The first print we decided on was a nut and bolt. We wondered what it would look like and how the printer would produce such objects. We started the print and then went back to business in the classroom. Every now and then someone would go over to the printer, take a look, and report back. Near the end of the print job there were some issues. For one reason or another, the plastic would jam and I needed to remove the plastic from the extruder and then re-insert it. This happened several times during the day, which surprised me. Although I had read that this sort of thing happened, I didn't expect it to occur so quickly with a brand new (and expensive) machine.
Our first print completed! A nut and bolt:
As a group we decided to keep things going and decided to print a chain link:
Between recesses and lunch we had some time left in the day and the students decided to print a flexible bracelet:
You should have seen how interested the students were before we set up and turned the printer on. Now that they have seen the capability of the printer, they are very excited about the possibilities. Some next steps involve me learning more about the workings of this machine and introducing the students to design software so they can become familiar with that realm of 3D technology.
With such an eager group of students it is only a matter of time before they truly take advantage of the tools we have available to us in the classroom.