Thursday, November 12, 2015

Pop-Up Mobile Makerspace

This past Saturday was the wrap up showcase at the MLK Library for the Pop-Up Mobile Makerspace project. I created a Blurb book in collaboration with the San José Public Library to document our journey of the project. The Pop-Up Mobile Makerspace was an exploration in how to engage a wide range of San José citizens in new ways to discuss urban public space design, while creating a platform that enlivened underutilized public spaces.
We hope that the ideas shared by the public in this project will help inform the shaping of downtown San José public spaces so that these spaces truly invite people to linger, connect and engage. We hope that these experimental pop-up mobile makerspaces become a model for other groups to invite the public into urban planning discussions. The photos in this book capture some of the energy and creativity of the San José public who joined us on this journey. We are eager to see this conversation continue.

Here is a link to the book

Future Engineers Design Challenge Winner

Emily was selected as the Future Engineers Design Challenge Winner for the Junior Category (K-12 years old) in early October 2015. The 3D print design challenge was to design a space container for zero gravity. She created a tea cage that would brew tea grown on the ISS. Here is the announcement posted by ASME.
This is her statement for the project:

"Sometimes it gets boring in space. Astronauts need something to liven up their meals. After looking at the categories for a space container I decided to make a container for liquids. In space liquids form spheres and stick to things they touch because surface tension is different in zero gravity. While doing research I saw a video from space of some string holding a sphere of water in place. I realized a cage could definitely do it, too. I was reading about juices and tea. That got my mind working. Tea is flavored by leaves and astronauts study plants in space. Astronauts could plant tea leaves in space and occasionally they could pick a couple leaves and make tea! You put the tea leaves in the lower compartment of this design. The lid closes on hinges so the leaves don’t float away. You use Velcro to keep the lid closed. Then you squirt hot water into the cage. The water sphere would just stay in the cage. The leaves flavor the water through the holes and then you drink the tea!"

Emily being interviewed in a google hangout by NASA engineers, Made In Space engineer, and an astronaut. 
test 3D print
Emily's Tinkercad design work in progress.

initial concept sketches

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Future Engineers Youth 3D Design Challenge

The Future Engineer Design Challenge created by NASA and ASME was a great journey for many K-12 students this past fall/winter. A new challenge will be launching this spring.

All the designs submitted can be seen in the site's gallery page. The site is very well organized to inspire youth and to engage them in a design thinking journey as they imagine a useful zero gravity space tool to be 3D printed in space.

Samples of 5th grade student concept designs in low resolution prototypes and iterated as CAD models.
Many schools participate in this design journey. I have created a collaborative doc to capture the various work flows classes used to engage in the project. I am hoping more teachers add their experiences to the doc.
  When I have engaged students and teachers in exploring this project, I have created cardboard volume forms for them to hold so that they know the maximum print size of the tool they will be designing. While the low resolution prototypes do not have to be 5cm x 10cm x 5cm, designers need to imagine that their final tool will be 3D printed at that size. Here are the design guidelines for this challenge.
Volume forms representing the 3D print size constraint of 5cm x 10cm x 5cm

Stratasys 3D Extreme Redesign Challenge

A week or so ago, we learned that both Cole and Emily are finalists in the Art & Architecture strand of the Stratasys 3D Extreme Redesign Challenge. This 3D CAD design challenge is a great opportunity for youth to participate in and feel a part of a broader community of young makers globally. For this particular youth challenge, 3D prints are not required for submission. A .stl file, a few screen shots of the CAD design, and a written statement regarding the design are the requirements.

Below is Cole's design. He used free CAD tools to design it. He used Sculptris to create a few if the more organic volume forms, Illustrator to create the insect limbs (exporting as .svg files) and then brought the pieces together in Tinkercad to assemble and design the final piece. He reduced the file size of the Sculptris pieces in Meshmixer before importing into Tinkercad. He printed the piece using the UV cured acrylic plastic frosted detail 3D printing method through Shapeways
Cole's "Insect Plate" printed by Shapeways
Cole wearing his Extreme Redesign T-shirt in front of his school.
Emily's "Bumbuku the Badger Tea Kettle"
Emily with the 3D print of her badger tea kettle in front of her school.
Emily also used Sculptris in her workflow. She created the feet, head, and tail of her design in Sculptris. She reduced the file size by reducing the triangles of the mesh in Meshmixer. and then imported the parts into Tinkercad where she completed the piece.