Tuesday, December 19, 2017

3D Printed Model Catamaran V2.0

Above: Catamaran V2.0
Challenge: To produce a working model of a boat that would be powered by and engine or sail.
Background: Following extensive testing of the initial prototype discussed in the previous two posts the student concerned decided to redesign the base of the catamaran, removing the centre piece and attemping to show a more traditional catamaran style.  The student concerned in this series of prints related to this project is a ten year old, who has shown considerable skill with the design and creation of a number of school projects during the course of the year.  The initial design featured in the previous print came about as he discovered a 'hull' basic shape had been added to the Tinkercad basic shapes interface.   This led to a discussion about creating a 3D Printed model boat.   Extensive testing has shown the PLA to be ideal in water situations, the buoyancy proving to be excellent in allowing a boat shape to sit perfectly in the water, this updated version even more so than the original.  The original design featured masts - this revised version did not, as the masts in the first version were purely cosmetic.   One key element that will need to be addressed is the mounting of the motor to power the book.  A custom made piece will need to be printed and designed (altering the above shape) to house the motor and prevent it from getting wet.
Above: Hull showing underside
Level of Difficulty - Medium,  essentially this task has been about completing a prototype basic structure and to test the viability of printing with PLA in 3D, this has been a resounding success, however the level of difficulty is to increase significantly as additional features are to be added to the shape to include masts and a housing unit for the motor,   to successfully add these features will be a challenge.
Time frame: Redesigning the hull of the boat, and making the changes that were made from the initial print has also significantly altered the time to print the model.  The first version took ten hours, the V2.0 time (again with 8mm nozzle, standard Ultimaker settings) was seven hours, and potentially could have been reduced further relative to the depth of the hulls.
Size: Each hull was 15cm long and 5cm deep, they had a thickness of 2cm.   The bar to join the two hulls together are 8cm across, 5mm thick and started three cm from the bow and stern of each hull.
What would we do differently: the students are enthusiastic and really seem to be onto something here.   The basic design has again exceeded the brief.  The boat itself as noted previously seems extremely stable and is not easily able to be flipped - we have continued testing it by dropping it from heights up to two metres and the boat continues to float, hence we would do little differently at this point.
Next steps for students: The designs greatest challenge will be incorporating a power source successfully to act as a way to propel the boat while in water.   The students have the possibility of using a sail in some capacity although this will complicate issues relating to the material that the sail is made from. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

3D Printed Catamaran Boat - Part Two

Following the success of the previous print, of the model of the Catamaran Boat Model the student (ten years old) who crreated the 3D Printed model boat decided to 'road test it' by floating it in the school swimming pool, to test its ability to float.  As mentioned in the previous print detials the sail was for comestic purposes only, as it was made using paper.

The boat was tested in the water for one hour, and did not sink, or show evidence of sinking at
all.  Water covered the top of the design, however it 'washed' off allowed the boat to remain bouyant.  We further tested the boat by throwing or dropping it into the water from 1m to 2m height and then skimming it as far as we could 'flip it'.   During this level of testing the boat would not sink or tip, it simply comtinued to float.  If the boat was delibrately flipped and turned upside down it would remain in this state. 
The damage shown to the mast left occurred when a student flicked the design, and it hit directly the edge of the pool.  This caused the mast to break off (as shown).  However while the mast itself would sink when held below the water,  the base of the boat would not even when it was held underwater on the base of the pool.

Given all the testing that was carried out in the last two days the design is practical in terms of its water durability and water tightness, a regular print will not sink as the PLA continually refloats.  This design as shown while it is basic represents the first basic print and design in the series.  The inention is for the students to design, manufacture and mount a motor onto the boat to allowed it to be semi-powered which will provide the next challenge for students.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

