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Hom Many 3D Printers Do You Think a School Should Have?

Posted by MechaBits 
Hom Many 3D Printers Do You Think a School Should Have?
April 15, 2018 04:45AM
Looking for people's opinion on how many they think Schools(Mid & Senior) should have as a minimum, and an ideal amount.
Ok so we know the minimum shouldnt be less than one, but play the game with me for a while and i'll reveal why I ask.
Bearing in mind that when I was a Lad our school had about a dozen lathes & same on the mills.
Given that 3D Printers can be lo cost & Seem to replicate themselves in the absence of anything else to print.

Can a Teacher Correct the Spelling mistake in title...as it's going to get annoying after a while smiling smiley

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 04/15/2018 05:17AM by MechaBits.
Re: Hom Many 3D Printers Do You Think a School Should Have?
April 15, 2018 04:50AM
N=teachers supervising -1

(yes I realise thats zero in a lot of cases)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/15/2018 04:52AM by Dust.
Re: Hom Many 3D Printers Do You Think a School Should Have?
April 15, 2018 05:18AM
at least one in the main reception area, then they can do away with those wasteful fish tanks appearing in academies around manchester. then at least 3 more in its IT departments.
Re: Hom Many 3D Printers Do You Think a School Should Have?
April 15, 2018 06:01AM
It a silly question... depends on school size, which isn't mentioned.
Re: Hom Many 3D Printers Do You Think a School Should Have?
April 15, 2018 06:06AM
Quote
dust
depends on school size, which isn't mentioned.
want matter that, they becoming to cheap to hire teachers you think they hire a technician to monitor a room full of printers?
Re: Hom Many 3D Printers Do You Think a School Should Have?
April 15, 2018 06:53AM
OK, 6.

Three should be fully built Prusa MK3 printers and three should be kits. No reason for 6, but with no information on how many students, I like 6.

The three kits should be built by the students in tech or manufacturing and the 3 fully built ones should be used by the design focused students. Once the 3 kits are completed, they should start fabricating from scratch.

Throw in a half dozen seats of Solidworks and Simplify3D and you would have a start at developing the next generation of designers and lighting fires of inspiration for kids who will be needed to move us to the next big thing.

Make sure and cash in on every student discount offered by vendors. Develop a robust advisory board of industry and hobby users to help launch and troubleshoot the use and maintenance of the machines.

Spread the word that your school can help with projects that are needed, partner with local companies, maybe solicit them to donate a printer, if they do, print them a nice logo to put on the machine.

All this tech is too much to ask the current teaching staff to take on, without the support of a users group type advisory board, it may die quickly. I you could pull this off, it may give kids inspiration and help guide them to their future.
Re: Hom Many 3D Printers Do You Think a School Should Have?
April 15, 2018 08:13AM
Well my old school refused to divulge the info or put me through to the department that might know...
A few other schools couldnt tell me anything either,
One finally got in touch to tell me, They Had One, a very old one and it doesnt work....
I wonder what the design department do all day. I wonder why they didnt get a new one ( once bitten twice shy?)
I enthused as to how cheap they could get some built for and how it has to be a good thing to have more & make more
But even the low ball of £200 was too much for them...the budget for the department for the year was £350
and it's been like that for 10 years they told me...
Now I wonder just how many washing up bottles & kitchen roll tubes you can get with £350.
We all know the teachers(foot soldiers) dont get quite as much as the top Brass
but the Kids are getting even less...I suspect they want to draw out that education
dont worry kids you'll learn about 3D Printers at Uni with all your Mates after you've given us 40k
Someone has a lot to answer for...Mr Gove? et al
Re: Hom Many 3D Printers Do You Think a School Should Have?
April 15, 2018 09:31AM
If you feel it is useful, how about giving one to your old school then ?


"You failed to maintain your weapon, son" (Harry Brown )
Re: Hom Many 3D Printers Do You Think a School Should Have?
April 15, 2018 09:50AM
Well I would rather give it to the school who bothered to get back to me.
It starts with a Conversation.
I understand you like to challenge and agree with most of your questions/observations, and mostly your on the money...
but not this time...do you not think I had thought of giving a printer to someone to get them started on a path...
to give them something that leads to so many other areas of interest, something to get them off the C.O.D.
But not to someone who is uninterested, and would require no further input.

