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Monthly Archives: March 2013

Teaching and learning resources for #3Dprinting

Check out my new site for FREE teaching and learning resources and projects for 3D printing.

Click here 3D Printing Education Resources

Great for use with Cubex and Cube 3D printers (and others).


Buggy wheels… #3DPrinting with a Cube (time lapse)

I have just put together a Picaxe (microcontroller) buggy for use with my students next term… Needed some better wheels! So….

I decided to go through the complete process to design and make some new wheels. I started with creating a design using the Cubify Invent CAD software. This software is really looking good, no frills and simple enough for students to get the hang of. The stl file was processed in the Cube software (only 7 mouse clicks!) and sent by Wi-Fi.

20 minutes later….

And I couldn't resist using my iPad to record the whole process in a video… Including a time lapse sequence of the actual print taking place.



Another great project for my students in school?!

First #3DPrinting with Cube

Ok, so I couldn't let the new Cube printer sit in the box… I had to print something! But what to print with the gorgeous neon green PLA filament that came with it?

That colour reminds me of the high visibility jackets that are used for safety …. Ah! …SAFETY!!! And a great idea for students to design and make…. Why not Make some of those clip on thingies that go on the spokes of a bike wheel?

… I just love the simplicity of the Cube… Very little setting up, very simple to use, compact, and great print quality!


Cubify (3DS) Cube and #3DPrinting for school

Really excited… I've just been given access to a 3D Systems (Cubify) Cube printer to try out.

You may already be aware that at Clevedon School we have been using 3D printers with students since the early days of this technology and have gained quite a lot of experience having built a RapMan and regularly using a BfB3000/3DTouch. So I was a little sceptical of this tiny desktop machine….. But here are my first impressions.


I managed to get from box to first print in less than an hour and that included downloading and installing the software and activating the Cube online. Everything else you need to get up and running is in the box. The instructions (in a tiny booklet) are very clear and easy to follow… I would recommend reading the instructions as you go along (even though I'm the sort of person who usually skips this).

So, PLA filament is loaded, I've used the special glue stick to coat the glass bed (oops new terminology, I really should get used to calling it “print pad”) to help the print stick to it and I've sent the file to the Cube via wifi (that's a new experience for me!) … Just have to wait for it to finish.

The print quality looks to be superb, but I'm too impatient to get this blog post published so photos of the results will have to wait I'm afraid.

And as for my next I steps…. I'll just do a couple more prints to really test the Cube -something complex and in need of support structures …and then get my students using it, I'm sure they will love it! And I think I'm going to love it's portability.

More to follow no doubt, … Watch this space!

Pi day and #3DPrinting

Thursday 14th March was pi day and as it happened to fall on the day that our Vex robotics group meets after school one of our students wanted to celebrate by 3D printing a Raspberry Pi case. (Ok not really a vex activity and perhaps not what pi day was really about, but….)

Printing took longer than our evening meeting… And we didn't quite make it on pi day but here is the result. A lovely Raspberry Pi commuter case, downloaded from Thingiverse and printed on our 3DS Bits from Bytes 3D Printer.



Prototypes and #3DPrinting

A quick preview of some product prototypes being developed using 3D Printing by our AS level students… Retractable headphones, motorised school compass and an ergonomic knife sharpener…. More to follow later.

Finding 3D components for #3DPrinting (with an iPad).

It's very time consuming to design every single nut and bolt (or similar standard part) when designing for 3D printing in 3D CAD programs. And building up a library of these parts is pretty futile as you never seem to have the exact part that you need saved to your PC.

There are loads of places on the web that these parts can be downloaded from but it takes quite a lot of searching to find them in the right format for your software… And students seem to find themselves easily distracted from the designing as soon as they fire up a web browser 🙂

But I think I may have a solution… Use an app on your iPad for finding the parts and keep your PC free for the designing! These two bits of kit can actually work very well side by side on your (or your student's) desk.

I have been trying out the app “3D CAD Models Engineering” by CADENAS GmbH …. There are literally thousands of parts in a huge number of catalogues and most of these can be configured to different sizes etc. And even better they can be downloaded (emailed to yourself) in the correct format for your CAD software…. All you have to do is open and save the email attachment on your PC.

So, here is the iPad app that I'm trying at the moment https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/3d-cad-models-engineering/id522705054?mt=8

… The app provides search facilities, QR code search, 3D previews, and even augmented reality views!

Another similar iPad app I have downloaded (but not yet fully explored) is GrabCAD. First impressions seem to indicate that the objects available from this app are more complete designs rather than component parts and it looks like selecting the parts/objects within the app redirects you to the safari browser and the GrabCAD website. So perhaps not quite as useful a pairing of iPad and PC as the CADENAS app provides…. But it's still a great way to search for things to 3D print when you have run out of ideas or don't fancy designing something yourself.

Here's the link to the GrabCAD app https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/grabcad/id518400211?mt=8


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