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Monthly Archives: April 2012

3D printing and Scalextric for Schools

Quite some time ago with the help from the guys at Bits from Bytes (3D Systems) we did some experimenting with PTC for the Scalextric in Schools competition (there is a post about this earlier in this blog).

We printed body shells and vacuum forming moulds for Scalextric cars. This proved to be very successful and Tim Brotherhood from PTC displayed the parts at the D&T show… Anyway, not having a laser cutter at the time I couldn’t make the chassis, so the body shells went into storage. Tidying up my study the other day I came across the moulds again and decided to have a go at assembling a car.

I took the files into school and cut out the parts for the chassis and spent an hour or so assembling it. It’s a lovely bit of designing as it is all held together with a single bolt! I also vacuum formed a new body shell and cut off the excess material and wheel arches… Hey presto, a fully working Scalextric car! Maybe I’ll get round to adding windows, decals and “go faster stripes” someday.

I have also used our 3D Touch printer to print out a new body shell… Being a bit over excited I broke the last one when I ham fisted tried to remove the support material from inside… Oops! So this time I’ll see if I can get the guys at Bits from Bytes to dissolve away the support materials with one of their fantastic new ultrasonic tanks, but perhaps that’s for another day.

Now I’m wondering… How can I get hold of some track? Maybe then I will try to get a team of students together in school to enter the competition!

LED Lights and 3D Printing

The other day I came across some inexpensive LED panels that are really intended for replacing conventional bulbs in cars. This got me thinking about how these can be used in school. We have some display cases in the D&T department that are used to display work done by our students and there isn’t any lighting… Hardly the way to showcase outstanding work… So something needs to be done!

I needed to try out these LED lights and then it struck me, an application that would try out the lights and help keep Mrs W happy with all the 3D printing I have been doing. Mrs W always complains that our kitchen is too dark, so what about using these light for under cupboard lighting?

The LED panels come with a sticky pad on the back and after trying these out for a couple of days I found that the heat and steam in the kitchen made them fall off… So this is where the 3D printing comes in!

I quickly designed a bezel or surround that would contain the LED panel and had screw fixings to attach it to the cupboard… You can see the designs, 3D prints, and the final solution in place in the attached pictures.

Mrs W is very happy with the results and now I’m wondering about how students can incorporate these in their D&T project work… And of course do the lighting for the display cases in school.

Developing 3D printing

I keep hearing that a new revolution is taking place… A 3D printing revolution. But what does this mean in an educational context?
This document explores some of my thoughts on this issue.

Download this file


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