the size and the print time.
What we would do differently: The student needs to consider that if this is placed on a stable door what the colour of the door would be and how it would affect its display.  It could be super-glued in place but there are not any drill holes currently on the design (this is being considered relative to the final size of the project.

3D Printing: Cookie Cutters Revisited

Above: Example from 2016
Challenge: For students to produce an original and personalized for a Cookie Cutter.
Background: This task has been completed in various forms, which have previously been detailed on this blog.  In the past the students have created an original 3D Cookie Cutter design from scratch reflecting an interest in of theirs, such as the Cookie Cutter detailed in 2016 based around Golf.   We have also had creations based around animal themes of 'Cats' which was designed and published in 2017.    We have also focused on a  beginners 3D Printing tutorial from converting a silhouette which produced a 'Cow' Cookie Cutter.    This example is for a market day that our students are participating in coming up later in the year.  The students have to run a business in the form of market day.   One group of students from the classroom are producing a 'Cookie' business and as a student in the group has a strong interest in Dinosaurs.  As part of the process we went online to establish an online example that the students could use, print out and design.   We performed a simple Google Search using the key phrase 'Dinosaur Cookie Cutters'
which produced several pages of examples.  We were wanting to produce a reading made .stl print to run one off for the students.   We located an example on 'Thingverse' of a three piece Triceratops Dinosaur Cookie Cutter - this provided us with the .stl file to run through our printer.
Level of Difficulty: Nil - we wanted to provide a pre-made example for our students so were simply looking for an example that we could print that was available to use as the inspiration of our students to produce an original.
Time frame: Three and a half hours - it was a design sourced from a third part therefore the dimensions of the design, print time etc were already pre determined and we had no input into that, it was simply to provide an example.
Above: Cat design from 2017
Size: Its slightly larger than it might appear the two main body pieces are 150mm across and 75mm high.  Again as we've stated this came as a finished product that we simply ran off without design on our students part, the purpose being to provide an example to act as inspiration.
What we would do differently: Occasionally examples that are already created are shown to our students as an example as something to build or work on and then deconstruct it from there.   This is providing a hands on example for a group of students who need hands on example to inspire them.  The Cookie Cutter works well as we are producing an outline so the print time is not too extended for the students to produce something and it has a use as a tool.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

3D Printed Game Counters

Above: Group 1 with lettering
Challenge: To produce a set of individualised counters that would be suitable for use with a specific board game.
Background: As part of a general unit of study that the students were involved in for the Whio Duck the students accessed a boardgame to play related to the topic.   The board itself was the only material available - there were no counters that were specific to the game.   The students were instructed with the task of in small groups to produce a game pack so that the game could go to other classrooms, we produced rules (as there were no present), used virtual dice (although in the past we have produced 3D Printed die but these are easily available and mass produced) and made the decision to give the students the opportunity to produce 3D Printed counters for the game.   The counter squares on the game measure 45mm by 35mm and it has a 'snakes and ladders' style board and approach.   While we could have used regular counters from a set (non descript plastic counters) it provided a good practical use for the 3D Printing to produce something that was small but could be customised.  As it was a small group whole class activity the students were given the opportunity to design according to a planning session.  Group one choose to produce a counter with a
Above: Group 2 with basic design
single letter on display on it, as shown in the photo.   Group two opted for non-descript counters with the intention of spray painting them later specific colours.  The students in group three opted for large pieces with a bird theme on the top and other animals that fitted with the style of the game.
Level of Difficulty: Low - students were producing a basic design piece that needed little adjustment the group three item was slighlty more complicated but only took ten minutes to design the others were under three.
Timeframe: For group one the total print time was forty five minutes.   For group two the print time was thirty minutes.   For the third individual piece the print time was ninety minutes, although significant reworking of this deisgn was required as its base was to large.
Size: The small counters were 20mm across and 5mm high.  The other (third) design of the individual bird was 50mm across and 30mm high.   This was going to be considerably reworked to ensure that it was more manageable. 
What we would do differently: This was a short term print and a short term design project designed to work with small groups collaborating together to produce something simple.  More complex designs were possible (as opted for at least one group) - and this post will be updated once the other groups have completed their designs.