Do you not think £200 was cheap enough...including tuition?
The whole point of trying to find out about the schools capabilities in this area is to shame them into doing something better.
I could provide 10 machines, until they built their own, if there was a salary in it for me.
But who the hell would be a teacher following the diktat these days.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/15/2018 10:01AM by MechaBits.
Re: Hom Many 3D Printers Do You Think a School Should Have?
April 15, 2018 10:10AM
The high school I work with has six - 4 Prusa clone kits and 2 Makergear M2's for a class of about 20 kids who are learning Solidworks, as well as some use for other related classes. The clones get used regularly, but they are a little fussier and they get beat on. The M2's are rock solid, but are 5x the cost of the clones. The big point of contention is leaving long prints running, as the teacher is loath to leave the printers running with no one around. This both limits the overall throughput and limits the size of what students are allowed to print. With safety measures in place to allow for overnight prints, they could probably get by with 4 printers. Also, there is a huge advantage to having all the printers be the same, both in terms of teaching the kids to use them and in dealing with maintenance.
Re: Hom Many 3D Printers Do You Think a School Should Have?
April 15, 2018 10:20AM
Well 6 is a start eh smiling smiley at least they have them and are using them, my thinking was if the class size is 30 there could be a lot of people twiddling thumbs...If a school used to have large expensive lathes & mills can't afford (or see a need )a dozen or so printers, shouldn't be getting any funding!
Re: Hom Many 3D Printers Do You Think a School Should Have?
April 15, 2018 11:00AM
Quote
MechaBits
Well I would rather give it to the school who bothered to get back to me.
It starts with a Conversation.
I understand you like to challenge and agree with most of your questions/observations, and mostly your on the money...
but not this time...do you not think I had thought of giving a printer to someone to get them started on a path...
to give them something that leads to so many other areas of interest, something to get them off the C.O.D.
But not to someone who is uninterested, and would require no further input.

Do you not think £200 was cheap enough...including tuition?
The whole point of trying to find out about the schools capabilities in this area is to shame them into doing something better.
I could provide 10 machines, until they built their own, if there was a salary in it for me.
But who the hell would be a teacher following the diktat these days.

Note my question was for everyone..
Now, is it really useful to have a 3D printer in a school ? and of course which school ? What level ? To learn what ?
Even here on this forum, one can see there is a big problem in the teaching of basic math, logic, science ....


"You failed to maintain your weapon, son" (Harry Brown )
Re: Hom Many 3D Printers Do You Think a School Should Have?
April 15, 2018 11:41AM
I did say mid/senior, the school that got back to me was high school & sixth form,
is it useful to have a 3D Printer in a School...hmm well when they dont even like you using an electronic calculator
I could see why they may feel a printer a step too far...especially for their limited skills...then they would have to hire a technician or 2...
but come on you know you can start the design journey with a blank piece of paper a pencil, teach TD etc,
or start with the printer and work backwards.
It may be hard teaching them math logic or science, without the right hook.
Re: Hom Many 3D Printers Do You Think a School Should Have?
April 15, 2018 11:55AM
Well,

The cat's out of the bag, the school has no money or desire.

If you are really interested and feel (as I do) that it would light creative fires for the youth, try an advisory board thing, talk to the district, offer to teach or demonstrate, or get donations or grants from local companies that may be interested in future employees that have a basic understanding of manufacturing and design. . Have a bake sale, build a burning desire in the youth and they may help push.

Nothing changes minds of administrators like a formerly problem child that finds interest in their classes and starts to participate and learn.

One reason I suggested a Prusa is because of the printers that I have had experience with, the Prusa just keeps cranking out day after day. Mine has over 1000 hours with only a PEI sheet change and although not really needed, the Y axis bearings changed. Total cost about $20.00.

Getting anything less than a fully developed and bulletproof machine may just re-enforce the idea that printers are too much trouble and unreliable toys.

I come from an era where a chemistry lab, working kitchens, sewing machines, a woodworking shop, microscopes, lathes, mills, drill presses, planers, a shaper, welding equipment, and foundry equipment were the norm in school. Much was surplus equipment from the government or local businesses. Instructors did most of the maintenance and sometimes had student helpers. If students showed an interest and had nothing better going on, they may be assigned to work with the teacher as opposed to starting a fire in study hall...

We only had one foundry set up, but one student was scheduled to ram up and pour an aluminum sand casting each day. 20 or 30 students, 20 or 30 days of class? We did not twiddle our thumbs, we made drawings, used other equipment, learned and went on to get jobs, pay bills, buy houses, raise families, buy toys, take vacations and that sort of thing.

Not sure what I would be doing if I didn't have shop class to look forward to and leverage my experience to the job I enjoy today.

If you decide to push this, find an interested party that would accept a printer in the system and somehow crowd fund a printer. I will pledge the first $10.00 if you decide to go there.
Re: Hom Many 3D Printers Do You Think a School Should Have?
April 15, 2018 12:09PM
I obviously would like to put the 3DPrinters to a better use and show the local council up to better allocate funding.
They just built a 6 million quid youth center(HIVE) with no printers or A/V recording studio equip...3 guitars & a tambourine...
oh but a nice shiny Mac with no software...& no fancy fish tank..
it's actually not much more than a covered football & badminton court,
right next to a free open football cage, a 200 yards from a nice open green park(the inspiration for NY's Central Park apparently) in need of a little TLC.

Personally even a Primary School could benefit from at least one 3D Printer.
Plonk a 3D Printer in the room and have them trance out to it for 5 hours(well these teachers/baby sitters must be run ragged),
Imagine a whole class mesmerized...
Maybe it's time the one laptop per child idea changed to one printer per class....it's a start.

Edited 6 time(s). Last edit at 04/16/2018 10:39AM by MechaBits.
Re: Hom Many 3D Printers Do You Think a School Should Have?
April 16, 2018 10:38AM
Quote
MKSA
If you feel it is useful, how about giving one to your old school then ?

