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Monthly Archives: July 2010

A new RapMan is born

Today I finished building a RapMan.


Term ended for me on Friday lunchtime, so on Friday evening I started to build the kit…. By Monday lunch time I was printing!

I’m really pleased with the quality of the build (took lots of care… not a rush job)… and the kit was fantastic, everything needed apart from a few hand tools. Ok so they were 2 pretty full-on days (about 10 hours each) but it does prove that building in 2-3 days is a reality.


And as for the print quality…. Take a look at the photos…. Fantastic! (I used BfB Axon and the new firmware)


Anyway, I had better say what I’m going to use the RapMan for. Some of you may be aware that I am an “Advanced Skills Teacher” this means that for one day a week I work for my Local Authority rather than my school, so this year I’m going to do some “Master classes” and I will take RapMan on the road with me to visit local schools. I’m thinking about teaming up with another AST (who specialises in Geography) and see if we can tackle some terrain printing…. more news on this when we get started next academic year.




Case Study

You may have seen in the printing section of the BfB forum some of the fantastic prints that Marco has done for his company.   Forum post   The project is about terrain printing and a hydro-electric dam.


Marco (Sigma Design in Italy) very kindly sent me some designs, drawings, photos and information about this project to enable me to produce a case study.

This type of case study is extremely valuable for students as it shows them how 3D printing is used “in the real world” of business and industry. And of course the prints were done using a RapMan   

The link to this case study is here- Case Study – Dam project

… and of course a huge thank you to Marco for sending me the files and information that made this possible.

PS. If anyone else has similar information about a “real world” project that they wouldn’t mind being made into a case study then please contact me and I will put together a .pdf that can be used in education…. and of course your business will get a free advert




Updated Resources

It has been a busy few weeks for me at the end of term and I may have overlooked a few updates of resources on the BfB wiki.


I have managed to reduce the file size of the volcanoes (before and after) for the Geography 3D terrain printing project (Mt St. Helens), so both versions are now available for you to try- before you have a go at converting DEM files to .stl. http://www.bitsfrombytes.com/wiki/index.php?title=Geography_-_Mount_Saint_Helens_Volcano


Although not really a T&L resource I have also uploaded a manual for the BfB Axon Software (draft) http://www.bitsfrombytes.com/wiki/index.php?title=BfB_Axon This provides information on how to get started with this excellent software for creating g-code for your RapMan or BfB3000


rfa.arch (don’t know his/her real name) has had considerable success printing models of tall buildings (see the tread on the forum Tall Buildings). The files were downloaded from Google Sketchup 3D Warehouse and exported as .stl files. rfa.arc has also provided a .stl file of the Empire State Building that you can try as a starter. http://www.bitsfrombytes.com/wiki/index.php?title=Architectural_Models 





Data Conference Presentation

Almost forgot…. when I got back from the DATA “Digital D&T” conference I did say that I would post a copy of my presentation…. here it is


DATA Conference Rapman.pdf
Download this file

Axon on the BfB Website

BfB axon is now available on the BfB Website. BfB Axon Download.

For more details see previous post on July 2nd 2010.


Print your own DNA

This time about DNA and the double helix.  http://www.bitsfrombytes.com/wiki/index.php?title=Science_-_DNA


This resource is heavily based on the work by “Cathalgarvey” on Thingiverse… my thanks to him for producing the .stl files (and to Bogdan for spotting them and realising it would make a good T&L resource)


Just got back from the DATA Conference at Keele University

Just got back home 8.45pm UK time… 150 mile trip
As promised I’m reporting back on how the conference went 

BRILLIANT… I really enjoyed it J I ran 2 seminar/workshop sessions of about one hour in the morning and afternoon to a good sized audience each time (sorry didn’t count them) They were teachers, lecturers, advisors etc all specialising in D&T so a fairly knowledgeable lot.

The presentations went down really well (even though the university’s IT system refused to produce sound for my video clips ) … I will post a copy of the presentation later (after I’ve annotated it)

Interestingly there were a few “Dimension” owners in the audience…. Their expressions were very interesting* when I mentioned about initial cost, running costs and showed them the quality of output… Ok you can see a difference but it’s not 20-40X better on a Dimension… I would rather spend the cash on having 20-40 RapMan machines than buy one Dimension. I would be happy to have one in each of my workshops!…. ok, so I can dream a little
* for interesting read “green with envy”

If BfB don’t get a few sales from my presentation and seeing a BfB3000 “in the flesh” I would be very surprised


PS the BfB3000 and the BfB Axon software were a dream.. fantastic combination and excellent results… and the machine survived bouncing around in the back of my car perfectly well… (the BfB 3000 road test …and I’m fairly certain I can hide the evidence of my little printing mistake  from the BfB guys…oops… you would have thought by now that I would know the difference between the z+ and z- buttons)



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