Thursday, February 28, 2019

3D Printed Calf Feeder Model

Above: Design shown in full.
Challenge: To design a working model of a calf feeder
Background: A local business which we approached as part of an initiative by supplying them with an oversized business keying.  The business then asked to produce an additional item that would work as part of a larger set, working in conjunction with a fence item from the set, also in conjunction with a number of items that interact with it model cows and other livestock.  The item concerned is a copy/model of an actual item that is used in the feeding on young dairy cows.
Above: Design with calf models

Level of Difficulty: Medium - this print is very deceptive while it is small in size it was built from scratch by the students involved, had a very specific purpose and needed to work in conjunction with other items.     
Time frame: Just over an hour.   This is the prototype for this item and it may go through some basic revision (see below) however the students have succeeded in completing the brief an designing something to complete the challenge.
Above: Design with artificial grass
Size: 50mm wide, 30 long and 25mm high - as this is a potential business partnership project to work with other items (see photographs) so the size needed to be perfect.   The other important consideration was that it needed to be mounted on the fence for the animals to use.
What we would do differently: This design needs slight adjustment.   There is a visible gap at the bottom of the design that needs to be addressed for the final print.   In the initial designs there was the thought that there was an ongoing issue with regards to the bar that was attaching the design to the fence.   However as part of the business there is a feeding set including artificial grass.   When the models were used with the artificial grass the height of the models relative to the calf feeder fitted perfectly.   This is the students first attempt at this design and will require some refinement (which will be shown and shared on this blog). 

Monday, February 25, 2019

3D Printed Exemplars - Name Badge

Student to produce an original name badge that could be used to identify their property or themselves (for instance a label for their bag). 
Background: An introductory challenge to our students.  This is something for a student who has not produced previously anything using a 3D Printer.   The idea was to produce something that would be basic that could be easily produced and allow the student to be successful, leading to them developing further 3D Printed ideas.   This student went further, producing a pair of 'racing stripes' that provided balance and depth to the print.   The student was thrilled with the result - a large numbers of this print and variations of this task have been produced  - however I would rate this amongst the best in the series in the past few years.   The result had the balance between practicality of the design, being able to be produced as a print and it working - without it being too elaborate, and the size of the print.  As mentioned on this site essentially one printer is running non-stop in a single classroom of twenty seven students to produce as many prints as possible. 
Level of Difficulty: Low - this is produced in five steps, students are currently editing a video which explains these steps as a 'how to' tutorial.   The student mastered this concept easily (it also should be pointed out the student involved is seven years old.
Timeframe: Two hours.   This print benefitted from having the stripes which reduced the print time.   The choice of font size also reduced the amount of filament in the final design and print.   To balance the affect of the design its size relative to its role etc was nigh on perfect.
Size:   The dimensions of the design measured 130mm across, 50mm high and had a width of 5mm. 
What we would do differently: Other than possibly a different base PLA there is very little that we would change.   The final product could have potentially been spray painted, however the student was extremely excited with the design and no further adjustments was required, hence its exemplar status.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

3D Printed Oversized Key Ring

Above: Completed design
Challenge: To produce something for a local business that would have a practical use.
Above: Business Logo
Background: We are looking at ways to get the work of the students out in the community to use the technology to increase awareness of our students work and also expose the student to real time business experiences.   One of the ways that we are looking to do this is to create and produce unique items that have a practical use for local businesses for them to use.   One of our key designs that has had a practical use in the classroom and around school has been oversized keys.   This has primarily been used as a technique to ensure that important high use keys are not misplaced by staff or students (by making the keyring with the key so large that the key cannot be easily placed in an individuals pocket either student or staff).    We followed this same principal when we considered local businesses that were in our area and something that we could produce for them to create a 'buzz' or interest in our school projects.   The students decided to target a number of local businesses or places of interest (local Library, shops etc) and look at producing a key ring for them.   The rationale was that this would be producing a high use item that a number of adults or part of the community would be handling on a regular basis.   We have targetted the use of the 3D Printer to do this and not the school laser cutter as these items are being handled repeatedly and potentially need to be cleaned.  We have generally found that the wood when laser cut can be marked and stained from use by people.
Level of Difficulty: Medium High - we were producing something that was original from scratch but was copying a specific logo or design this meant the specifics of what needed to be created were very particular, as a result the design needed a high degree of accuracy.
Timeframe: Eight Hours - this is long for a keyring/badge however this was delibrately oversized so that it became a talking point for the business.
Size:   This oversized design.   It measured 140mm across and was 130mm high.  It was 5mm thick.  The design and the lettering raised 5mm above the base design.   Given the brief this was delibrate.
What we would do differently: If you compare the original design above right to the creation above left you can see that there are some slight variations between the two designs.   The fenceposts are equal and meet in the middle, in our students design the middle is at the 1/3 and 2/3 point.   The family design as part of the keyring differs slightly from the original as the students created it from scratch and they could have had a universal design for the head of the shapes.    This is slightly oversized however this was the intention.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

