Finally Printing

Today was a bit overwhelming. Here are some things I noticed:

  • I realized today that my class is too large for 3D printing. I have 22 students in my class and I can tell that some were getting impatient because I did not get to them right away to assist them. Having 22 students was really overwhelming. If a class is going to be this large, I would suggest having someone in the class to assist you.
  • To make life easy for me with transferring files from Google Sketchup to MakerWare, I used the ‘STL’ extension. I had to download the STL plugin from the Google Sketchup’s Extension Warehouse site.
  • Due to a large number of students needing to print, I had to ask students to come back the next day to print. Some files stated that it would take between 9 minutes to 35 minutes depending on the resolution. Some files gave a projected printing time of 2 or more hours. After seeing this, I knew I had to change the resolution of the files. I printed everything at low resolution; however, for the text, I printed the files at medium resolution. After my experience today, scheduling printing times for students is the best route to take.
  • I realized that students are nervous when it comes to using this form of technology. Even after I demonstrated how to use it as well showing a video on how to use it, they still feared the printer. They warmed up in using it when I stayed near them.
  • Before students created their drawings, they printed their object and based their drawings on the size of the printed piece.
  • One of the 3D printers I have in my class has a heated base. I had to make sure students kept their hands clear of the printer when printing. Since the base is heated, I had to make sure they were careful in removing their printed piece.
  • Since I am working on a short time frame, I allowed students to find a design from thingiverse.
  • Here’s a list of materials students are using: oil pastels, water color, acrylic paint, graphite, card stock, magazine clippings, mirrors (cut in shapes), lace, wood, Adobe Illustrator, Google Sketchup, MakerWare, printer, computer, and a rapid prototyping machine (3D Printer).

This was indeed a busy day. I will sort through students’ notecards (with students’ reflections) later this week.


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