Board game with Group One designs compared to the size of the board.

Larger piece from group three shown on the board illustrating the size relative to counter designed.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

3D Printed Book Marks - Further Developments

Challenge: For students to design a working bookmark.
Background: As detailed previously the challenge was to produce a working bookmark that stood out or had a 'wow' factor.   This was given to the entire class as a task.  Students were instructed to create a design, come up with an idea and the best working ideas with the 'wow' factor were in turn created as 3D Designs.  The designs presented here were some of the prototypes for the final projects.

Left: The initial Lollipop design shown on the left consisted of a stick that needed to be redesigned, made thicker and stronger and a significant improvement needed to be made to the clip to hold the pages in place.

The print took two hours, the item was themed as a Lollipop as the student felt that the novelty factor of the item would work as a book mark. 

The size of the print measured 150mm long, was 60mm across at the top of the design.   The initial design of the clip on the print was 20mm and the revised version of the print saw this reduced to 10mm which worked better as it maintained a hold over the pages.

The student has shown considerable talent in an artistic sense and is continuing to look at pushing her designs.

Left: A 'Star Wars' themed book mark.   As the student was wanting to design something from scratch featuring an iconic design from the series, going with a 'Tie Fighter' design as he could replicate this easy within the design page from Tinker cad.   This bookmark measure 70mm across and was 50mm high.   The clip that was designed to hold the book pages in place was initially 40mm high.  The student wasn't happy with the visibility of the Tie Fighter so in subsequent designs it was raised higher in the design.
Left: As shown in the subsequent designs the student has altered significantly the design to accommodate being able to hold the pages in place.   The clip can be seen in profile below.   The initial design featured a flat attempt at holding the pages in place, students needed to get the concept of a 3D clip that would work, and it took the students to see the designs that failed for this concept to be realized.   The print time being two hours, the design itself needed to have no adjustment from this point.

Left: As shown here in detail the clips that held the pages of the
book in place were all based around some variation of this design.

An important part of the process was getting the students to be aware of the need to produce a 3D aspect to the bookmark that would not damage the pages (as some prototypes did).    This would not have been possible without the prototyping process which showed that the original designs were not going to work.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

3D Printed Bookmark - Car Example

Above: The completed design in position
Challenge:   To produce a working 3D Printed Bookmark for student to use with a regular book.
Background: Inspired by a generic challenge that was set/sent out with examples of 3D Printed Bookmarks.   These examples had been produced by adults but they were used as examples that were given to the students in the classroom and the student were asked to produce their own designs.  A focus need to be made on producing a workable bookmark that could be used to hold a position in a book.    This example originally had a single block that was thin and intended to hold the bookmark in place.    When this was trialed it was discovered that it did not pin or hold the page in place and slid out.   The student then designed a pin/clip to hold the bookmark in place.   Key to solving this issue was the width of the clip relating to how many pages that it was intending to hold in place.    The student was experiementing with 3D Design and has a strong design ethic and ideas, although this student, who is nine was producing his first significant individual 3D Print.  In the initial design there were issues with the clip although the student had the basic premise and idea correct.  He also decided not to over complicate the design of the truck, keeping a basic shape without additional decoration.   
Design in profile prior to removal of rafting/sanding
Level of Difficulty: Medium.   Once the shape was determined and the concept had been discussed the student created a sketch of a plan.   The 3D Print required significant alterations for the print to be considered successful, however by printing a first version it alllowed the student to clearly see the modifications that needed to be made. 
Timeframe: Two hours forty minutes.   This was the ideal print to complete a 'draft' print for - given its size and dimensions. 
Size: 100mm long, 30mm across and 20mm high.   Suitable for the realistic size of producing a bookmark for a regular novel book.   The portion of the design that was inserted into the book itself was a clip/double bar that was 40mm long.
What we would do differently: Very little - this project already had the reworking completed by the student between the first and second prints.   The final adjustments made to the print allowed a short term print to complete the task that it was intended for and complete the challenge.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

