The Story of C.R.E.A.T.E.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Now taking orders...

One of the special ed teachers in the district heard that we had a 3-D printer and wondered if we could make some replacement pieces for a game that her students play. Since we're not a manufacturing facility, I gave it some thought and figured that it would be a learning process. I also "charged" her two rolls of duct tape.

When the sample pieces arrived, I realized that I would have to learn how to use our calipers to measure the various dimensions.

Then I had to transform those measurements into a 3-D design in Tinkercad, where even the simplest shape can be composed of scores of negative space components.

Then there's the speed issue. Our Makerbot Mini 3-D printer took nearly an hour to print the two 38.5mm pieces in the screenshot above. Not exactly mass-production speed.

It's important to remember that consumer 3-D printers are really about prototyping or one-off pieces.

Only I saw the imperfections in the final pieces. Teacher Clare pronounced them "perfect." I learned a lot, not only about the mechanics of reproducing something in 3-D, but also about the mental approach to design. More about that in my follow-up to the rice funnel fight to the death.

No comments:

Post a Comment