3D Printing At Discovery Charter School – Part 1

(For a background on what this series is about please read “Discovery Charter School Goes 3D“)

By David Lewis

We started the build of the 3D Systems RapMan 3.1 over the long weekend here. We were a little overwhelmed by the number of parts, the apparent complexity of the build and the number of different sized nuts, bolts, rods and the like. However, by the end of the first day we had a lot of the sub-assemblies built and we were feeling less overwhelmed by the process. A really smart process was the practice segment where Riley learned just how much torque was needed to break one of the pieces of acrylic.

Once that was learned, we began building all the sub-assemblies.

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The big learning for Riley (and me) was to take it carefully and a chunk at a time. It was also hugely helpful to have a large long workspace where we could lay everything out and see it clearly. Moving into Day 2 we started assembling the frame and controls. Building this from a kit is teaching Riley a lot about design, construction and mechanics in the best possible hands-on way.

Click image for larger view

We have also had our share of frustration and information overload. But Riley keeps coming back to the build and while we are taking longer than an experience engineer might to get this together, he is pleased with the progress.

Our goal is to have the printer up and running before the end of school this year so that we can print something for Riley’s Principal at the school. More adventures to follow after the next weekend build.

Part 2 >>