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.