Tag Archives: 3D printer

Zen and the art of 3D printer maintenance redux. @BrearleyNYC #MakerEd #STEAM

Over the years, I’ve learned a fair amount about maintaining (or coddling) a few different models of 3D printers: Makerbot (Cupcake, 2, 2x, 5th Gen), Printrbot (Simple Metal), Bits from Bytes (3D Touch and Cube), and Ultimaker (2+, Go, and Original+). Like the book about maintaining motorcycles, you can either buy a top of the line printer with awesome customer support and expect it to work amazingly, or you can get to know one intimately because you built it from a kit or from scratch and/or you found yourself elbow deep in a machine trying to troubleshoot with the help of Google, user forums, willpower, and luck. Desktop 3D printers are not “plug and play” — I have almost never been able to simply turn on and use a 3D printer without any frustrations.

I’ve spent the past two weeks in close proximity with two Ultimaker Original+ kit printers (built by Brearley students a few years ago). For better or worse, I removed and rebuilt the feeder assembly on both printers, and I’m still not satisfied with the feeder on the one sitting on my desk right now. I feel like I need to either remodel the students’ designs, change the Ultimaker’s settings, buy newer filament, and/or only print one thing at a time, as having the extruder “retract” during the print is causing problems with an already problematic feeder. I think I’ve narrowed it down to possibly needing a new ball bearing on the feeder clamp. When I notice filament isn’t advancing properly, I manually apply force to guide it from the spool to the opening of the feeder. It’s beyond tedious, and I’m sure the fumes (even from PLA) are making me stoopider.

I’ve taken to making tick marks on the filament with a permanent marker and anxiously staring to see if the filament advances properly. Essentially, I’ve learnt that the trick is to continually glare at it. As soon as I convince myself it’s working and walk away to attend to something else (or gloat), it fails. Every. Single. Time. I’m officially naming this one Christine.

But, oh, the satisfaction when it works…

(​I wrote a similarly titled post about 3D printer nerd-ery in 2013 here: https://karenblumberg.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/zen3dtouch/)

 

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Thanks to @wagongrrl @openblackboard @gravescolleen @morrill_rob (and others!) for sharing 3D designs for coin cell battery holders! #MakerEd #STEAM #STEMed

Thanks to the generous makers below for designing and sharing these helpful 3D templates that hold a coin cell battery in place while allowing wires, conductive thread, and/or copper tape to conduct electricity:

From Tracy Rudzitis (@wagongrrl)
https://www.tinkercad.com/things/i7EUf0qO18W

From Erik Nauman (@openblackboard)
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2663569

From Colleen Graves (@gravescolleen)
https://www.tinkercad.com/things/dU4kTogxpjZ

From Rob Morrill (@morrill_rob)
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1888289

From Benny Malengier
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:250503
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:265116
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:79502

From Andrew Comer
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:653945

From Beam Contrechoc (@contrechoc)
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1627205

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Trying out @QloneApp 3D-scanning mobile app for a totem project in Class 5 next week. @BrearleyNYC #MakerEd

 

@LizArum, Education Community Strategist at Ultimaker North America, sent out information about the Qlone App by Eye Cue Vision Technologies. I just tried it out today, and it seems to be an incredibly powerful 3D-scanning app for my iPhone. All you have to do is print out the black/white checkered mat (which can be scaled and printed in different sizes), place your object (hopefully one without transparent or moving parts), and either slowly circle the mat with your phone or spin the paper until the augmented reality dome encircling the object reveals that your scan complete.

I’m about to launch a 3-D design project that integrates with Class V’s study of the Pacific Northwest. Last year, I noticed the girls painted enormous 2-D renderings of totem poles which hung on the walls (and ceiling!) of the 7th floor Art Department hallway at The Brearley School (I wish I could find my pictures of these awesome and huge panels). After seeing their paintings last year, I thought a 3-D version might be a worthwhile integrated project..


This year, I saw a bulletin board outside their homerooms where teachers hung totems made by the girls out of the cardboard tube inside paper towel roll. I was able to tell the girls that we’ll continue this idea by designing a totel in Tinkercad. I’m still thinking about the parameters of this upcoming 3-D design project:

  1. How many objects shall they include?
  2. Shall they be free to arrange these objects vertically, horizontally, or in some other shape (like in a circle for a wristlet)?
  3. Shall they locate objects online or scan physical artifacts that they bring in or both?
  4. Shall they have the option to scan their head/body to be part of the design?
  5. Shall we print these out? If so, shall we make small versions to be worn as a pendant or keychain?

I love offering student voice and student choice, but I don’t want the girls to be overwhelmed with possibilities. All I know right now is that I’ll have them sketch their designs on paper first. I’m just worried a little that this project will take too long, especially as I only meet with my Class 5 girls once a week. Fingers crossed!

Here’s a video from Qlone’s FAQ section of their website:

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