3D Pritined Novelty Stationary Holder

Completed design with assigned ears and name
Challenge: Student wanted to create a personalized storage holder for storing stationary items to assist her in the classroom.
Student was looking to venture towards creating something that was significant and would require extensive design and finishing to create a finished piece that the student would be extremely proud of.    The student has proven time and time again in the classroom to be a student with artistic design and creation.   She was adamant right from the onset of this project about the colours and the design.     She oversaw the entire project which had little or not input from the teacher (other than suggestions about the size).   The design came from a prepared source - the hat was a standard Tinkercad design as were the rabbit ears, the student was responsible for the name.   This is the design before final finishing.   The lettering in question is held in place by blue tack and requires finishing including the use of sandpaper.   The ears are also in place in the photograph as a trial as the student wanted to experiment with the placement of them relative to the design and placement of the name etc and consider whether or not to add additional features to the design.
Design shown from above
Level of Difficulty: Medium - despite the scale of the project and the finishing the 3D Printing element of the project was straightforward based around the three key elements - the name, which is very straightforward, the hat - which came from the main Tinkercad interface, as did the ears.   The difficulty with this project has come with the finishing, given its scale it required significant rafting, and rafting removal, which left some damage to the hat (which was not particularly visible as it was produced, deliberately in black).  The student is intending to have it spray painted to touch it up and was to use sandpaper to improve the finishing on the name and the ears.
Rafting shown for this print
Time frame: This print is not for the faint hearted and was never intended to be anything less.  The ears and the name came in at a hour and the hat as a single piece took twenty two hours to complete as a single piece.    This was at a 20% infill with the usual 8mm nozzle.
Size:   The piece was 140mm high and 100mm across.  It was particularly thick with a significant depth to its sides.   This came as part of the design from Tinkercad and the student choose not to alter this to affect the overall design.
What we would do differently:   The biggest issue of a print this size would be the amount of rafting that it produces which is excess or waste plastic.  In this case the lip of the top hat, which creates the entire affect of the design.  There was a significant amount of plastic that ran the length of the design that needed to removed - it caused damaged to the hat.  Ultimately it could have been designed in component pieces that would have allowed it to minimize both but the student wanted to simplify the process.

Friday, March 22, 2019

3D Printed Animal Hay Feeder Model

Above: Original design with props.
Challenge: To create a farm accessory to work as a hay feeder.  The print needed to work in conjunction with a number of other items such as hay bales and model to scales cows.
Background: Following the success of the students who designed the four and eight calf feeder designs for the farm toy business the students decided that they wanted to target the next item on the list which was a hay feeder.  This involved creating a base with bars and a cage.   The students who designed this originally decided to create it as a single piece and as a result there was significant amount of rafting.  As a consequence the removal of the rafting was relatively difficult - there was a bar that was popped out when it was removed. The students were then faced with a challenge - how to produce the cage without having to produce so much rafting. 
Redesigned version with separate base and poles
 The solution which they came up with was producing the cage in stages, first as the base and the top, with the second stage being the base of the platform having holes in it which the poles could then be inserted into.   This was a slightly complicated process as it involved including the depth of the poles into the base etc.    However the students were able to half the printing time for the project and remove the need for rafting.   The students are again creating this prototype as a potential commercial project for a company that produces farm themed toys and sells commercially.

