3D Printer Club: Team Update (Prior to Meeting 4)


This email was sent to the entire team the weekend before the next Friday meeting, which will be the last meeting of the calendar year (due to holiday breaks).

Greetings, fellow makers!

We missed the fifth graders at the last meeting, but we hope to see them all again at our next meeting this Friday. Despite missing some of our key players, we have made quite a bit of progress before, during, and after that last meeting, so I wanted to update you all a bit. But first a couple of reminders…

REMINDERS: If you have a science notebook for this project, remember to bring it with you to the meeting. Also, if you get an email from another team member, adult adviser, or teacher, remember to read it thoroughly and respond to it promptly. It’s going to take us a very long time to build a 3D printer if we don’t put in the extra effort needed outside of meeting hours to pull this off, and each of you has an important role on this team!

We now have a completed part list! The build team has broken down the printer we’re going to build into six different categories of parts — X, Y, and Z axes, extruder, electronics, and “other” — and they’ve identified 129 different parts that we need to find. (Very special thanks to [student] for all his hard work on this task!)

The BOM team is now working on grouping and organizing those parts so that we’ll have a list of things to buy at each store. For example, the build team listed one motor for the X axis, one for the Y axis, two for the Z axis, and one for the extruder. The BOM team is combining all these line items into one that says “5 motors” and will be figuring out where to get them and how much they should cost.

The accounting team has a rough budget in place and will run the numbers once all the costs are submitted by the BOM team. Once all the expenses are approved, we’ll be able to start ordering all the parts we need — and hopefully by the time we get back after break we’ll be able to start building!

The membership team has set up a membership list and should be distributing it soon to everyone on the team. I plan on printing out a copy and pasting it onto the inside cover of my science notebook. I believe we also have a wait list in place — there are already more students who want to join the club!

Unfortunately it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to host our club blog on the school’s website, but I believe the blog/P.R. team has a plan to get us up and running anyway. They worked with the school and the membership team to identify students with privacy concerns, and they’re setting up a website at a different address. I’m sure they’ll announce it to everyone when it’s up and running!

Finally, the maker team was hard at work again last week taking things apart and identifying useful components. They discovered that part of one of the printers they were disassembling looked a lot like the X axis on the 3D printer! There was a plastic carriage riding on two smooth rods with a belt attached to the back. The belt extended the length of the rods, and wrapped around an idler (freely spinning wheel) at one end and a pulley (geared wheel) attached to a motor at the other end. It might be too small to use for our printer, but we’ll hang onto it for when we think of something else we can build with it!

See you all on Friday!

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