3D Printed iPad Stand: Mini

Above: Design shown as produced on the printer
Challenge: Student had created a badge for his first 3D Printed project.  Student was challenged to create an original print, personalised that would have a specific purpose.
Background: For his second project he wanted to create an iPad stand.   He designed a project based around this and personalised it with his name.   The dimensions of the print were designed to include storage and an option for including additional items.    The student was working from scratch and measured all of the dimensions for the print (see below).
Level of Difficulty: Medium-Hard: the student was stretching himself for the first time with a design that had mulitple aspects to it, all of which were needed to work in conjunction with each other.   He add limited assistance from other students and the teacher to complete the design.    The student is nine years old.
Above: Same view with rafting removed.
Timeframe: Twelve hours.   Aspects of this print meant that he had not properly considered the design aspects of the size of the print.   However the stand itself works (see below) and as a result the timeframe to successfully complete the challenge works.
Size: The design measures 130mm across and 120mm deep.   The thickness of the design was between 10mm and 5mm depending on the aspect of the print.  The height of the print was 70mm.    As a result of the task these dimensions were successful to complete the task.
What we would do differently/next steps for students: The student included their name on the design and included a propellar on one side.   These were printed in a single colour and could have been completed seperately to given the affect of colour.   The name of the student inclued a lower case letter and should have had a capital.   Under one section of the base there was a raised point of a print.  Given all these aspects the key consideration was the brief - to produce an iPad stand.   This was successful despite reservations about the size of the design as shown on the left.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

3D Printing in the Classroom: Next Project Steps

Background: Over the past few weeks we have engaged a new group of young students in working on basic 3D Printed projects, in many cases for the very first time.  To engage students with the technology the first task for most students is a basic name badge, which can be completed in three basic steps.  For students creating for the first time these can be powerful examples to introduce the technology and the concept of design.  Most of our students are using Tinkercad for their design on the basis that its straightforward and the students (who are nine and ten years old) are able to manipulate and create designs.   The first designs tend to be basic without a very short design brief which the students are able to master nearly always at the first attempt.

Stationary Holder: Prior to removal of the 'rafting'
The next steps is to move students onto more advanced projects.  These examples here are the second runs from this series each of them has an increased print time of six hours to reflect their relative size.

Considerable time is spent with the students prior to printing.   There needs to be an identified purpose and an original or personalised design.   The students are encouraged to think about the scale of what they are completing relative to the design in question.  The print shown left is intended as a stationary storage device.  The student designed it from scratch using a rectangle as the base, and then adding a cylinder and a cube for storage on the top of the box.  The student then met the brief of 'personalisation' by adding his name to the side of the design.   The print time for this design took six hours however the student hadn't considered the overall size of the design relative to what he wanted to accomplish.  Some stationary is able to be stored by the design, however when too many pens or pencils are placed in the design it is unable to cope with the weight.  The student is going to redesign this and triple the size of the design to meet the storage needs of it.   He is shown a little confidence in Mathematics and practical measurement (Tinkercad includes detailed measurement options) and has a desire to complete this project to the correct scale - this is his second ever project with 3D Printed Design.

Left: A second design from another student, with a similar design and scope.  Again the student wanted to create a storage option for stationary to use in the classroom.   The print had a six hour timeframe for completion - again the size of the project was intended to be for storage and the student needed to consider this as a prototype and redesign it relative to completing the brief, something in the region of eighteen to twenty hours if other similar prints are to be considered. 

Left: Student wanted to create a significant name badge or plate.  In this case the student wanted an imposing 'Nascar' themed name plate.   The design featured a six hour print run - a length of 180mm and width of 60mm.   The print was 10mm thick.   Its initial design was as a key ring, hence the hole that was created in the design in the top left handed corner.

For all of the prints on this site and in this series the 'hardward' part of their production remains the same.  We are using an Ultimaker 2+ in the classroom, which is now four years old.   It has the default settings for printing including the use of an 8mm nozzle to speed up the printing as much as possible (it is possible to have a 2mm nozzle but this of course leads to considerably increased print time).  We are using standard PLA (all material and hardware has been sourced in New Zealand from Mindkits)

We will be putting these prints into a specific presentation with tutorial videos explaining the process, including tracking the progression of each of these prints and the development of them from the students perspective.

Friday, February 15, 2019

3D Printing in a Classroom: Starting from the Beginning 2019

Background: In New Zealand the school year runs from February to December.   Different schools have different patterns of class students depending on numbers and details.  In the case of the classroom where the students are currently based roughly half have been in the classroom for 2018 and have had a 'good' level of exposure and practical experience with 3D Printing.   The other half of the class are novices and for these students basic design and ideas need to be started with slowly.  The projects completed here were produced on the basis of students using the technology for the first time and keeping design, print times and size small and simple to allow the students the opportunity to create and then reflect on the process and creation.

A basic name plate for a student to make a label that could be used to indicate ownership of a bag, hold keys etc.   This is a very simple design and idea (which takes three simple steps in Tinkercad) and the print time was minimized to two hours.   The designs dimensions were based around a simple shape of a 80mm square, names 10mm off the plate and the only additional feature was the hole to attach the name badge or key ring.

Essentially the same design and process with the exception being the base design shape which was a heart instead of a cube.   A different colour with the PLA was reflected in the availability of material rather that the choice of the student who created this.   The student shortened her name to ensure that it fit easily on the design.

A simple, basic yet effect design that could suit students of a particular age or be useful for labelling.   A three step design process.
A further slight variation, featuring an actual student nickname to ensure that the design fitted well in the confines of the design and shape (which was 80mm across).   The width of this design was 5mm to ensure a minimum print time, which came in at just under an hour. 

Student was creating for the first time as a nine year old, who had seen others creating projects and this is intended as a stepping stone to more advanced projects in the future.

Left: Similar to the basic designs above but as the first shape the student choose a star for the background.   Given the length of the first and last name of the student, the student made the decision to use her initials for the design - she deliberately choose to include one 'dot' between her initials for the balance of it, rather that the correct format of her initials.   Again this is a basic three step process to design something for the first time and print it to encourage and get a student thinking about where to next.   This is a one and a half hour print completely student designed by a nine year old.

Shortly we will be creating a Google Slide detailing some of these basic prints and producing them with a tutorial relating to the New Zealand Digital Curriculum Levels and Exemplars.