Level of Difficulty: High - this is producing a product that is potentially going to be made commercially and requires the base, base and top level to work in unison.   It has required considerable reworking to get the measurements and design to a point that it would be considered to be completed.   This has stretched some of the top design students in the classroom to their limits to complete it with the minimum amount of printing required.
Time frame:   The original design that was a one single piece design had a significant piece of rafting and had a ten hour print time (see photo left) the revised version with the students creating individual bars and a separate base and lid was five hours total for all of the parts of the project.   This second version has virtually no rafting and therefore would be the direction to move in the future.  The normal default settings apply as always, which is an 8mm nozzle and 20% infill.
Size: The design measure 90mm across and was 80mm deep.  The design was 60mm high and the top frame had a 10mm box design as its framing.  Relative to the design of the hay and other animals this fits perfectly with the expectations for the design.
What we would do differently: The students underwent an extensive revision process to get this design correct including considerable reworking, measuring and development.   Little additional design is required with the exception of a stand for the cage, as it has one in real life.   The students themselves were the ones that drove the improvement based around the printing differences between version top left (ten hours of printing and considerable additional rafting to maintain its shape and form).    The second reworking of the design and print involved the bar rods being printed separately and featured and insert in the base, you can see this clearly in the photograph of the print with the bar removed shown in the top right hand photo.

Left: The two designs side by side.   The ten hour version shown on the left, the five hour version, prior to the super gluing on the right. 

The two designs are nearly identical but the students by breaking the process down and printing as component pieces instead of a single block design have halved the time that is needed to produce the project and reduced the amount of PLA (plastic) used in its production by nearly half.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

3D Printed Calf Feeder Model 2.0

Challenge: To produce an authentic to scale model of a calf feeder that was capable of feeding up to eight cavles at one time.
Background: This is the second version of this project.  In the inital version on this blog the student had produced a four calf feeder which was for potential use with a commercial business.   This model had to be produced as detailed in previous post.   This has taken number models and prototypes until the 'four feeder' was successfully produced.  The next step was to change the colour varation, which is a simple matter of changing the print colour and then increasing the size of the print.    This has involved significant testing and reworking to get the dimensions to scale - as this is is a potential collaboration between our school/students and a local business creating something to use with existing products not easily available on the market.
Level of Difficulty: High - this is a precision piece that needs to work to a specific size, be mounting successfully on a model fence and meet the needs of the cow models to interact with.  There is no margin for error and this requires precision, which has been a positive if challenging experience for the students.
Timeframe: Two hours - this has been produced with a 8mm nozzle which is our default size.  Consideration has been given to reducing the size of the nozzle to increase the quality of the print.
Size: This print is 80mm long and 25mm wide.   Crucial to the success of the print has been the hinges at the back which have been designed by the students.   These have allowed the feeder to be clipped into place on the fence.    Students have been experimenting with producing the best fit design to do this. 
What we would do differently: Our students are having a meeting examing the commercial aspects and considerations of mass production, they have identified a potential fault with the design and want to look at the considerations of its use (as a toy) relative to the strength of the print (specifically on the hinge that they have deisgned to hang it to the model fence.    As noted there is a potential issue with the size of the nozzle as well - it may be a print that we produce a higher quality print with my reducing the nozzle size. 

Thursday, February 28, 2019

3D Printed Calf Feeder Model

Above: Design shown in full.
Challenge: To design a working model of a calf feeder
Background: A local business which we approached as part of an initiative by supplying them with an oversized business keying.  The business then asked to produce an additional item that would work as part of a larger set, working in conjunction with a fence item from the set, also in conjunction with a number of items that interact with it model cows and other livestock.  The item concerned is a copy/model of an actual item that is used in the feeding on young dairy cows.
Above: Design with calf models

Level of Difficulty: Medium - this print is very deceptive while it is small in size it was built from scratch by the students involved, had a very specific purpose and needed to work in conjunction with other items.     
Time frame: Just over an hour.   This is the prototype for this item and it may go through some basic revision (see below) however the students have succeeded in completing the brief an designing something to complete the challenge.
Above: Design with artificial grass
Size: 50mm wide, 30 long and 25mm high - as this is a potential business partnership project to work with other items (see photographs) so the size needed to be perfect.   The other important consideration was that it needed to be mounted on the fence for the animals to use.
What we would do differently: This design needs slight adjustment.   There is a visible gap at the bottom of the design that needs to be addressed for the final print.   In the initial designs there was the thought that there was an ongoing issue with regards to the bar that was attaching the design to the fence.   However as part of the business there is a feeding set including artificial grass.   When the models were used with the artificial grass the height of the models relative to the calf feeder fitted perfectly.   This is the students first attempt at this design and will require some refinement (which will be shown and shared on this blog). 

