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Special Content: Repraps for Education

This is part of a series of posts about starting and facilitating a project-based 3D printer club at a local elementary school, with the ultimate goal of replicating the program at schools everywhere. We'll be posting as many details as possible, including lesson plans and supporting materials. For more information about the entire project, including a listing of posts related to it, please visit the 3D Printer Club for Schools project page. 

Here’s a quick update on some of the projects we’ve been working on this year:

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We went to the 2014 USA Science and Engineering Festival up in Washington, DC, and we wanted to share it with our fellow school Maker Team members. Here’s the video we produced to do that.

USA Science & Engineering Festival
Washington, DC
April 24-27, 2014
http://www.usasciencefestival.org/

SPECIAL THANKS to: Lockheed Martin, Snap-On, K’Nex, Lulzbot, U.S. Naval Academy, Natasha, NASA, and Printrbot.

MUSIC: “Saturdays Basement” by cdk, 2014 – Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) http://ccmixter.org/files/cdk/45072

There are live links on the youtube page for the video for each of these segments:

0:09 Introduction
0:33 Scenes from the Festival
0:53 Lots of 3D Printers!
1:05 Lockheed Martin Large Robot Arm 3D Printer
1:52 Lockheed Martin F35 Lightening II Cockpit Simulator
2:23 Snap-on Racecar
2:33 Huge K’Nex Ferris Wheel
3:14 Lulzbot 3D Printing
3:50 U.S. Naval Academy Robotic Arm
4:52 Natasha the Maker
5:23 NASA Astronaut Alvin Drew
5:57 Brook at Printrbot
6:43 Summary with More Scenes from Exhibits

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Special Content: Repraps for Education

This is part of a series of posts about starting and facilitating a project-based 3D printer club at a local elementary school, with the ultimate goal of replicating the program at schools everywhere. We'll be posting as many details as possible, including lesson plans and supporting materials. For more information about the entire project, including a listing of posts related to it, please visit the 3D Printer Club for Schools project page. 

Here’s a certificate of achievement that you can use for the kids who complete the project at your school. We had two titles: The kids who were in the club were awarded “3D Printer Maker” certificates, and those that helped out a lot (usually younger siblings) were awarded “”3D Printer Apprentice” certificates. The text of the certificate is shown below the image.

Download the SVG file here: 3D Printer Club: Lesson Plans and Other Documents

3D Printer Club Certificate of Achievement

3D Printer Club Certificate of Achievement

The border features the typical honeycomb-style infill pattern that 3D prints often use.

Here’s the text of the certificate:

Let it be known that on this twenty-fourth day of May, two thousand and thirteen,

Student Name

is hereby honored and recognized for outstanding achievement as part of an awesome team of awesome kids who built a fully functional 3D printer—from scratch, having learned tons and tons of cool stuff along the way, including blogging, accounting, sourcing, assembly, robotics, electronics, management, teamwork, and a bunch of other awesome things too numerous to list. This exceedingly rare and highly coveted document therefore confers upon the aforementioned Maker, the esteemed, hard-earned, and frankly just awesome title of

3D Printer Maker

with all the rights, privileges, and honors appertaining thereunto.

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In this video, Jacob shows an easy way to set up a PCB heatbed for your 3D printer — a method that allows the entire surface of the heatbed to be used for printing. He also shows how to cut inexpensive certificate frame glass to size with some simple tools. We’ve had printers with a heatbed setup just like this running without incident for over a year.

Supplies used: PCB Heatbed (with high-temperature wire attached), glass (same size as heatbed), scissors, kapton tape, four M3 nuts and screws (12-16mm), screwdriver & pliers, thermistor, thermistor lead insulation (kapton tape works, too), and pipe insulation tape. See below for glass cutting tools.

Glass Cutting Tools & Materials: Safety glasses, sheet glass (certificate frame glass works well), glass cleaner, paper towels, permanent marker, ruler, cutting oil, straight edge, glass cutting tool, breaking edge, leather gloves, and sandpaper.

A project-based RepRap build is the perfect way to bring STEM and many other disciplines to your school. To learn more about starting a 3D printer build at your school, visit http://www.thefrankes.com/wp/?page_id=2766.

Music

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Special Content: Repraps for Education

This is part of a series of posts about starting and facilitating a project-based 3D printer club at a local elementary school, with the ultimate goal of replicating the program at schools everywhere. We'll be posting as many details as possible, including lesson plans and supporting materials. For more information about the entire project, including a listing of posts related to it, please visit the 3D Printer Club for Schools project page. 

Here’s a video to the team from software developer and RepRap expert Alessandro Ranellucci, the creator of the extremely popular Slic3r software.

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Special Content: Repraps for Education

This is part of a series of posts about starting and facilitating a project-based 3D printer club at a local elementary school, with the ultimate goal of replicating the program at schools everywhere. We'll be posting as many details as possible, including lesson plans and supporting materials. For more information about the entire project, including a listing of posts related to it, please visit the 3D Printer Club for Schools project page. 

Our 3D Printer Club kids got a shout-out from Josef Prusa, designer of the most popular RepRap—quite possibly the most popular 3D printer period. Watch the video here:

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This came out a couple of years ago, but someone reminded me of it just this weekend so I thought I’d share it. It’s a great little introduction to soldering. Click on the image or the following link to visit the site and see the full cartoon tutorial. (http://log.andie.se/post/397677855/soldering-is-easy)

soldering_howto_cartoon

Make Magazine also did a great “How to Solder” round-up a couple years ago. Visit that site here: http://blog.makezine.com/2009/07/21/super-learn-to-solder-its-fun-round/

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Special Content: Repraps for Education

This is part of a series of posts about starting and facilitating a project-based 3D printer club at a local elementary school, with the ultimate goal of replicating the program at schools everywhere. We'll be posting as many details as possible, including lesson plans and supporting materials. For more information about the entire project, including a listing of posts related to it, please visit the 3D Printer Club for Schools project page. 

