Friday, October 4, 2013

Engineering Challenge (Fall '13, Week 2 of 8)

Today the students designed, built, and tested "egg catchers",  to keep eggs from cracking after a 30 cm drop.


We also dove into a lesson on Tinkercad, and students started designing their "car of the future", our first 3D project.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Engineering Challenge (Fall '13, Week 1 of 8)

We've started a new enrichment class this year, called "Engineering Challenge"!  It is more goal-directed than the Engineering & Design class last year.

In our first class, we had to support a heavy dictionary at least five inches off a table, using only a single sheet of paper, and optional tape.  After a few mis-starts, most groups succeeded! The most common solution was to roll the paper up into a cylinder. Some groups made two or more skinnier cylinders, to improve balance.

What We Learned:
* A floppy material, like copy paper, can be given strength by rolling it up.

* If the dictionary isn't balanced well on top of the structure, even a decent structure can quickly crumple and collapse.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Lego/Marble Contraption - Creating a Standard

The students have decided to create a big, Rube Goldberg contraption out of Legos.

Furthermore, they are creating an engineering standard so that contraption modules can be built by kids at different schools, and joined together easily at an event!

Here is what a contraption looks like from the world's current standard, GBC (Great Ball Contraption):

However, our students created a standard without yet knowing about GBC.

The biggest problem with GBCs it that they are based on Lego balls (soccer, basketball), which are no longer in production, and thus rare and expensive. They typically cost around 50 cents each in bulk, and if marble contraptions take off as a school activity, they will become even harder to find. Also, they are in many ways too light, and their textured surface sometimes leads to them getting stuck.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Color 3D Objects Arrived

Here are some of the multicolor plaster prints we just got yesterday!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Some 3D designs ready?

A few students have some designs on Tinkercad they say are ready for printing. matt will check them out and send a batch off for printing. Please make sure your object is hollow, and has a hole that can properly drain the unused powder.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Engineering & Design Class Has Started!

Welcome to the TMMakers blog. We had a great time with our first class session for "Engineering & Design", our Winter 2013 class. We'll meet this Friday (Jan 25), but will be off next Friday (Feb 2).  While you're away for two weeks, try Inkscape and Tinkercad, but also sketch and doodle on paper!  Come into TMEngDes class on Feb 7 with ideas and sketches.