This is part two in a series covering the journey of teaching kids to design to 3D print at the Engineering Design Club. This is an overview of the printing process and the kids reaction to their prints. Read part one here to see the lesson plan and CAD details.
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The Design Objective In class, using the SOLIDWORKS App for Kids, we designed a 3D model of a robot. The objective was to design a robot that looks like what they think a robot looks like or should look like. Here is a slideshow of their creations:
Readying the Prints & Printing
Using my Sindoh 3DWOX 3D Printer, a high end and high performance desktop 3D printer, I printed out the kids designs from the SW App for Kids. In the SW App for Kids there is an option to sync your Sinhoh printer directly to the program or to download an STL file. Due to increased flexibility from the STL download, I chose that option. Using the 3DWOX Desktop, I sent the files to the printer after orienting them and changing a few of the print settings. Here are two screenshots from the 3DWOX Desktop program, featuring my example robot on the left in the normal 3D Model Viewer and on the right the Layer Viewer.
When we talked about designing to 3D print for the first time, we touched on the possibilities of 3D printing, showed them prints, explained what filament is, and helped them understand the role that CAD plays in a final 3D printed product. During this session, we went more into depth about the printing process and technical details like how the 3DWOX Desktop works, print time, print orientation, and support.
I printed out the kids designs using white, pink, and blue PLA (polylactic acid) and red ABS Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene). The filament is put into a cartridge on the right side of the printer.
Keeping the support on the prints, I gave them the prints to clean off themselves to understand what support is used for. I printed the twelve different designs from different angles to show how exactly support works and why. They used pliers to pull the support off and files to clean up the prints.
We rotated groups of 6 through our 3D print cleaning station with the other lessons that we covered on Friday (read about it here) and also got their reactions to their prints and what they learned about. They also did a few exercises on print orientation and support.
Here are a few pictures of support on prints and what filament rolls look like.
The Results Here are their 3D models next to their 3D prints. They took their own model home after cleaning support off. I also included answers to questions about their prints and what they learned. Some of the kids were not in attendance or had to leave early and did not finish their questions.
What do you like about your 3D print? The face that has a pig smile on it.
What is something new that you learned about 3D printing? I learned that once you print 3D prints you have to file rough parts in order to make them smooth. .
What do you like about your 3D print? That you can print almost anything you want.
What is something new that you learned about 3D printing? I learned about support for 3D prints.
What do you like about your 3D print? I like that my robot rolled and moved.
What is something new that you learned about 3D printing? That it is really important how you position your item when printing to help support it.
What do you like about your 3D print? I like how it is small and I like small things.
What is something new that you learned about 3D printing? I learned that the raft can be removed from the model.
What do you like about your 3D print? I like that my wheels were equally placed.
What is something new that you learned about 3D printing? Akshat didn't fill this part out.
Unlike the other prints, I decided to print Dhruv's robot in red ABS filament. Later in class they'll be making robots and the chassis is printed with this filament.
What do you like about your 3D print? I made it on SOLIDWORKS.
What is something new that you learned about 3D printing? What support is and what rafts are.
I printed Neel's drone a few times but due to the thin propeller design, I took it out to get the best result.
What do you like about your 3D print? I got to design it.
What is something new that you learned about 3D printing? How to control a 3D printer.
Sadly, I did not have orange filament to print Ginger the cat, but deemed pink to be the next best thing.
What do you like about your 3D print? It is cute and clear on what it's supposed to be.
What is something new that you learned about 3D printing? I learned about support and different materials that can be used with different pros and cons.
What do you like about your 3D print? I like it because I designed it in the SOLIDWORKS App for Kids.
What is something new that you learned about 3D printing? That many 3D prints have support.
A huge thank you to SOLIDWORKS Corp. and Sara Junghans for their 3D printing support and for making these prints possible.