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Monthly Archives: April 2010


What Software? A new resource.


What Software?

This resource briefly looks at the different 3D design software packages that can be used in schools to create designs for RapMan. Also mesh (stl) repair and post processing software is compared. The is not exhaustive but includes most of the tried and tested solutions…. others may be available! 



Please Take The Survey

As regular visitors to this Blog and the BfB forum will already know I have been adding new Teaching and Learning Resources, projects, videos and ideas to the education section of the BfB Wiki.

If you haven’t seen them yet have a look here http://www.bitsfrombytes.com/wiki/index.php?title=Teaching_Resources ….. (or scroll down through this blog) ….couldn’t resist “advertising” them again 

Anyway, I really would like some feedback about the resources and also to try to get some ideas for future developments, so…..

Please CLICK HERE  to take the survey.


Sorry, the survey is now closed

It should only take a couple of minutes and your answers and comments will be appreciated.
Note… NO personal details are collected whatsoever!

Many thanks


Game, Set and Match. Teaching and Learning Resource.


Game Set and Match, new projects on the BfB wiki


You will be in the wrong place if you are expecting to find something about tennis 🙂 This resource suggests ways of designing toys and games. It includes ideas for chess pieces, checkers (draughts) counters and a ball bearing game.

This project is suitable for students who have some experience designing using Pro/ENGINEER or similar 3D design software.






NetFabb Engine for RapMan


So you have designed a part in your 3D CAD program and you want to print it on your RapMan, so you need to convert it to g-code right?

You can of course use Skeinforge. This is a brilliant piece of open source software written by “Enrique” and can be downloaded from http://fabmetheus.blogspot.com/

Although you have a lot of control of how RapMan will print your part using Skeinforge it is a quite complicated program for students to understand. Also some school networks will not allow you to install Python, the “language” that Skeinforge uses.

There is however an alternative…. NetFabb Studio and the “Engine” for RapMan.  This is available in several different versions from the NetFabb site http://www.netfabb.com/  and from BfB  http://bitsfrombytes.com/

The free version of NetFabb will allow you to view scale, move and repair your .stl files but not convert it to g-codeA “paid for” version with the engine for RapMan does the above PLUS conversion to g-code (education prices are available)A professional version (to be released soon) will do ALL the above PLUS more sophisticated editing of stl and mesh file… and more.And…. there is a free version of the NetFabb viewer for iPhone or iPod Touch  http://www.netfabb.com/mobile.php

For details of NetFabb engine see http://www.netfabb.com/rapman_basic.php and for the pro version http://www.netfabb.com/rapman_professional.php


BfB 3D 3000

RapMan 3.1, RapMan Pro…… next ??


I dropped into BfB HQ the other day to get a bit of help with one of my student’s projects. Whilst there Ian showed me one of the new machines…. not exactly certain what it’s called (BfB3000, BfB 3D 3000; 3D 3000, RapMan 3D 3000 ? )…. but it looks really impressive. I didn’t want to step on toes at that time by saying anything on the forum, but it looks like it has made an appearance on the internet 

Attached some  pictures for you…. interesting to note…. some very fancy print heads (3!!!) with horizontal plastic feed ; z axis/build platform two guides and one leadscrew; nice acrylic case.

I Reeeeeellllly want one  




RapMan Basics- an introduction to RapMan


Just added some new T&L resources on the BfB Wiki


RapMan Basics…. an introduction for younger students, it’s a very basic introduction to how RapMan prints in 3D. The process is explained in simple terms and RapMan parts identified. 
Suitable for introduction to younger secondary school students


Teaching and Learning resources on the BfB Wiki

These projects and worksheets have been provided by Dave White, Head of D&T at Clevedon School, UK.

Dave has been using a RapMan in school with his students for some time now and has put together these project ideas as a way to get started and make progress in the use of the machine for rapid prototyping. The resources have been written to guide students through a series of projects using Pro/ENGINEER although they can be adapted for Pro/DESKTOP or other 3D software.

Note. For details on RapMan and how to purchase a machine visit Bits from Bytes Website


Design & Technology (STEM) 


History and Architecture



CAD and Other Software

Open Source

Resources by other contributors


Sample .stl files are included for some projects. There is no guarantee that these are printable, if you wish to try then this is at your own risk, you may find that you have to scale, re-orientate, move the object to get it to print satisfactorily.

Projects are currently in pdf format. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the files. Adobe Reader Download Powerpoint format may follow (hopefully).

If you find the projects useful then please leave comments on the Education section of the Bits from Bytes Forum . And don’t forget that this is also a great place to share your experiences and photographs of the work done by your students.

Note. For details on RapMan and how to purchase a machine visit Bits from Bytes Website


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