Posted on

Introducing our Local Schools to the Marvel of 3D Printing

3D Printers for Schools

Engage Explore Educate!

It’s no secret that Education is a huge part of Proto-PIC’s philosophy, it’s part of our mantra! We are always brainstorming new ways to engage teachers and their pupils with Electronics based STEM systems. Hands-on exploration and tinkering with these systems provides a fun, informative and engaging expereience for all and we believe when STEM is taught this way, it sticks!

Storm in a (3D Printed) Teacup

Back in June we got a hold of a new 3D printer for the Proto-PIC office and it is safe to say our kids couldn’t get enough of it. The ability to be able to physically make anything that your mind can conjure up does have a certain magic to it! One does have to think that Minecraft has had more of an effect on a generation than we would care to admit. The amount of time the kids were spending on CAD tools in order to bring their imagination’s inventions to life got us thinking.

Following a good old fashined tea-fuelled Brainstorming session, we thought about how we could bring the fun to the rest of the local schools. If you cast your mind way way back (maybe even a bit further than that) to when you were a bright eyed and bushy tailed Primary School pupil! Imagine that you got placed into a group within your class and were tasked with building a stable bridge out of items similar to but not limited to, straws, paper and sellotape. The objective simple; the bridge must hold a small weight without collapsing.

Its 2020 now, we can make this better. The Fife Primary School 3D Printed Bridge competition was born.

Survival of the Sturdiest

The plan, provide three local Primary Schools with a 3D printer each along with all the tools and basic training for the teachers to get the kids started.

Teaching the Teachers.

Each school must produce the following:

•Design a bridge of at least 25cm in length that can stand up to a weight of 5Kg distributed across the span

•Design /build landscape and define bridge requirements

•Finished bridge is to be printed using the supplied Dremel 3D printer

•The bridge will need to be printed in different sections, but there are no limits to the amount of components

•Produce a project plan, great scenery and an asthetically pleasing bridge

Prizes will then be awarded to each bridge for a variety of different factors, industrial design, presentation, project management and more! Now that’s better than some straws and tape right?!

When there’s a will there is a way

Due to the recent news of school closures across the UK on the basis of public health, we were saddened by the thought that this meant the project would have to be put on hold until it was business as usual across the country. With the government outlining ways to continue teaching the curriculum to pupils at home, we made it our duty to do exactly that!

Instead of delivering the Printers to an empty school, we have created a dedicated competition area in the Proto-PIC office for the school printers and attached an accessible camera feed to each. Any pupil can e-mail their bridge competition CAD creations via their teacher and we will breathe life into their schools entry, allowing the kids to watch their parts being created by the printer via a real-time camera feed!

Three Printers. Three Schools. One Competition.

Sky’s the Limit

We are ecstatic for the kids to get started with their creations and stay productive during this turbulent time. Using technology we can truly overcome any barrier and get the most out of ourselves and our enviroment! 3D printers and Filament are now availbile from the Proto-PIC webstore, why not get involved today and start your creative learning adventure!

A wild Oddish (3D printed) appears!