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Educational Software Thread, Any primary schools out there doing 3D printing? in Technical; I work as an ICT teacher at a London based private primary school. We've recently decided to introduce a 3D ...
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    Any primary schools out there doing 3D printing?

    I work as an ICT teacher at a London based private primary school. We've recently decided to introduce a 3D printing topic over this term with our Y6 classes - the first time we've ever done it.

    The biggest issue for us has been finding a way of scaffolding it for 10-11 year olds. All softwares we have found have been aimed more at secondary school children. There's an amazing one called Tinkercad which would be perfect were it not for the $1000 a month (for 10 licences!) price for using it. Our children are currently designing their own robot models using FreeCAD (opensource) - simple and free, but with lots of issues at the moment too with memory floods. When it eventually arrives, we'll be printing off their designs on a Cube3D printer. The entire topic is very trial and error - realising issues around the subject each lesson and solving problems when we come to them!

    As far as we can tell, we're the only primary school in the country that's currently doing this. Does anyone know anyone else who is? It would be very useful to share ideas or suggestions. Alternatively, once this is done we're happy to offer any thoughts!

    Cheers!

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    plexer's Avatar
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    How about Printcraft minecraft 3d printing?

    Ben

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    Have you considered something like GoogleSketchUp? or whatever its called since rename?

    Steve

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Or 3dtin or even <shudders> blender (well - you did say FreeCad was easy!). I'd think even OpenScad might be OK depending on the aims of the lesson and the age of the students.

    Amazing to hear someone is doing this in a Primary School. Good luck!

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    Thanks for the speedy replies everyone!

    Printcraft looks amazing - I certainly wouldn't need to encourage anyone to use it either! Not ideal as the plots only last a week, but may use it for "Design Your Own Castle" competition later in the year. Doodle3D too! Might have to put in a pre-order for that box.

    We did consider using SketchUp, although we couldn't find a way of getting it to work in a way that would suit us. Can't exactly remember what it was now! Will look into it again.

    I thought 3DTin was fantastic when we first looked at it - however they make saving it as an .stl file surprisingly difficult. You had to send it to them as another file if I remember correctly.

    FreeCAD is a bit fiendish, but we're only keeping them in the "Part" menu for now - building up a simple robot using set 3D shapes, resizing and transforming them, combining parts and cutting eventually. Maybe doing some edges if we have time. I doubt we'll use any of the other menus!

    I'll check out OpenScad but it looks from the website like it's pure code!

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    plexer's Avatar
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    @rjm30 You only need a Doodle3D box if you want to add that to a printer you don't need one in order to use their s/w when they release it so you can still use your normal workflow.

    OpenScad is more like a programming language but it's quite easy to create simple shapes and then move and take those shapes away from other shapes to end up with a usable 3d model.

    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjm30 View Post
    I'll check out OpenScad but it looks from the website like it's pure code!
    OpenSCAD is pure code but it is also interactive enough that feedback to making changes is quick (so if you change the placement of a part, you just press F5 and see the effect). You can use it with something like InkScape to extrude more complex shapes (via DXF). I'd think it would be useable if well planned - i.e. you provide templates which are building blocks to the final outcomes for anything too complex. Depends really what you want to teach them - the term 3d printing could cover everything from Arduino programming and wiring up stepper motors through the behaviour of different materials when extruding (or different kinds of additive manufacturing processes) to just picking stuff off thingverse and printing. I'm currently building my second 3d printer (a Mendel 90) and I'm still learning new stuff by the bucketful!
    Last edited by pcstru; 1st October 2013 at 11:41 AM.

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    We had a look and thinks it's great! They currently haven't had much experience of typed code - we build them up with programming from Year 3, culminating in doing a webpage with HTML. I'll have a think about swapping over...

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    plexer's Avatar
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    My OpenScad is quick and dirty but it still amazes me that this:

    Code:
    full_leg = 1;
    
    module clamp(){
    difference(){
    union(){
    translate([-2,0,0]) cube([30,20,10]);
    translate([0,0,0]) rotate([0,90,90]) cylinder(r=2,h=20,$fn=50);
    translate([26,0,0]) rotate([0,90,90]) cylinder(r=2,h=20,$fn=50);
    translate([-22,0,8.5]) cube([70,20,3]);
    }
    translate([2.5,0,3]) cube([21,20,15]);
    translate([-12,10,8.5]) cylinder(r=3.2/2,h=4);
    translate([38,10,8.5]) cylinder(r=3.2/2,h=4);
    }
    }
    
    module leg(){
    difference(){
    union(){
    cube([3,100,20]);
    translate([23,0,0]) cube([3,100,20]);
    translate([0,100,10]) rotate([0,90,0]) cylinder(r=10,h=26,$fn=6);
    translate([0,45,0]) cube([26,10,20]);
    }
    translate([3,80,0]) cube([20,20,20]);
    translate([-3,85,10]) rotate([0,90,0]) cylinder(r=4,h=32);
    translate([-3,65,10]) rotate([0,90,0]) cylinder(r=4,h=32);
    translate([-3,35,10]) rotate([0,90,0]) cylinder(r=4,h=32);
    translate([-3,15,10]) rotate([0,90,0]) cylinder(r=4,h=32);
    }
    }
    
    if (full_leg == 1){
    rotate([90,0,0]) clamp();
    leg();
    }
    {
    rotate([90,0,0]) clamp();
    }
    Produces a next object.

    Ben

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    Amazing! Am definitely considering moving onto this for the higher ability children who finish first.

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    I've not looked in any detail yet but 123 Design from Autodesk may be worth a look.

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