3D Printing At Discovery Charter School – Part 5

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By David Lewis

“I Need a Fork!”

Today we opened up the first session of the Discovery Charter School North Henry Avenue Annex Design Lab (DCSNHAADL) with a group of students and parents coming by to see what 3D Design & Printing are all about. Even though school has just been “officially” over for a week, we had a workshop full of students and their parents here for a good chunk of the afternoon.

After walking everyone through the software and demonstrating what the printer did and how it worked by printing another well executed Mini Mug, we gave student copies of SolidWorks to everyone and then turned our attention toward creating and printing a design. After a fair amount of fooling around with impossible designs (A flamethrower!) or impractical (A dragon!) we settled on the practical: A fork.

Vernon created the original design on the HP workstation and with some creative support from Amanda, Doug & Riley got the code into BFB, on to the SD chip and thence to the RapMan. It was amazing to watch a group of kids and adults jostle for space around the printer as the fork took form before their eyes. There is something magical about the whole 3D printing process as layer-by-layer an object emerges.

We were all rapt as the RapMan laid down the strands, filled in the spaces and slowly created a very recognizable dinner table item.

It also took a good deal of time for this print with frequent checks of the completion bar on the RapMan display screen.

The final result is clearly a fork with a decent finish and tines sharp enough to actually eat with. Simply amazing! We can now create our own TSA compliant dinner ware.

Clearly there is some fine-tuning to do on surface finish and filling in the voids, but as the kids first team effort, it is really good work.

We plan to have the lab open three times a week over the summer to see what the kids can do. The next project might be a spoon.

Part 6 >>