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.

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