Our education technology specialist took a job at a local charter school and asked me if I wanted to keep the 3D printer in my classroom. Of course I said yes, and it has been collecting dust in my closet. After seeing this tweet from John Stevens, co-author of the Classroom Chef, I was inspired to do some research and try setting it up.
Instead of a keychain, I figured students could create a name plate using linear equations and anything else they cared to figure out. I came up with my sample graph:
I exported the file after prepping it (John describes the instructions, but it's basically making all equations black, hiding axes and gridlines, and exporting the file as .png file and then converting that to another format to be edited in Tinkercad.Hey #mtbos @mathycathy Reasonable task for gr 8? Make your name using @desmos. Link this ex and let em go? https://t.co/PgoY4ABVfm pic.twitter.com/UAA88OJGnt— Martin Joyce (@martinsean) January 13, 2017
I read all the directions to setup the printer, and started leveling the build plate. To my dismay, I kept running into "Fatal temperature error" and couldn't get past that screen. I need to do some more research to troubleshoot it, and vow to persevere.
In the meantime, I shared my troubles with a class, and one student volunteered that the local library had a 3D printer anyone could use.
I called them and found out that on Mondays and Thursdays I could make a 2 hour appointment from 4 to 6 to get an introduction to 3D printing and use their Ultimaker 3D printer. I went today and learned a lot.
I downloaded my .stl file from my Google Drive and opened it with Cura. After adjusting the letters of my name to be 4 millimeters rather than 4, printing commenced.
One drawback, is that the print is not on a rectangular name plate background. But, the library employee told me next time I could try an embossed look where I could take a rectangular prism and make the name be hollow or an indentation in the prism. That seems like it would look cool too!
Here is the first layer...
And after carefully scraping it off the build plate, I had my name. Any ideas on what type of material to mount it to? probably use some nice glue.
- Troubleshoot and fix the school's 3D printer.
- Plan time before the end of the year to have students make a rough draft of their name on graph paper, then recreate in desmos.
- Final product would be an .stl file. If I was super awesome, I'd print them all. That is a possibility. Worst case scenario: students take the file and do what I did and get it printed at the library.
Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Big thanks to John Stevens for the superb instructions and inspiration.