Thursday, May 23, 2019

3D Printing - Junior Art Moulds

Above: A collection of the art mould 3D Printed designs
Challenge: For Y2/3 students (seven and eight year old students) to produce a 3D Print Art Mould which they can then use for an art project for the school market day.
Background: This class of students are from our junior school so they are younger than the usual students who start working with 3D Printing.  In this case each of the design were created with the assistance of a mentor who was a senior student from the school.   The students needed to create a regular three dimensional shape and that shape could be of the students own design.    The students were designing for the first time using Tinkercad, so the designs were limited to shapes that the students felt comfortable with.   The idea being that a production of thirty moulds for a class of thirty students would be possible in a week.   Once the moulds were completed the idea is for a mixture of wax and crayons to be poured into them and for them to then be combined to produce the art piece.    The students had some variation as is show in the photographs.   There is a student who opted to include his name, in the left middle, although this was completly separate from the print itself so it was just free lettering.   Another student opted to design a cat head and did so by creating the ears that can be seen in the top right.  This was also a positive opportunity to involve a teacher in using 3D Printing in a meaningful and creative way.
Level of Difficulty: Low - the idea was for the young students to be successful and for an entire class to produce something that could be individualised, tutored or mentored by older students.   The shapes are all from the main Tinkercad interface and so the key aspect was the selection and sizing of them to ensure that they could work as a low level (ie not higher than 25mm-30mm range).    It was also about planting a seed with students who
Timeframe: Given that there are so many prints in the set and series the timeframe varies somewhat.  As a general rule most of the shown prints are clocking in between two and two and a half hours.   The purpose of the art project is involving having shallow moulds so anything of a higher depth would prove difficult for the melted wax and material to be removed. 
Size: The designs varied in size but generally were in the region of 80mm-100mm across and as designed were 25mm high from the base.  We limited the base of the designs to 5mm as this was what was required to support thier purpose and enable the removal of the moulds.   Likewise the moulds couldn't be too large as that would affect the desired art project that they were part of.
What we would do differently: We are always looking for opportunities to expose new students to 3D Printing and this was a good starter for the juniors although we would usually try and personalise them there was little opportunity given the aim of the design and challenge.

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