Monday, May 8, 2017

3rd @desmos print and student products

Today concluded the first of two days with our local librarian Debbie who brought in her 3D printer today. It is called an Ultimaker 2 Go. She started by showing the objects she had printed off of thingiverse as well as a model of herself using some sort of XBox 3D camera? We also passed around the sample from my previous blog post of my daughter's name plate "Everly."

Then I hooked up her laptop to the classroom display so she could introduce students to the history of 3D printing to it's many uses from decorating food, creating space parts, prosthetics, hearing aids, and much much more.

As students listened, they had a chance to ask questions after 15 minutes. Only 1 student asked a question. They were surprised that it would be free at the library. I think the hour time investment of orientation is not appealing to them.

Students were given time to continue working on their graphs. Students who had finished were following the steps in my slides to prep it for printing. In essence, it's changing all the equations to the color black, turning off the grids and axes and turning on the projector mode. Then export as a .png, convert it to .svg, import that file to Tinkercad, add a prism or cylinder as a plate, and turn the name into a hole. One student, Chloe, went through this whole process.

Three students prepared their graphs and emailed them to me, and I added them to the Padlet wall.

While students worked we printed out the name plate for my niece Callan. It came out on gray filament. I was able to pass it out with 15 minutes left in the class. Students thought it would be hot but it had already cooled off. The extruder on the machine though gets up to 200 degrees Celsius, which is almost 400 degrees Fahrenheit. A student pointed out that that's how hot an oven must get, which I agreed. It is kind of like baking something at high heat.

Then we started Chloe's printing. One obstacle we faced was her creating a Tinkercad account. Debbie suggested I look into whether there is a teacher account so students can login using that.

What I like about Chloe's is that she used a cylinder as the name plate background. Debbie shrunk it to cut down on the print time. What I love is that one of my students gets to see how math and their own work results in a real artifact from my math class. What a feeling. I personally remember that feeling from my woodshop and ceramics classes in middle and high school respectively. I do remember making a Factor Book in 8th grade Algebra with a Southpark theme but that's a different kind of artifact!

Here are my 5th period students getting a final look at the printer before class let out:


  1. THIS IS SO COOL! I love that your students are interested in the process and not just the product, and that the librarian is onboard with the idea. So now that they've created their name, what's next?!

    1. You'd think volume of 3D objects would be easy with 3D printing but I can't see yet how students could learn about calculating volume in a worthwhile experience.

      I'm starting to think about how I can make designs with symmetry or rotations printed with the grid showing. I'm all ears for any suggestions and I'll keep you in the loop.

      Next up is a thank you note to our librarian friend for bringing out the equipment and expertise!