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Our Explorers learn about 3D printing, from concept design, to using software to create the print file, to printing the 3D object. We teach the engineering design process as described below:
Brainstorming is an important part of improving upon ideas for projects here at Post 888. The students brainstorm every day for at least thirty minutes so they can come up with improvement for previous projects and also think up new ones.
When students are ready to start a project, they draw out the print on graphing paper and take all relevant measurements. The students draw the product in different angles and think of possible add-ons to the creation. When they are finished with the sketch the students use cardboard to make a prototype. The prototype is then looked over by an adviser and when approved are moved to the 3D modeling process.
- Creating in 3D
The students primarily use Sketchup to make 3D printed objects. By utilizing the different tools and extensions on this software, the students are able to create an exact model of their sketch that is able to be printed.
- The Print
When the 3D files are completed, students are able to upload 3D models into slicing software, such as ReplicatorG, in order to prepare the model for printing. The students control the 3D printer through the program and touch up the setting before uploading the completed print to a SD card to place into the 3D printer. After this, the item can be printed!
And once we have completed the print, we work to improve the quality of the printed, while also optimizing print time.