Wednesday, September 6, 2017

3D Printed Animal Bait Station

Challenge: For students to create a unique 3D printed bait station.
Bait station as viewed from below
Background: Students are looking to use a tracking camera to record the amount of animals that are located in the school.   As part of the process a bait station was required.   There are feral cats located in the area, and they were able to wreck the existing bait station.   Students working in a group created an original Tinkercad design with the intention of attratcting cats without the cat being able to easily access the bait - allowing the cat to be photographed for recording purposes.
Level of Difficulty: Medium, the design was created from scratch and the students involved had previously been creating other designs in the series.  This finished version was the first version of the print.  The students had access to other students in the classroom who have used the printers.
Timeframe: Eight hours on a 8mm nozzle print.  The design needed to incorperate several features, a cylinder design to house the bait (in this case, cat bisuits) and a platform with the ability to allow it to be placed in the ground.
Size: 10cm across, 6cm high, 5mm across - platform.  The cylinder for the bait was 4cm across and 7cm in height.  These sizes were worked out on the basis of the problem that the students were looking to solve.
What we would do differently: The design currently relies on the weather remaining dry as there is no lid.   This is a consideration for an improvement if the weather proves to be wet in the future.

The feral cat activity would indicate that the cats are quite vigourous in attempting to access the catfood.  There is a significant question about its durability under pressure.  Given all the circumstances the students have completed a challenge with a innovative and creative design that specifically addresses an issue that needed to be solved.

Left: Actual footage from the first attempt at using the Trail Camera to identify and record feral cats in the school.   The yellow box that is in front of the cat has been dragged from the position that it was placed in.

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