My old School...are you sure this message was for the group?
Re: Hom Many 3D Printers Do You Think a School Should Have?
April 16, 2018 01:14PM
Quote
MechaBits
Quote
MKSA
If you feel it is useful, how about giving one to your old school then ?

My old School...are you sure this message was for the group?

On second thought, yes. Just didn't bother to edit to make it a general statement.


"You failed to maintain your weapon, son" (Harry Brown )
Re: Hom Many 3D Printers Do You Think a School Should Have?
April 16, 2018 11:57PM
A few schools in my city have 3D printers, mostly reserved for design/architecture students though. A couple of schools use them for robotics classes though. Dunno about where you guys live (the states?) but here there isn't too much on the practical side of schooling. I think most schools have wood shop but things like robotics, metalwork and the like are a bit of a rarity and tend not to have very big classes even when the school does offer them. I think the school needs a use for the 3D printers in the curriculum first, not just printers for the sake of printers. Otherwise, the printers per student can be fairly low. If they're designing a part that is moderately complex or even an entire 'project', the bulk of the time will be spent designing, not printing. The odds of every student/group finishing their design and being ready to print at the exact same time are slim.

At my university, there are like 5 UP! boxes and 5 UP! minis for the entire Product Design department at the moment, I don't have exact student counts but I'd say easily upwards of a hundred, possibly two. They sit mostly idle, then again it is a new degree and most of the students are fresh out of high school and probably couldn't tell you what the hell a CAD or CAM program is, so I'll report back later in the year when the "project" part of the course comes around.
Re: Hom Many 3D Printers Do You Think a School Should Have?
April 18, 2018 09:36AM
Quote
LoboCNC
Also, there is a huge advantage to having all the printers be the same, both in terms of teaching the kids to use them and in dealing with maintenance.

I agree with you, but I think there are also benefits to having the printers be different.

For whatever reason, people tend to be inflexible at times once they learn and become comfortable with what a certain thing is or how it operates. For example, people have years of driving a car with an automatic transmission, but are absolutely flummoxed by a manual transmission, even though it's only a small step change over the basic principles they have down pat. People don't learn what a transmission is or how a car functions, they just learn what inputs they have to provide (engaging a gear) to get the desired output (car motion), and mindlessly replay those actions from that point forwared. Therefore, any change in controls brings them to a screeching halt that they can't overcome.

I would encourage any educator to have a small "single arm" Y-axis bed style printer (such as a Cetus3dD or MP Select Mini), a larger X/Y frame z-axis bed style printer (such as a Hypercube, FT-5, or something else boxy and possibly with CoreXY kinematics), and a delta. Letting students learn that 3D printers aren't "This Thing", rather they are a concept - a broad category of machines with different mechanisms of operation, but similar outcomes. Then the students will have a better chance of understanding how things work, and will be more flexible when they graduate and are presented with different printers in the future.
Re: Hom Many 3D Printers Do You Think a School Should Have?
April 18, 2018 11:49AM
Quote
Melty
Quote
LoboCNC
Also, there is a huge advantage to having all the printers be the same, both in terms of teaching the kids to use them and in dealing with maintenance.

I agree with you, but I think there are also benefits to having the printers be different.

For whatever reason, people tend to be inflexible at times once they learn and become comfortable with what a certain thing is or how it operates. For example, people have years of driving a car with an automatic transmission, but are absolutely flummoxed by a manual transmission, even though it's only a small step change over the basic principles they have down pat. People don't learn what a transmission is or how a car functions, they just learn what inputs they have to provide (engaging a gear) to get the desired output (car motion), and mindlessly replay those actions from that point forwared. Therefore, any change in controls brings them to a screeching halt that they can't overcome.

I would encourage any educator to have a small "single arm" Y-axis bed style printer (such as a Cetus3dD or MP Select Mini), a larger X/Y frame z-axis bed style printer (such as a Hypercube, FT-5, or something else boxy and possibly with CoreXY kinematics), and a delta. Letting students learn that 3D printers aren't "This Thing", rather they are a concept - a broad category of machines with different mechanisms of operation, but similar outcomes. Then the students will have a better chance of understanding how things work, and will be more flexible when they graduate and are presented with different printers in the future.

I guess it kind of depends on what you are trying to teach with 3D printers. At my school, the goal is to teach CAD and mechanical design principles, using the printers as a way to test designs -- there's no emphasis on the printers themselves. Of course, 3D printers themselves are quite interesting mechanical beasts and having a variety would be instructional. But at my school, I think they'd view the additional maintenance headaches as not worth the added educational benefit.
Re: Hom Many 3D Printers Do You Think a School Should Have?
April 18, 2018 02:33PM
I think at any school the maintenance headache won't be worth it. Most departments are short on staff and time, so learning the quirks of several different printers is a no go. I also can't think of any class that would focus on the printers themselves, where being able to use a variety of them would be beneficial, rather than using the printers as a tool. The 3D printers my high school had were used by the graphics/architecture classes, and they couldn't care less what shape it took or how it worked, they just wanted miniatures for mockups. That being said, I'm in a country that's lagging the trends, so maybe elsewhere there are 3D printing specific classes.
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