Monday, March 23, 2015

Getting comfortable with our 3D printers

Group of 3D enthusiasts meet on a Saturday morning at the DFL.
Having been lucky enough to have won the 3DSystems national competition for the 2 Cube 2 3D printers, we also had an Ultimaker 2 in the pipeline, so now we are the proud owners of 3 3D printers for public use.

The Cube2s are small, a little finicky and do not have a heated build plate, which makes the end product a little rougher than the outcomes rom the Ultimaker 2.

Basically, though, operating the two different kinds of 3D printers is fairly similar.

Charlotte makes sure her designs sits flat on the workspace.
The most difficulty we have had has been getting the build plates to be level and the nozzle-build plate distance optimal.

We had old friend, Kevin Osborn, from Newton, come to give us a complete overview of how the Ultimaker 2 works and give us some tips & tricks.

Amy keeps an eye on the latest project.
The LED screen in the front is the control panel for running it. Projects are loaded up from either TinkerCad or AutoDesk Inventor, through the freeware program called CURA, which actually translated the CAD image into the instructions for the 3D printer to follow.

We're planning to run some CAD classes with our volunteer instructor, Paul Harhen, and then have some open studio time eventually whereby folks can come in to try their hand at designing and printing out projects.

Costs for filament are still being discussed. We don't want to charge too much for material, but want to be able to sustain materials costs for general public use.

As Kevin speaks, Dmriti and Andrew choose interlocking shapes.
We are hoping that the attraction of making actual objects will be a draw for girls and get them excited about modeling and coding for this exciting new technology.


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