Thursday, November 1, 2018

3D Printed Christmas Decorations: 2018 Season

Above: First Print in the series
Challenge: For students to design a suitable 'Christmas' themed decoration that could hang on a Christmas Tree.   Design needed to be personalized and for a challenge for the teacher the student was to design one themselves, and then choose another student in the school (at any level from five years old to twelve years old) and instruct them to use Tinkercad and produce an ornament as well.   Following this process it would allow to produce sixty Christmas ornament across the school.
Background: As above - we were looking at trying to have students in large numbers complete original prints that were personalized.    The students in my classroom tend to be able to produce particularly high level of 3D Prints as shown on this blog, however at times this can be daunting for other (teachers and students) so allowing our students to instruct or show others how to create items using the 3D Printer.   Although not all of Christmas is celebrated the same around the world, or of course at all, depending on the culture, however it would be easy to modify this for different holidays.   We tried this last year, but left the print running until too close to Christmas.    We also were trying to look at using Glow-In-the-Dark filament and this at the time was proving to be problematic (which over time we've become to understand that it most likely resulted from the temperature settings for the printer (which was too high, by default) and also not sealing the PLA in an airtight container after it was first opened.    Ultimately we wanted to ensure that we could complete a mass set of printing (in this case we are tar getting sixty unique and personalized decorations) on a single printer over a two to three week time frame.   The prints in this series are going to be based around my classroom of students (Y5/6 so nine and ten year olds) but also then developing with students between five and twelve.    We're going to show this examples in a Google Slide, with each example and keep adding to the slide as the prints develop. 
Level of Difficulty: Low Medium - Tinkercad has a large multitude of templates available including several holiday themed prints - generally these have been used by the students to start the design of the print (an example is the Christmas Tree shown above).  In this case the student simply added a hole to allow the ornament to be strung and created text that personalized a message for the ornament.
Time frame: Six hours for this print on the usual default settings - the lettering in particular was a little raised, which could have led to an adjustment in print time, although given its size, not too much.
Size: The print was particularly large for a Christmas themed ornament.    It measure 100mm across more or less at the base and had a height of 140mm.  Crucial to the print was the thickness of the print, which was deliberately left at 5mm.   The lettering visible raised it another 5mm.
What we would do differently/next steps for students: Grey happened to be the next cab off the rank so to speak in terms of PLA perhaps a different type could have been chosen for a different affect.   The design is due to be used to inspire others and will be a large-ish scale print run of around sixty different designs.     This will be the first.

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