3D Printed Model Catamaran Boat - Part One

Above: Original design from Tinkercad.
Challenge: For student to produce a working model of a boat (in this case a catamaran).
Background: Tinkercad as a version of software are continually evolving and looking at producing new ideas, which are released as part of the design software.  A student from my class who is ten years old was able to locate the new design features and located the 'boat hull' design template.  The student concerned has a talent for design and engineering and is forever tinkering and creating projects, which is a great strength of his.  In this example he was fascinated with the prospect of creating a boat.   It was reasoned that by 3D Printing the hull that the boat would be able to float, or should be designed to do so, including problem solving to ensure that it was a workable model.    This is the students first draft attempt at completing a boat.  He has already looked on Youtube to develop possibilities for a working motor that would work in conjunction with the boat.  The first task was to complete the hull, test it to ensure that it would float, and look at altering the dimensions, print settings etc to ensure that this was possible.
Completed print with cosmetic sail
Level of Difficulty: Medium, the hull design needed to be workable (see below) which would allow more advanced features to be added.  While the hull template came from Tinkercad the decision was made to create a catamaran for the balance that it would provide for the base.   At this stage we were still investigating the best way for the boat to work.   The sail shown on the right hand side was for decorative purposes as the decision has been made to look at including a motor to power the boat.
Timeframe: The total print time for the base of the catamaran was ten hours.  There was minimum rafting with the print, the masts were having a cosmetic effect, so they could have been resized.   The base of the catamaran was designed to provide stability to the print, first and foremost.   The nozzle was 8mm and the print setting was 'regular'.
Size: The length of each hull is 18cm.   The width is 2cm and the height was 2cm.   The middle of the catamaran was essentially a 12cm by 8cm rectangle, with a depth/width of 5mm.  The smaller mast was 9cm high and the second smaller mast was 6cm.   Given the purpose of the print is to have a motor fitted at the back to power the boat, the dimensions are about the minimum that is required.
What we would do differently: This chance find has opened up a whole level of development of 3D
Above: Water testing the prototype
Printing for our students (which has ironically come in the last regular week of school).   The boat design required specific requirements with the intention of a motor being used to power the boat.   Given the success of the initial print (we were not even sure if the PLA used for the 3D Printer would actually float, or we would need to hollow out the inside of the hull).  Going forward there will need to be a location for the motor to be housed on the design.   
Next challenge for the students: The sails of the prototype are purely cosmetic, the students could consider using a fabric that might have a practical use.   The dimensions of the catamaran seem correct at the moment, however this will be dependant on the size of the motor, and how this will relate to the design.   We are currently sourcing a motor at the moment which will require the design to be revisited.    We will be water testing the design over time.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

3D Printed Jewellery Stand

Above: Jewllery Stand shown as first prototype 
Challenge: To produce a personalised stand for the hanging of an important item of jewellery.
Background: Student was looking at creating an individual project.   She had a family member that has a specific piece of jewellery, and this item requires a specific location for it to be held.  The student wanted to create an individual and personalised stand for the item.   They had seen similar projects created in class and felt the 3D Printing aspect of it would meet the brief and produce a unique product that would also double as a christmas present.
Level of Difficulty: Low/medium - the basic design was created from the main interface.  The idea was to have an extension to the design where the jewellery could hang from. 
Above: Print shown on its side
Timeframe: Five hours from completion from regular print settings with a 8mm nozzle, the revised version will take longer (see below).
Size: 12cm in height.  The base in the present version is 4cm across and 3cm wide.  This design is in the process of being re-worked thanks to feedback from the first draft print. 
What we we would do differently:
The lettering design worked, as did the shape design.   The areas that need to be addressed are the base plate - which there isn't one.  As a shape the design is relatively stable however it is easily tipped over.  As a result the student is designing a revised version of this print that included a base plate to allow more stability.   The aspect of the print designed to hang the jewellery needed to be longer to ensure that the jewellery could be held more easily.   The student also decided that they needed to increase the overall size of the print as well.  This is currently being redesigned.
Next Steps for Students: Redesign base, arm to hold jewellery - test the prototype with hanging an object of similar size to the jewellery it has been designed to hold.   

Sunday, December 3, 2017

3D Printed Student Business Container

Completed print with the lid in place
Challenge: Students to produce a working sample model container for a business that they are running.  Sample container needs to hold a variety of liquids and other items that the business could potentially produce - the students were still developing a business model and idea when they decided to work on the containers.
Background: The students had shown an interest in running a small scale business (they are ten years old) they had limited experience with 3D Printing, and took some inspiration from the class next door who had produced mock up models of these for a project evening where the parents and the local community came to view the students term work on display.  Their intent was to produce a container that could hold a sample of product that they were looking at producing such as lip balm or other cosmetics.  The successful construction of a container that would be water tight and potentially sealed would allow a variety of products to be produced.
Base and lid clearly shown
Level of Difficulty: Low - the print consists of two parts, with a hollow out centre.  The shape is obviously heart inspired and was created using the Tinkercad main interface.  There was potentially additional features that could have been added (see below).  Both students had experience in 3D Printed in the classroom this year and we looking to extend themselves by creating this project from scratch without the input of others. 
Timeframe: Three and a half hour total print.  The lid as shown has a significant hole in it, which allows the product inside to be easily viewed.  The base was hollowed out to allow the container to hold liquid and 'product'.   Additional features could potentially be added (see below). 
Size: The box is 8cm across, has a length of 6cm and is 4cm high.    The width of the sides of the box was 5mm.  The depth of the lid likewise was 5mm.
What we would do differently: Nothing (again see below) the print worked exactly as was intended.   The students were wanting the package to guide their products and influence what they were able to manufacture.
Next Challenge for the students: The business that they are developing could have its name, or the initials of the business inserted into either the lid or the base.  The students contemplated doing this however there have been some issues with lettering etc on smaller prints (and again we were using a 8mm nozzle not a 4mm which could have potentailly improved the detail but would have significantly increased the print time).