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  1. #1

    Learn to use/Build your own 3D printer summer camp - brainstorming seed

    Hello everyone,

    I have approached the Director of the Alpine Texas Public Library, Mr. Don Wetterauer, with a request to host a summer camp for kids on how to use and how to build their own 3D printer.

    Currently our discussions are focused on creating a basic curriculum, scheduling time on the 3D printer for the students, getting community involvement, etc.

    There is a 3D printer in the public libraries of the surrounding towns. Alpine has a population is reaching 6,000 people, Marathon Texas is about 425 people, and Marfa is about 1,400 people. The local university, Sul Ross State University, also has a 3D printer, the same model as the Alpine Public Library, but as far as I know there isn't anyone on the faculty or staff who is actively using it and no one that understands how to use the system.

    I am hoping that I will not have to start the summer camp with a computer 101 class, i.e. here is the power button, this is a mouse, this is a keyboard, this is a monitor, this is the internet, etc. etc.

    The 3D Printer is a PolyPrinter 229


    any suggestions on how to make this experiment in spreading the awareness and usefulness of 3D printing are welcome
    thank you

    "-" egoproctor

  2. #2
    Super Moderator curious aardvark's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    looks like a decent printer.

    Have a thought about openscad as well.
    If you can't draw, it's way easier and quicker to use than any other cad package.

    Also make useful things - NOT benchies :-)

    One thing I make a lot of and mainly give away are trolley keys.
    bascially a half circle on a stick with a hole in the end for putting on a keyring.
    You use them for getting shopping trolleys without having to use a coin or leaving anything in the trolley once it's off the chain :-)

    So far I've made them for british pound coins, 1 euros and a 1dollar loonie for canada.
    They're easy to design, fast to print and useful :-)
    trolley token-onna-stick.png
    Trolley key :-)
    Last edited by curious aardvark; 04-03-2019 at 10:13 AM.

  3. #3
    Interesting, I don't know that I have ever needed to use a trolley key in America, but something like that could be fun.

    Will see if there is a use for them here in small town west Texas. Otherwise, keychain bobbles might be fun.

    Will checkout Openscad and play around with it next time I am at the library long enough.

    Thanks for the reply.


  4. #4
    Technologist TommyDee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    I know libraries all over the country do this or have tried this with varying degrees of success.
    You might glean some valuable information by tapping this resource throughout the country.

    Our local library did this by providing a technical expert once a week and allowing people to bring in their designs.
    Computers were available for quick edits or even help with visualizing what the citizen was attempting to create.
    One could submit models to the library through the library portal and the part would be scheduled for printing.
    The limitations was a 4-hour print max according to the software and the volume limit was defined on the submission site.
    I used their service twice before investing in my 1st 3D printer.
    Turnout for 100K population in a suburban area was fairly active.
    I am not certain of the current state of this offering but I can find out.
    Source; Washington Co., OR Main Public Library.

    Thank you for your dedication in spreading the word

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by TommyDee View Post
    I am not certain of the current state of this offering but I can find out.
    Source; Washington Co., OR Main Public Library.

    Thank you for your dedication in spreading the word
    That would be great. I spent about 3 years teaching kids and adults English as a second language while living in China. I am looking to put some of those lessons into practice here, successful edutainment brings them back and grows the classes.

    Here is a rough sketch of a lesson plan I put together for kids to use.
    Idea for children to have fun, ideal class size 5-10
    For each class prepare a screen capture video describing what was taught in class.
    Offer videos showing the printer working
    Prepare videos on every topic discussed in the classes
    Find other online sources to send home as extra resources
    Include information for the parents on how a 3D printer can help them in their home and business projects
    Goal is to bulid enough interest that a class can be prepared where people build and calibrate their own RepStrap system and then make their first print in the classroom.

    Class 1

    • Find 2D picture of something they like from a simple open gif library, four leaf clovers, heats etc. Limit first print to a single color.
    • Use a photo editing program like pixlr (open source and cloud based) to easily hilight the borders of the image and set the background to an alpha and save as a .png
    • Convert the .png to a .svg with an online application
    • Import the .svg into Tinkercad or another application and generate a basic 3D model
    • Help the students make basic edits to the image
    • Use the slicer to make sure the image is ready to print
    • Choose a color and sign up for a class day to print
    • Limit first print size to 30 minutes
    • Kids can schedule time on open lab days to print again if they have made a new model

    Class 2

    • Learn to use a simple cad program like openscad or tinkercad to edit models. Let them choose a more complex image, like a hero’s face, or a posed, or a caslte in profile
    • If students finish, then let them run it on the slicer and schedule a day to print

    For classes 3-8

    • Begin studying how the 3D printer works with a class focused on the different pieces of software and ideas that go into the process,
    • Make it fun and interactive with games every 15 minutes that last about 5 minutes. It can be simple games like memory and matching parts of the printer.

