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.

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