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In the news


In my previous post on 9th September 2010 I reported about the donation of a new BfB 3000 printer by BfB for me to use in my capacity of Advanced Skills Teacher for North Somerset (UK). Well the local press have eventually caught up with this fantastic development and two newspapers have published a report. I thought you might like to see it so I’ve attached a copy here.



BfB, PTC and Scalextric

Two Blog posts in one day! Must be more good news!!!


Over the summer holidays I was contacted by PTC (the company who produce Pro/ENGINEER) about testing out some ideas for an international project that they support in schools and colleges. I couldn’t resist the challenge and the opportunities that it might offer for students.

The project is called Scalextric4schools (see http://www.scalextric4schools.org/  ). Basically students can design (using Pro/ENGINEER) and make scalextric slot cars to enter into an international competition.  Tim Brootherhood from PTC was at the DATA Digital D&T conference and wondered if BfB printers could make a scalextric car body shell.. so he sent me the files to see if it was possible (btw the Makerbot guys had already given it a go but the size of their machines means that they can only produce the body shell split into parts). As you can see from the pictures in this post with a little help from the guys at BfB we printed a body shell with support materials (those of you who visit the BfB forum may have seen some of these before when I started a discussion about twin extruders and support materials).

So, If you are looking for a new project for your school or college you might like to consider taking part in this competition, full details are on the website mentioned above.

When I get all the parts to complete these cars I’ll post some more pictures. If you have a go please think about posting some photos on the BfB forum.


PS. If you are wondering about the strange looking red car in the photos it’s a printed mould for vacuum forming car body shells… another experiment that we are trying out.


Thanks to BfB.


Ok, so by now most of you guys in “RapMan Land” know a bit about me and the things I am getting up to with 3D printing in education, but I thought I would break some fantastic news I have about some recent developments.

I am what is known in the UK as an AST (Advanced Skills Teacher) so as well as teaching Design & Technology in a “normal” secondary school (11-18 year olds) I also work with schools in my local area of North Somerset…. It also means that I try to get involved in some of the new developments in teaching and learning and that’s one of the main reasons I have been so enthusiastic about what RapMan and 3D printing can offer to D&T (STEM) students.

To help schools and colleges get the best out of setting up and using 3D printing I started to produce some Teaching and Learning resource and I made these freely available on the BfB Wiki http://www.bitsfrombytes.com/wiki/index.php?title=Teaching_Resources  and to date the main page has been accessed over 4500 times…. so, if only a small portion of these visits have resulted in these resources being downloaded and used by teachers with their students then I’m more than a little bit happy… and as it turns out so are Bits from Bytes!

So, what is the fantastic news? …. well, BfB have donated a new machine to me for use in my school and around the local area…. It’s a lovely twin head BfB3000! Of course what this means is that students will be able to experience some of the new advances in printing with support materials and a choice of ABS or PLA without too much filament swapping etc.

The other thing is that students (worldwide) will also benefit as I am now in a much better position to produce Teaching and Learning materials specifically for the BfB3000, printing with support and other more advanced technologies.

You may be wondering what’s going to happen to my RapMan…. well it won’t be forgotten now that we have a new machine to play with… RapMan Roadshow is about to start happening… The unfortunate RapMan is going to bounce around in the back of my car visiting other schools and as I mentioned previously I’m going to look at doing Masterclasses in cross-curricular projects that involve 3D printing.

Anyway, much too excited to blog any more tonight (Ok so I am a bit of a geek) … I’m now off to process some .stl files to print on the BfB3000 tomorrow morning when i get back into school… watch this space and I’ll post some photos.

And most importantly…. Thanks to all the guys at Bits from Bytes, from me and students all over the world!


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