3D Printer Club: Email from Build Team

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. 

One of the build team leads send out a lengthy email to the whole team. (He’s young, so it was mostly dictated.)

I recognized during the previous meeting as they were developing the build schedule, that it was very aggressive. At this point the build team is planning to have all the rods cut and the frame completely assembled during the next meeting! This is a mistake I’m willing to let them make and learn from, though. Personally, my hope is that we can at least start cutting.

Hi everyone!

This is [build team lead]. I hope you had a good break. I’m looking forward to the next meeting on the 11th. Make sure you remember your notebook, if you have one.

[Other build team lead] and I made a build schedule, and according to the build schedule, it looks like we should be cutting the threaded rods for the frame the next time we meet! According to my research, in order to build the frame we need threaded rods, 5/16” nuts and washers, and 6 plastic frame vertices. We already had the threaded rods, we ordered the nuts and washers, and we printed the frame vertices, so we have everything we need to start building the 3D printer!

We’ve been getting some crucial parts to build the 3D printer.

The other day we got the motherboard (or the circuit board) with all the components that go along with it. My dad found a really good deal on ebay, and he just ordered it because there were only two left in stock. We still need to solder the motherboard all together before we can use it. We also need to program its “brain.” The “brain” is a computer chip. He also found good deals on motors and motor controllers so we have those now, too. According to my schedule, we should be putting the electronics together at a later meeting.

We got two hot ends. Hot ends are the things that heat up the plastic and squirt it out. We got these before the last meeting as you probably know. We will only need one of the two for the 3D printer.

We got the threaded rods before the last meeting, too. The threaded rods are for the frame mostly and also for the Z axis. We still need to cut the threaded rods to size and put them together. We’re going to cut them with a hacksaw. We are probably going to do that at the next meeting. We might need some help with that, and it would probably be a good job for some of the makers.

We got a bunch of hardware from McMaster-Carr. McMaster-Carr is this online hardware store. I congratulate the BOM team for finding those products on McMaster-Carr. We got nuts, screws, bolts, and all that kind of stuff. We also got the smooth rods from McMaster-Carr. The smooth rods are for the Z, Y and X axes. They allow the axes to move back and forth, up and down, or side to side. We need to cut them, too. According to my schedule, we should be doing that at a later meeting also.

We got some high-temperature wire from McMaster-Carr also. High temperature wire is wire that doesn’t melt in high temperature. We need that because we need some wire to give the power to heat up the hot end without melting.

I’m looking forward to getting started building!

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