Our school has been invited to showcase at the Back to School Fitchburg Block Party. So weather permitting I wanted to share about our SP Design Lab, 3D Printing, and more. So here is the what I hope to be printing from 5p-8p on Thursday, August 27th.
Step 1: Finding a Design
Step 2: Thingiverse Design 1
Step 3: Using PicSVG
Step 4: Yeggi Design 2
Over the course of the first week of our Maker Camp, we explored 3D printing using our Cube 2nd Generation 3D printers that were donated through MakerLab Club.
Our makers used Crafternoons to create their own original designs. The designs turned out amazing and the makers enjoyed watching their design come to life. The makers took their designs before I took pictures so I only have two pictures of the 25 designs that were printed.
Sharing is one of the most important parts of learning. After a month long study of plastic and 3D printing, our students shared with each other and family members about what they had learned. See the blog post about the project - Research on Plastic. It was amazing to realize how much each student had learned depending on where his or her interest was focused. Discovery Board Builder really was the ideal tool to capture the process of research and creativity while supporting individual student creation. Check out the two videos below of some of the fabulous boards that our students created.
Research on Plastics Project
So here are the steps that our LMC director, Leslie Wilson and I did using our Cube Generation 2 printers.
We met to create a timeline that would enable our students to research and create with plastic.
We introduced different tools each week. Week 1 the focus was on research so we used Board Builder with Discovery Education as the tool to have students document their questions and research but also it had the flexibility to add the 3D design and creation documentation too. When choosing a 3D design tool, we limited student choice but chose a tool that would allow them to customize and make the design their own. I chose Crafternoons and asked that students design a bracelet, ring, or tag to ensure a design that would print successfully and in a timely manner.
Document the joy... the work... and the learning
Instructables donated 5 Makey Makeys for our students and parents to play and create. The banana piano, carrot piano, playdoh controller, dance mat, and interactive Minecraft EDU mat were big hits. Thanks to Max and Kyllan for finding a way to create an interactive mat so students could play Minecraft too.
So if there is anything that I have learned with 3D printing, it is to persevere. Failure is a guarantee. I have yet to successfully print each time. A new printer is just another study in perseverance. So yesterday I shared the failures and returned today to look at my mistakes and try again. I needed a day to regroup because failing isn't easy. I think I might have figured a few things out.
So here is a side by side comparison of the printers with the same Tinkercad project. The darker green is from the MakerBot and the light green is from the Cube.
Trying Again - The Cube Software
Update on Progress or Lack of Progress
firmware update refused, extruder missing black piece, build plate leveled but printing still not working - creates clumping
firmware updated, first print almost successful, filament has broken twice in the extruder head, cartridge recognized and then not recognized which causes the print to abort in the middle
turned machine on and off more than 25 times, cannot activate
firmware updated, first print successful, filament has now broken twice in the extruder head, cartridge is touchy and isn't always recognized.... will disconnect in the middle of the print and cause the print to abort (has occurred 3 times this morning), I have reinstalled the cartridge again and will see if it will finally print again.
So here is what I have noticed so far.
The Makerware software is much easier to work with when seeing what it will look like on the print plate, sizing, and exporting. The Cube software seems very rudimentary and not intuitive. It also does not export with a honeycomb into the build which will save you on PLA.
I have struggled to keep the filament on the plate of the Cube Generation 2 whereas the MakerBot Replicator 2 I struggled to remove the final build. I guess I would prefer to fight to get the print off of the build plate instead of fighting to get it on to the build plate. MakerBot is relatively quiet whereas the Cube is rather loud. The MakerBot takes up a substantial amount of space but also has a much larger build plate. All 4 Cubes fit on one table which is really nice for space issues... but it is a much smaller machine.
You decide ... below is the keychain that was designed on Tinkercad. The clear/red is printed on the MakerBot and the bright green is printed on the Cube.
I will continue to troubleshoot and document what is happening. I will continue to navigate these new waters and remind myself that every failure is another opportunity to try again and learn something new.
Our 4 Cube 2nd Generations arrived on Tuesday. Wednesday morning was time to setup all of the machines.
Used blue painters tape immediately. The first print when almost flawlessly until the top of the rook and then the extruder jammed and the print failed.
Used blue painters tape but the extruder head is missing the black part. 3D Systems says that shouldn't matter yet the PLA seems to be attaching to the printer head and creating blobs.