Monday, June 3, 2019

3D Printed Art Lettering for Market Day Project

Above: the 20mm 'STAY' lettering
Challenge: A student project team are working on running a classroom business for a market day want to utilise the 3D Printer to produce lettering for words and phrases that could be then combined with wooden blocks/lettering to produce a finished piece of art.
Background: The students of the school have a project this term for them to run a business.  A number of the students groups are producing art based projects.   One group was interested in looking at producing signage on wooden blocks of themes or sayings.   To produce the lettering part of the art project the students wanted to utilise the 3D Printer to produce the lettering and then mount it onto the wood.    This involved the students selecting a design that they were happy with and producing a font that reflected a design and style and that could be combined with the wood.  For the wood the students selected a wood pallet and used the school Woodwork room to cut the wood into blocks.    The students were dealing with a block that was
Above: Live featured as 30mm design
50mm high and 500mm across.    They had the potential to shorten the length of the block dependant of the length of the words or phrase.    The students were able to trial print the lettering and then work out the dimensions of the wood that they wanted to use.   The students started with a basic design and font, worked out the dimensions and then develop an idea of concepts related to that.  They also identified key areas to move forward successfully with the product - that they would need a Wood Glue to mount the lettering onto the wood and also for the wood to be stained to help enhance the look of the lettering.   The colour of the PLA will be contrasted with the staining of the wood.   Once completed the price of the design was minimum - the PLA for the plastic for the 3D Printing and the Wood Glue and stain were the only expenses that the group needed to account for.   The students also are keen to experiment with different PLA relative to the stained wood and look into using different filaments with the potential for the use of glow-in-the-dark PLA.
#3DPrintEdu - 120mm x 60mm
Level of Difficulty: Low - the single challenge for the production of the art block and combination with the 3D Printing.    The font selection from Tinkercad is significant the only aspect that the students needed to determine was the size of the font that they were printing.
Size: As shown in the photograph the 'Stay' font measured 20mm high and was grouped (clustered) as 60mm across.   This font was designed to be 5mm deep.   The 'Live' font shown in photograph was 30mm high, 70mm across and 10mm deep.    The #3DPrintEDU chat font was 120mm across groupd and 60mm high.   The depth of the print was 5mm.    The largest print that was run in this run was the 'LAUGH' print and font - this font was larger that the block of wood that it was intended for.    This measured 130mm wide and 70mm high.  It had a depth of 10mm.
Above: the final trial design
Timeframe: As this was a series of prints the lettering itself varied significantly.   In the four featured prints here the 'Stay' print took thirty minutes.   The 'Live' print was forty five minutes.   The '#3DPrintEDU' print took one hour.    'Laugh' was the biggest print of the series (as noted it is essentially oversized) which took two and half hours.     This would vary depending on the size of the block that the students would anticipate using - that had a measurement of 50mm high (but again could be cut to size). 
What we would do differently: The students have a lot of potential development to come relative to the size of the wood that they had produced and cut.    The colour of the wood that is produced from the staining will influence the final design and PLA choices by the students.   The students are also looking for a 'wow' factor and want to experiment with different PLA options and choices including Glow-In-the-Dark filament.

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