Monday, February 25, 2019

3D Printed Exemplars - Name Badge

Student to produce an original name badge that could be used to identify their property or themselves (for instance a label for their bag). 
Background: An introductory challenge to our students.  This is something for a student who has not produced previously anything using a 3D Printer.   The idea was to produce something that would be basic that could be easily produced and allow the student to be successful, leading to them developing further 3D Printed ideas.   This student went further, producing a pair of 'racing stripes' that provided balance and depth to the print.   The student was thrilled with the result - a large numbers of this print and variations of this task have been produced  - however I would rate this amongst the best in the series in the past few years.   The result had the balance between practicality of the design, being able to be produced as a print and it working - without it being too elaborate, and the size of the print.  As mentioned on this site essentially one printer is running non-stop in a single classroom of twenty seven students to produce as many prints as possible. 
Level of Difficulty: Low - this is produced in five steps, students are currently editing a video which explains these steps as a 'how to' tutorial.   The student mastered this concept easily (it also should be pointed out the student involved is seven years old.
Timeframe: Two hours.   This print benefitted from having the stripes which reduced the print time.   The choice of font size also reduced the amount of filament in the final design and print.   To balance the affect of the design its size relative to its role etc was nigh on perfect.
Size:   The dimensions of the design measured 130mm across, 50mm high and had a width of 5mm. 
What we would do differently: Other than possibly a different base PLA there is very little that we would change.   The final product could have potentially been spray painted, however the student was extremely excited with the design and no further adjustments was required, hence its exemplar status.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

3D Printed Oversized Key Ring

Above: Completed design
Challenge: To produce something for a local business that would have a practical use.
Above: Business Logo
Background: We are looking at ways to get the work of the students out in the community to use the technology to increase awareness of our students work and also expose the student to real time business experiences.   One of the ways that we are looking to do this is to create and produce unique items that have a practical use for local businesses for them to use.   One of our key designs that has had a practical use in the classroom and around school has been oversized keys.   This has primarily been used as a technique to ensure that important high use keys are not misplaced by staff or students (by making the keyring with the key so large that the key cannot be easily placed in an individuals pocket either student or staff).    We followed this same principal when we considered local businesses that were in our area and something that we could produce for them to create a 'buzz' or interest in our school projects.   The students decided to target a number of local businesses or places of interest (local Library, shops etc) and look at producing a key ring for them.   The rationale was that this would be producing a high use item that a number of adults or part of the community would be handling on a regular basis.   We have targetted the use of the 3D Printer to do this and not the school laser cutter as these items are being handled repeatedly and potentially need to be cleaned.  We have generally found that the wood when laser cut can be marked and stained from use by people.
Level of Difficulty: Medium High - we were producing something that was original from scratch but was copying a specific logo or design this meant the specifics of what needed to be created were very particular, as a result the design needed a high degree of accuracy.
Timeframe: Eight Hours - this is long for a keyring/badge however this was delibrately oversized so that it became a talking point for the business.
Size:   This oversized design.   It measured 140mm across and was 130mm high.  It was 5mm thick.  The design and the lettering raised 5mm above the base design.   Given the brief this was delibrate.
What we would do differently: If you compare the original design above right to the creation above left you can see that there are some slight variations between the two designs.   The fenceposts are equal and meet in the middle, in our students design the middle is at the 1/3 and 2/3 point.   The family design as part of the keyring differs slightly from the original as the students created it from scratch and they could have had a universal design for the head of the shapes.    This is slightly oversized however this was the intention.

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.