Wednesday, May 30, 2018

3D Printed Oversized Key Ring

Challenge: Student wanted to create an oversized key ring as a gift, which then became an attempt to create something to solve an ongoing issue with a high use key in the school.
Background: Student wanted to design an oversized key-ring that would allow a family friend to not loose a significant key.  This then led our students to identify another issue that was ongoing here at our school.  We have an extremely high use student key, which we have previoulsy produced a key holder wall mount for.  The key ring has been used extensively (it is used everyday by students).   As a encouragement to return the key to the place that it needs to go, it had been laser cut into MDF piece of wood and labelled 'Student PE Shed'.   What we found was that while this worked perfectly well the high use of the key meant that the MDF became stained and also broke during repeated use.  The solution was to look to our 3D Printer to ensure that we produced a more robust version of this
key ring.  We used the 'tractor' key-ring as the inspiration and produced a 'Students PE Shed Key' as a response, to solve that issue at the school.  The student who produced the 'Tractor' key ring was
Level of Difficulty: Medium.   This is a straightforward print dominated by the basic Tinkercard interface features.   The students in both examples have followed a format with the design, the width and the shape are the same, the interchangeable features are the hole, which is slightly modified, the font for the heading identifying the keys and the image.
Timeframe: Four hours.  Both key rings came in within ten minutes of each other.   There are a series of designs along a similar theme planned particularly for the extremely high use keys that belong to the school which students or teachers are using on an extremely regular basis.  There is going to be a change in PLA filament to ensure that the key rings are colour coded.   These are already significantly oversized at present to mean that the people who are using them are unable to put them in thier pocket.
Size: While there are two distinct prints in this set, they have the same essential dimensions, which is delibrate as they are working from the same base.   The base measures 100mm across, 90mm high and having a width of 8mm.      The lettering in both designs was 2mm above the base, and the football was sunk very slightly into the design (1mm).  At the end of the day these keys are being used by mutliple students everyday to access common areas and therefore they need to be robust.
What we would do differently: By creating this project we believe that we have solved a problem or an issue that has arisen in the school.  This is taking the practical use of the 3D Printer to improve something, and hence we would only make minor adjustments to the letter of the PE Shed Key. 
Next Steps for Students: Looking for other projects to complete that will solve a problem using the 3D Printer.

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