    In the long run I hope to succeed in bootstrapping the following project (Posted at this thread showthread.php?34609-Securing-an-open-source-hemp-bioplastic-for-use-with-3D-printers) I can't post links since I don't have 10 posts, so, just add 3Dprintboard to the front

    I am also envisioning an education and control system using Kahn Academy's open source educational software to make graded curriculum tracking possible. Since Kahn Academy already has the math and electrical engineering, it just needs a Rep Rap curriculum complete with YouTube videos to use.

    Also, at textadentures co uk is an open source choose your own adventure platform that I have put a very basic application of the YouTube API into. This creates the possibility for text and video based interaction for learning, so that the video can be paused and the student has to answer questions or complete other tasks to continue. The engine interface for creating games is procedural fill in the blank style, similar to lego techniques, with the option for adding libs and javascripts etc.

    A friend of mine has released an open source engine for making 2D games with procedural point and click programming. Perhaps this can also be integrated into the engine eventually so that the students can play simple games to earn points to gain levels or access to other content, or just get new ideas about how open source 3D printing can save the world.

    Finally, Blender can be integrated so that animations, more advanced games, and with some work a 3D printing CAD program can be added to the mix, all within the Blender Engine perhaps. If not another CAD program can be added.

    My vision is to create an entire foundation for a new infrastructure to creating social groups in which ideas are the token of exchange in the economy and not money.

    As Buckminster Fuller said
    “We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.”

    Buckminster Fuller

    Phylos Bioscience in Canada took an initiative several years ago to begin recording the genomes and chemical traces of Hemp and Marijuana seeds as prior art in order to secure a seed bank of unaltered genes against the machinations of corporations like Monsanto.

    They have options for using the seeds in non profit organizations. I do not know enough about the legal side of the matter, but I am aware that hemp bioplastics are making a rise in popularity.

    An open source process for creating the plastics out of the plants grown from the open source seeds seems like a vital step in advancing the possibilities for RepRap.

    Adding in algae or cellulose or other plant materials to change the properties of the plastic may also be possible, if the genomes and chemical traces of these plants can also be secured as prior art.

    This will allow the system, as far as the plastic pieces are concerned, to be made completely open source and free from materials that anyone can grow in the home, or back yard, or community garden. Vertical farming scaffolding and greenhouses will allow large scale hemp and other biomass sources to be produced in almost any environment on earth.

    Using recycled materials for the rest of the 3D printers parts, and open sourcing a method for converting that material into a 3D printing filament or material then secures the entire system, its components, and materials as an easily obtained and replicated system that no longer requires to continued use of standard plastics, avoiding many of the issues that these materials create for humans and the planet

    I do not know how to go about this, either from an engineering, or legal perspective. However, I am confident that can be accomplished.

    Thank you

    "-" egoproctor zen

  6. #6
    Technologist TommyDee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    I would have loved to have met Bucky. Now that was a character!

    Hemp based plastics will follow a PLA and fill similar to wood based filaments. It will certainly leave a distinct scent in the area of the printer as wood based filament do. But scaling up a process like this to 1" extruders and house sized gantries will open up a few minds in the kids you plan to teach. There is no limit to application today.

    Good that you have a healthy focus on the model creation. I do think this is lacking in the minds of many who dive headlong into 3D printing.

    I will have to contact the library to see the current state of the service. I will try to get a contact for you to review whatever state things are in today.

  7. #7
    That will help. I also took some time as a game design major in university and spent a few years studying 3D modeling with blender. Each iteration of the class will help to clarify what needs to be taught. Also, Kahn Academy has a programming section and they were able to make a javascript backend for the programming module that watches the work of the student and helps them identify problems with their code and is able to point the student to the correct learning module to help them figure out where they made a mistake. This same kind of environment should be workable for CAD or Modeling applications, especially when the module is asking for a specific mesh structure to be built. When it is free form, there are other things that can be examined such as errors in the slicer can be logged and then applied to the geometry of the model, where the backend system can isolate the issue the student is having with their model and push them toward a solution. A system like this can also be evolved into an intelligent trouble shooter, logging errors from all the hardware and software involved in the 3D printing process.

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