Monday, April 17, 2017

3D Printing Artwork

Back in January I ran across the article  Seven 3D Printing Lessons for Teachers.  I was looking additional ideas for us to use the 3D printer on campus in the academic classroom.   I decided to try out the Roman Coin idea.

First  - start with an image with thick lines.   Skinny lines can get lost in the process.  The image can be drawn, or created with a graphic program, like Google Draw.  

Next the image needs to be saved as a jpeg.  For the drawn images we used the scanner.  for the computer generated ones we downloaded the image as a jpeg file.

Convert the image to an svg file.   We used to do this.    It worked well, but some images got the message that they were too large.  For those we took them into pain and resized the image before trying to load them into the website again.

On  try to get the image as clean and crisp as possible by adjusting the filters.  We found that usually choosing "ready 1" worked the best, but not always.  Once the image was nice a dark, we then downloaded the image as an svg file.

The last step was to take the svg file into Tinkercad.  We have student sign in with their Google account, which is a bit hidden in this program.   Choose to Sign In and not Sign Up.  Click on More Providers and then Google is an option.   

In Tinkercad the students need to import their svg file and then adjust the image.
  • Click on "create a new design"
  • Import your svg file (drag from downloads bar is the easiest way) and choose import
  • Resize your image and make it taller if you want the design to stand out from the base. 
  • Drag in a cube and make it 10 mm tall and the adjust the size by clicking and dragging it from the corner to fit the design.
  • Export your file - be sure to move it to a location where it can be found and printed.  This can be in Google Classroom or in a shared folder somewhere.
  • We went with 15mm for the design and 10 mm for the base.
  • It takes about an hour+ to print each design if one side is 7cm long.   So keep the base as close to the design as possible.
  • You can engrave the image by lifting it off the platform and using the hole tool in tinkercad.
  • There are many great Tinkercad tutorials out there to get familiar with the tools.  
  • It takes a LONG time to get all the student work printed.  Allow for that before booking another project on the printer.  
Lesson Ideas:
  • 8th Grade Language Arts have students design an image for "hope" as part of their Mythology project, this year one of the teachers then had students turn their image into 3D printed art.   
  • The art teachers have both run with this idea and all art students have turned a piece of artwork into either an engraving or an embossment.
  • For Texas History we have thought about having students create their own cattle brand.

I would love to hear what other ideas people have for using 3D printing in the classroom.


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