Tag Archives: Replicator

3D-printed prosthetic hands, social justice, and other 4th grade achievements with @DylanMRyder:

A little while ago, I shared the above video with the faculty. I wanted them to know we were much nearer the time when the 3D-printer would be a plug-and-play technology that didn’t require constant maintenance and attention. I also hoped to reinforce the awesome possibilities of 3D-printing and it’s impact on the world. (Remember how President Obama included a plug 3D printing in this year’s State of the Union address?)

Dylan Ryder and I were (at the time) trying to get our Makerbot Replicator2 to successfully and consistently work. I was antsy to finally print out some 6th grade math models, while Dylan and his students in the Maker Club were excited to build and assemble a robot hand. Dylan had been hoping to also initiate a prosthetic limb unit in 4th grade and bring the hand as an incentive. After watching the video I sent, Kate Berten, a 4th grade teacher here at The School at Columbia University, contacted Dylan about prototyping a social justice-inspired unit in the Spring about assistive technologies. As it turned out, the hand Dylan’s students were waiting to print was the same prosthetic hand that the kid in the video was wearing!

The installation of our new updated spring-loaded motor block has allowed us to finally build a Snap Together Robohand. Now, I just have to buy elastic string this afternoon in order to complete the working model…


Here is a 61-page PDF of instructions from @Makerbot for the Snap Together Robohand :

And here are the downloadable files from the Thingiverse for the pieces of the Snap Together Robohand:

And here is another inspiring video of a class working to design a prosthetic device for their classmate: http://www.fox19.com/story/24256073/northern-ky-seventh-grader-gets-help-from-her-classmates


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Just upgraded our Replicator2 spring-loaded drive block with the help of these @Makerbot tutorials:

photo 3 photo 4

FedEx just delivered the Replicator 2 spring-loaded drive block replacement kit that I ordered from Makerbot earlier this week. It’s a free part, you just have to pay tax and any shipping/handling fees. Dylan Ryder and I just installed the new drive block and it works amazingly! It’s seriously like having a brand new and improved machine. If you haven’t already ordered the part, do it now!

Request the drive block replacement here: http://store.makerbot.com/extruder-upgrade
Follow the installation instructions in the video here:

The good people at Makerbot’s customer service also sent me this video about how to clear a thermal barrier tube block in the machine’s extruder with this video tutorial:

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Zen and the Art of 3D Printer Maintenance with @dorakio @kinderbanks. #edchat #edtech

7A81DC8B-111B-4B92-8995-605A2C26549AI just experienced one of the nerdiest weeks of my career. Our Bits From Bytes 3DTouch (@BitsFromBytes) wasn’t working well. It’s more gratifying to work with teachers and students on a design project when they know that the 3D structures and prototypes they create in Sketchup and Tinkercad will be printed in plastic. (Last year, Cristina Martinez and I supported a pretty awesome Greek Temple project that culminated in 5th graders literally outsourcing their designs to the East – in our case across the park to Jaymes Dec‘s 5th graders at the Marymount School on the Upper East Side!)

Since then, I tried to support some 3D printing projects, yet the 3D Touch was often frustratingly unable to print my designs fully. Right before we departed for winter break in December 2012, Don Buckley told me to learn out how to maintain the printer. While I consider myself handy, I would never fool myself into describing myself as an engineer, and I really didn’t need to be weighed down with the possibility of breaking a $4000 machine. However, I do what Don tells me, so I went forth unafraid. It took many hours over many days, but I think I know what I’m doing now.

I looked at pages and pages of information and FAQ from the BitsFromBytes resources link. First I learned how replace a delivery tube and load new filament. Then I experimented with raising/lowering the extruder nozzles and level the printer tray in order to print a successful raft. Once I had items printing regularly, I saw that we were running out of ABS filament and only had PLA left in our stash of replacement spools. So, I learned about the difference between ABS and PLA (ABS is more robust, PLA is cheaper), and learned how to change the target print temperature and RPM for each nozzle.

As it turned out, sometime in the 6th hour on the first day of my ministrations,  Akio Iida and Harry Banks noticed my omnipresence at the printer. They told me they had just finished a design project with their 3rd graders where students were tasked with redesigning a commonly used product (tissue box, pencil cup, x-box console, etc.) Watching me at the 3DTouch prompted Akio and Harry to come over and learn what I learned so that we could successfully start printing the children’s designs. The three of us spent much time together last week tweaking the machine, watching it work, and breathing in pastic-y fumes. The cow0rkers that breathe possibly cancerous toxins together, stay together. (Actually, the PLA material is plant-based and environmentally-friendly.)

Don Buckley has already placed the order for a Replicator 2X. Guess I better start reading the manual…
Image the tail end of our red ABS

Image  replacing the delivery tube

Image  inserting a new spool

Image  switching from red ABS to yellow PLA
Image  figuring out how to adjust the target temperature and rpm

Image curious kids watching the printer working

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Hoping to take a group of teachers/students to the @makerbot retail store…

Makerbot retail store

As per Makerbot’s website:

Seeing is believing. Come see us in person. The first full MakerBot retail experience in the world, is now open to the public. Visitors will have the unprecedented opportunity to experience the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer, live and in-person. Stop in to watch MakerBots at work, learn about 3D design and 3D printing, and leave with an authentic MakerBot-made gift for you or someone you think is cool enough to have it.

What’s Inside:

  • Amazing MakerBot-made gifts.
  • Gumball machine with 3D-printed prizes.
  • 3D Design demonstrations by MakerBot staff.
  • And much more!

Adam Balkin (@AdamBalkinNY1) of NY1 filed the following report about Makerbot’s first retail store. You have to login to watch his video report, though.

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September 23, 2012 · 2:47 pm