Signs, Signs – Everywhere 3D Printed Signs

SignNotAWhiteboardIcon

Using a 3D printer, the new $8,400 Smartboard is protected from unknowing misuse by a few cents’ worth of plastic and a few craft supplies. A 3D Printed sign and a few small rare earth magnets are all that is needed to alert students and faculty that the Smartboards should not be used as a Whiteboard, keeping the display surface clean and operational – a great way to show off 3D printing to faculty and school administrators. Continue reading

#SciFund Round 3 “Digitize the World”

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In Round 3 of the #SciFund Challenge, I will be crowd-funding a 3D Scanner to scan objects and students for the SOLID Learning program. Museums have offered access to their collections in return for access to the scanned files, and scanning poses no harm to fragile dinosaur bones or priceless artifacts from antiquity. This crowd-funding project can literally share the world’s history with any teacher or student anywhere in the world by scanning items and making them freely available for download. Continue reading

#SciFund Round 2 Project A Support Results

#SCiFund Round 2, Project A Icon

Our #SciFund Challenge, Round 2’s “Personalized Robotics” project is already showing the value 3D printing presents to educational settings, connecting educators with freely shared 3D model designs and letting students and teachers create custom, personalized designs to meet many educational needs. Continue reading

#SciFund Challenge Participation

Icon for the #SciFund Challenge

STEMulate Learning has been taking part in the #SciFund Challenge since the beginning. Round 3 coming up and we will have another entry in this exciting program hosted by the RocketHub crowd-funding site. Here I discuss our success in rounds 1 and 2, and introduce our concepts for round 3! Continue reading

Making Proprietary Generic, Reusable and Inexpensive

3D Printed Custom Refilling Funnel with Side Ports

Using a 3D printer and a few cents’ worth of plastic, one teacher can now refill proprietary printer cartridges for 1/20th the cost of a new cartridge using generic supplies. It took three tries to bypass all measures designed to prevent refilling by the manufacturer, but this involved only simple changes in a CAD program and a little time for reprints. Continue reading

Improving Our 3D Printer Footing

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When the original foam-rubber feet fell off the MakerBot 3D printer, I fabricated improved feet that hold fast and also provide sound and vibration isolation from my desktop. Using nothing more than the 3D printer itself and some common self-adhesive vinyl standoffs, the 3D printer no operates quietly and with very little transferred vibration to my desk. All for just a few cents worth of plastic filament and common self-adhesive grips from the hardware store that cost less than $3 USD. Continue reading

3D Printable Spool Supports

Old and New Spool Supports Icon

To make the most of our #SciFund crowdfunding support, I printed additional custom supports for less than $1 USD so we can use smaller-diameter lower-cost filament spools than those included with the MakerBot itself. I can now buy spools for $31 USD instead of $48 USD from the printer’s manufacturer, saving a third of the price for a dollar’s worth of effort. Continue reading

3D Printed Leveling Gauge Bracket

3D Printed digital indicator bracket with small rare-earth magnets installed.

The very first item I created using the new MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer was a tool that enhanced the use of the printer itself! The first crude Replicator Bed Level Jig was used to create a more polished version of the jig, and this has been used to regularly balance the 3D printer’s build plate ever since. Continue reading

Getting a Good Grip In 3D Printing

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Proper adhesion is vital between 3D printed objects and the build plate. From KAPTON polimide film to more exotic solutions involving solvent and cements, many options exist to assist whether you are using a standard heated build plate or a cold glass alternative. You should be familiar with these and potential dangers associated before cursing your printer for a botched fabrication because the object popped loose halfway through. Continue reading

Tools To Start 3D Printing

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Anyone starting out in 3D printing will need a few simple, basic tools to enhance their success with RepRaps, MakerBots and other FDM printers. Most of these are available at local Wal-Mart, Harbor Freight or Hobby Lobby stores and will cost less than $30 USD all together. Continue reading