So, I’m the D&T teacher in my school who ends up teaching all the geeky stuff. CAD, CAM, electronics and programming PIC micro controllers.
The students learn to program simple inputs and outputs using flow chart software and Picaxe chips on some simple circuit boards that I made (I would love to get the students to build their own but time is very limited). They then progress onto a project programming some buggies that I have built. These buggies were built at various times over the last couple of years… And here lies the main problem, they were all different (different wheels, PICs, micro switches and battery containers). It all got very frustrating so it was time to rationalise my set of buggies.
During my half term break I set about 3D printing some new wheels with rubber tyres to help prevent them slipping and a set of battery mounts with Velcro strips to support the battery boxes ( these are colour coded blue and yellow for the different types of chips in the buggies).
I now have a set of buggies that match and after their service / MOT they should be fit for a few more groups of students to use.
Of course the brilliant thing about 3D printing the wheels and battery mounts I have new parts that do the job I wanted. No need to make do with off the shelf parts.
Note: the buggies are available from http://www.rapidonline.com/ as a starter pack for the Toyota technology challenge.