General

A 3D shield design in 2Design&Make

After setting the little extra task last week we had a bit of absence and illness and only one pupil has managed to use 2Design and Make from PurpleMash to design half of a 3D symmetrical object.

Fred decided he wanted a shield, and designed half of it - making good use of the 'nodes' in 2D&M to create a smoother curve.

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Viewed in the 3D viewer, his half shield looked like this.

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This design was exported as an .stl file, and then opened in our 3D printer software where we duplicated the design and began to print two copies of it.

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Once completed Fred was able to take both halves and glue together to create his finished shield.

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A little side task

I've given the pupils a little side task whilst they work on creating their working clock version of Elizabeth Tower. I've set them a "2Do" within PurpleMash - an online learning resource we use in school - to create part of a well known logo and design a 3D object that could be printed out two (or more) times and fixed together to create the complete logo using a user friendly CAD tool called 2Design and Make.

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An example is the Bat sign - I designed one half of it in 2D&M (the software only allows 16 "nodes" within a shape and so it would have been impossible to design the whole sign in one go)

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then 3D printed it twice and stuck it together to create the finished object.

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I'm looking forward to seeing what great ideas they come up with, and how it will look when they 3D print their designs and fit them together.


Soldering. How I hate thee!

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My job for the afternoon was to solder these.

I don't like soldering. I don't like a very hot spear of metal that can melt other metals being near me, never mind having to hold it and use it to try and fix wires onto contact points. I want someone to invent "cold soldering". I'd be the first to back it.


A little repair job

Well, after several hours of frustration, lots of dismantling and several moments of false hope, the first major problem with the 3D printer is now sorted.

The problem? Tucked deep inside the workings of the printer, was a little piece of filament that had snapped off the roll and was stuck just above the extruder (you can just see it in the image below - there's about 1cm of the white filament sticking out of the metal tube). 

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That one little piece was stopping any freshly fed filament from reaching the extruder, and was causing all the problems, but after lots of careful tugging with pliers, and a little bit of forceful feeding into the extruder, it cleared and the printer is now functioning properly once again.

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So, it's time to return to printing out the parts of Big Ben ready for the next project.


The first major problem

As previously mentioned before, we have had issues with the filament snapping. After checking the filament roll we found so much of it had broken that it was no longer usable, and so we ordered a fresh roll.

However, when we came to use the new filament we discovered that it failed to load. No matter how many times we tried, the extruder just would not pull the filament into the printer. 

Eventually we contacted the manufacturer and were given advice about how to open up the extruder and see whether there was a filament clog inside (they sent a link to a video guide - in Chinese!). This will be my job for the weekend so that hopefully by Monday we can continue to print out the remaining parts for the next project.

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