Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Getting our feet wet with 3D printers

We were lucky enough to win a grant from 3D Systems and the ALA for two 3D desktop printers and now we are digging in to learn the ins and outs of how they work and what can be done with them. They come with 25 pre-set projects with which we can start.

With young people and adults alike chomping at the bit to get their hands on 3D printing, we feel it is important to make access to them and the programs that support them easy and democratic.

Matthew Scorza, a Duxbury resident and recent engineering grad, came in to see them and immediately got a hankering to use AutoDesk Inventor to create some cool designs to be printed.  In the interest of  getting comfortable with the machines, the filament, the printer designs, we had printed a Rook on Saturday. Matt added to that a simple map of Duxbury just to see how it handles detail.

There is much to be learned about how to design a successful project in terms of getting the changes of filament layers to shift gradually enough to adhere to each other.

Because of the creative outcomes of the 3D printers, we are hoping that making unique pieces and objects that are stand alone or may even fit together will entice girls into our Tinkering Tuesday program!

Jessica, Suzanne, and I are planning to have at least three stations of projects available on Tuesday afternoons - simple robotics with We-Dos and Minecraft, 3D printing design, and electronic crafts starting out with simple soldering skills.

We are excited to have been invited back to host a table at the Cape Cod Mini Maker Faire in Barnstable on Saturday, May 30th so if you're in the area, swing on by!

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