Here’s a video update of our latest progress in helping a group of grade school kids build a 3D printer from scratch. A lot went into this milestone, including research, sourcing parts, accounting, blogging, build scheduling, membership coordination, and more.

The kids are learning so much—not just STEM, but teamwork, budgeting, planning, human resources, and much more—with this real-world, hands-on, high-tech project. So far it’s been an absolute joy to see them starting to come up with ideas and solve problems as if the technology were already as common and available as any of the other tools in their problem-solving tool kits.

As for the technology, they seem to just “get it” and aren’t as intimidated by it as adults often seem to be. I think we’re making great progress in “demystifying the box” and helping kids understand what goes on inside modern machines. From the start, these kids have wanted to pay it forward and help another school do the same thing, and I can’t wait for them to have the chance to do that.

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Special Content: Repraps for Education

This is part of a series of posts about starting and facilitating a project-based 3D printer club at a local elementary school, with the ultimate goal of replicating the program at schools everywhere. We'll be posting as many details as possible, including lesson plans and supporting materials. For more information about the entire project, including a listing of posts related to it, please visit the 3D Printer Club for Schools project page. 

We missed a meeting due to weather, and so I talked about some ideas to make up the time with one of the build team members. One idea that came out of that discussion was to involve more people in the build process, regardless of that team they’re on. Another idea was to prepare bags of required parts so there wasn’t a logjam at the parts table.

We turned to the whiteboard and broke the task of building the machine into a number of parts: Two sides, front, back, top, extruder, and X assembly. Each of these was going to be at small team of 2-3 kids so that each child would have an opportunity to contribute to the actual build. We came up with some silly names to identify the team — names like “Team Eyeball” and “Team Hamburger.”

Using a number of different colors, we drew a diagram of how the major frame sections needed to be assembled. We used the diagrams to count out the parts and prepare the kits. In each back we included a copy of the diagram and a photo of what each kit represents on the completed reference machine. The adults were asked to resist the temptation to do any building themselves, and to let the kids explore the parts and make mistakes.

assembly-back-drawing assembly-front-drawing assembly-side-drawingThe threaded rods also needed to be cut — about a dozen cuts were required. Because the rods are critical path, we set up three stations using bar clamps and printed Bar Clamp Rod Adapters and let the kids get started on this right when they came into the room for the meeting. Each length was labeled “A,” “B,” or “C,” and cutting locations were clearly marked with tape. (They had planned out the best fit the meeting prior and marked all the cuts, but I wanted to make it very clear.)

The measurements on the diagrams are made nut to nut, and there’s typically at least one that has a +/- in front of it. I explained to the kids that this one was the less important measurement — that the others took priority, and that this one could vary. To prepare for all the measuring, I also provided each table with a number of these excellent paper rulers (narrow metric).

This was the first day that the kids could really see their teamwork coming together. There was a buzz of activity around the rod cutting stations as teams grokked the diagrams and began to build: “We need another B rod!” and “All the A rods have been distributed!”

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Special Content: Repraps for Education

This is part of a series of posts about starting and facilitating a project-based 3D printer club at a local elementary school, with the ultimate goal of replicating the program at schools everywhere. We'll be posting as many details as possible, including lesson plans and supporting materials. For more information about the entire project, including a listing of posts related to it, please visit the 3D Printer Club for Schools project page. 

To help prepare the kids for the next meeting, I sent this email to all of the club members. The robots I’m referring to are a handful of little Maker Faire Robots (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:40212) that I printed to give away at the previous meeting.

Hello fellow makers! (This email is for the kids, but advisers can read it, too)

Our next meeting is this Friday, and we should be able to make more progress on the build. Based on the responses I saw from [build team member] email last week, it looks like we’ll have a couple more hacksaws to work with, and I’ll try to bring some more clamps — and those little printed robots I forgot to bring last time. (I’m printing more of them as we speak, and I’ve attached a picture!

I’ve seen emails from several of you regarding things like hacksaws, meeting frequency, and parts that we still need to locate, and I really appreciate the hard work that’s been going on between our meetings. Without this effort, our progress will slow down considerably, so thank you!

[Build team member] on the build team had the idea of increasing the frequency of our meetings to weekly, and although I think what would definitely help us move along faster, I think at least for the time being I’d like to keep meeting every other week. My hope is that we’ll be able to get more legwork done between meetings so that we can focus more on the build during the meetings. There’s always an option for smaller groups to meet in the off week, too.

Some of you may have met [hackerspace member] last time. He’s a member of the local maker space (or hackerspace) and was helping out last time with the makers. He and I were talking about some neat project ideas we can work on in the future. Thank you, [hackerspace member], for your time!

I was very happy to send out our first thank-you card that accounting team put together and had everyone sign. It also looks like the BOM team has been hard at work finding a few remaining parts that we need.

I believe the blog team is working on a website update, but I think they would consider posting information from other team members as well. For example, I plan to write a couple of paragraphs about the promotional video you’ve all seen and ask them to post it. So if you have any ideas, please feel free to share them!

I was very happy to see the membership team working on the sign-ins at the last meeting. They may need a little extra help in the coming weeks, so if you’re interested in membership-related duties, please feel free to contact them to offer your support.

I look forward to seeing you again this Friday! Remember to bring your science notebooks or an extra hacksaw if you have them or are able to!

-Alex

P.S. Remember the email addresses you can use to contact your team or other teams: [email list addresses]

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