Saturday, January 24, 2015

3D Printing Design: Classroom Improvements

3D Print School Building Assignment: Classroom Enhancement Design

Learning Challenge: Create a holder for a whiteboard duster and white board markers for practical and effective use in the classroom.

Above: Students Tinkercad Design

Background: As part of the students goals for the year the students have a booklet to complete specific tasks for school wide honours, in this case called the Keys Program.  As part of this and wanting to encourage the use of design and creation of work involving 3D printers and practical engineering tasks.   This task was created and designed by the Auroa Primary School Principal, Heath Chittenden.

Design with mounts for Whiteboard pens

Students had to design an effective wall mount for the whiteboard duster that would be practical and of use for the classroom teacher.  It was a functional task with the best design being used for this purpose.
Whiteboard Duster holder

Level of Difficulty: Low/Moderate.  Students had a 'free' design with this task as the success criteria was based around it working.   There were many possible solutions to the problem that could incorporate additional features.   Basic designs were a simple shelf with or without a lip, more advanced designs included holders for whiteboard markers.  

Issues: Some students didn't consider obvious issues such as the size of the tray to hold the white board maker.   The holders for the whiteboard markers to sit vertically also tended to vary.   There are different sized whiteboard markers.  Some designs meant the eraser had to sit vertically in the holder which meant that picking it up was somewhat cumbersome.   
Student plan with four designs

Details:   This task was completed by Y7/8 students (11-12 year olds).  Students sketched the original idea in a paper version (see example of diagram) converted the paper design to Tinkercad and then produced a 3D model.  The form was then loaded through Cura and printed on an Ultimaker 2.

Timeframe: The larger holders took fifteen hours to print although this was down to their size and the filling of the frame.  The task was a homework task, the initial design was conceived with a minimum requirements for four sketches and one to be then developed and form the basis for the model.
Size: The smallest designs reflected the whiteboard makers sitting vertically on the tray.  The larger designs had it laying flat.   Between 15cm to 30cm.   The 

Process:  Student design on paper including full measurements.  Tinkercad to create 3D model then converted and printed using Cura.

Problem Solving: Students need to consider size of the items being held or supported.  A lip was required to stop the items on the shelf tipping off.   Whiteboard marker holders needed to have correct width.   The screw holes needed to be placed at either end of the 3D print to allow balance when mounted on the walls and had to have hole size that was realistic so it could be mounted.

Further Reading: As is hyperlinked previously in this post, have a look at the Auroa Primary School student program for Honours as it details the process involved with this project - or you can follow the creator of the program, Heath Chittenden on Twitter. @Macca24129

How can you contribute?: What could you students design and build in your classroom in addition to what is currently there? What extras could your students need to improve their environment?


  1. What is the cost of mounts for Whiteboard pen

    1. Now (and remember this was created about four years ago and the design would be reduced time etc). I would estimate about the three or four New Zealand dollars worth of PLA.