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3d-print english

Obs: Denne side er på engelsk da den oprindeligt er lavet til det internationale modul Teacher Professionel Understanding of Technology. 

"If a picture is worth 1000 words, a prototype is worth 1000 pictures" (cohodesignsllc.com)

The mediacenter has a 3D-printer where you can print what ever you want at no cost. The model is a 20.000 kroners model which is fairly good, fairly easy and uses two types of plastic - ABS and PLA. We almost allways use PLA, because it is created from plant material, can decay in the nature and do'sn't emit to much fumes in the ari.

Basic knowledge of hardware and software

The model in PMC is an Ultimaker 2+ and we prefer the program Cura to print our files.

Basic knowledge

3D-print are in many ways just like printing on a normal printer, you need an existing file to print, or a program to create a dokument, the paper can get stuck in the printer and there are certain limitations in what can be done - for instance, you can't write all the way to the edge of the paper.

To use the 3D-printer you can:
  • Find existing STL-files on the internet, eg. on https://www.thingiverse.com/
  • Create or edit files using a lot of different programs, eg. Google Sketchup, 123D-design or meshmixer.
  • Eksport an STL-file to at print-ready-file, eg. open the STL-file with Cura and "Save gCode" under "files" to an SD-card.
  • Print the gCode-file with a 3D-printer, eg. Ultimaker 2+
The STL-file works like a documentfile, like normally a Word-file would work. It is a 3D-model.
The gCode-file contains specific instructions about how the printer should put down the layers, how thick, how fast, how hot the plastic should be and so on.

Beware that the limitations in 3D-print are:
  • Material: Usually plastic
  • Overhang: Most printers print in layers, which gives certain physical limitations since it is not possible to put layers flying in the air, this problem can be helped with support structures (plasticmaterial that are removed afterwards)
  • Size-limitations: Most printbeds are something like 20 * 20 * 20, and printing os of cause limited to that.
  • Time consuming: Things take a long time to print, a general rule is that very small things take 20 minutes, and larger objects that challenge the printsize takes 20 hours or more.
Example of support to prevent overhang problems with "flying" layers:

Why printing in the school?

Some arguments:
  • This technology is coming up, the kids should basically learn how to use it.
  • Other learning processes can take advantage of working with 3D-modelling and prototyping.
  • Some artifacts for certaing subjects can help pupils understand certaing things better - eg. topographic maps in Geography, the Pythagorian cup or new representations of the periodic table in Physics.

Getting started

Find and print an existing file

Since 3D-printing is new to many people, a simple goal could be to get your first job done.

Learning goal: "I believe I can print".

Find a simple model on thingieverse, eg.
    Beware: Some files are broken, some files are (too) complex. 

Download a file format that you can open with Cura (eg. STL-file).
Open the file with Cura
  • Rotate the object to the best possible position for printing (regarding the overhang problem) (mark the object, and press the "Rotate" button in bottom left.
  • Scale the figure if needed (smaller means faster and cheaper).
Eksport the file to a gCode-file: File --> "Save GCode"
Transfer the GCode-file to the SD-card in the 3D-printer.
Print from the printers menu, and keep a watch on the proces for the first layers.

Please ask for help in the media centre if needed.

Create your own file

Lav en kop (in Danish)

Download and install 123D-design from Autodesk.
Follow the guide (in Danish)

Design en kop i 123d design

Create an advanced cup (English)