Thursday, February 2, 2017

Solving Everyday Problems #MakerEd #Make52

I have often been asked about the "need" for 3D printers in school. Most people think that it would just be better to just order what you need instead of trying to make it. That is where I disagree.

I like to challenge my students with projects that force them to consider everyday problems. In my technology class last year, my favorite assignment was asking students to identify an issue in their life and design a solution. This project allowed for students to work on something meaningful to them and to create a viable solution. It gives them the drive to really tackle the problem.

Here is my example:

Swinging Baby-Gate Problem


Here is a baby gate door we installed on the second floor to keep my little guy from going down the stairs. It also keeps the two little dogs from going up and getting stuck behind the gate trying to get back down. It has been a minor annoyance, but one that I wanted to address. 

I could have went out and purchased a door stop, but I thought it would be the perfect project for me to design something and print it using my Dremel 3D40.


Took my measurements and started designing on Tinkercad.


    


I spent some time getting the measurements just right and tweaking it over and over again as I learned to become more proficient using the program. It was a decent amount of work to get the angle just right on the triangle. My high school Geometry teacher would be proud.  Once I got the shape just right, I wanted to personalize it.



 I thought adding my initials to the doorstop would be a simple way to personalize it. I used the letter features and was able to use them to carve out my initials on the doorstop. Once I had it in place, I was ready to print.


It was not good. Not long enough and just didn't look like right. So, back to the drawing board.



Thinner and longer was the key. A couple of measurement adjustments and I was back in business. 


After a short print of about 35 minutes, the doorstop was ready for action.



I added a little tack to the bottom of the doorstop to keep it in place and place on the wall when not in use. This was a fun project that would be perfect for the classroom or Makerspace.

Step 1: Ask students to identify a problem that could be solved with the proper design.

Step 2: Have students work on the design.

Step 3: Print a prototype.

Step 4: Solve the problem.

I can't wait to see what you and your students can come up with to solve your problems.