Thursday, February 15, 2018

3D Printed Student Desk Marker

Above: Shown from above showing student name lettering
Challenge: Student with autism is in a classroom where the students rotate desks on a regular basis when we change groups for different curriculum areas.  We wanted to personalise and make something for the student to reflect this.
Background:   We were looking initially at simply a marker for the student, however it became apparent that we could move the marker and the student would know where his desk was and where he needed to be.   The print was  not intended to function this way, but became a by-product of the success of its use.   The student had a particular fascination with trucks and anything related to trucks.   He was able to produce this print with assistance.  A basic shape was located on Tinkercad, that he approved of.  The print was selected on the basis that we wanted to make a significant addition of his name as a major feature.  A decision was made to mount it on the back of the tanker part of the truck, as shown above.   
Level of Difficulty: Low.  Essentially this is a print that was created by a third party and was publicly available, the addition of the input from the student was limited.  The student was able to have limited input into the print design, which is a reflection of the level of autism of the student.
Timeframe: Thirteen hours, with a 8mm nozzle.   The print base was extremely thin and flat (1mm) however this appears to be robust enough with the handling of the print, and the purpose of print was for it to remain static, which is being currently moved by the teacher to mark where the student needs to move his gear and start to get to work at.
Size: The length of the print, from side to side was 22cm with a 12cm height.  The width of the base was 1mm, the truck itself measured 20cm in length, 8cm in height and was ten centimetres across.
What we would do differently: The student has already broken two pieces of the print in the first several days.   One of the horn on the front of the cab was snapped in excitement and the fence on the front of the truck.  The idea was to have a space between the truck and the fence where the student could put tools to help him with his work.   The fence could have been more robust, as over time we will be monitoring the level of damage that is done to the fence, by the student breaking it.
Next step for the students: The student concerned will not be repeating this print, unless another student works with him to replace aspects of the fence (or redesign it).   We have also considered that this process and product could be used to have students report to a particular group, such as occurs in the junior school as the markers could be coloured depending on the filament used.


  1. I like the look of the wheels - are they gold extras or something????

  2. No its the choice of the filament, which gives it the gold effect - its just a nice colour choice with our PLA. Thank you so much for your comment.