Thursday, October 24, 2013

3D Printer #4 - 3D Systems Cube

Today, our new Cube arrived. This printer, unlike the rest, was free!  After a mutual professional acquaintance connected us and I shared some of the work we were doing in our class with the 3D Systems Director of Social Impact, she asked, "What would you do with another 3D printer?"  I told her! :)  She was glad to hear what we were working on... and sent us a free Cube!

The Cube joins our line-up:
  1. original Printrbot (currently on loan, presumed non-functional due to mishap this summer)
  2. Makerbot Replicator I with dual extrusion (functional - ABS)
  3. Printrbot Jr. v2 (functional - PLA)
  4. Cube - (new - PLA and ABS?)
  5. (soon) our 3Doodler?!

We received notification that the box had arrived during lunch time, when many students are in my room anyway, taking the opportunity to spend more time in our makerspace.  The girls decided that, because the boys got to pick up the Printrbot, the girls should be the ones to retrieve the Cube.

When they brought it back to the room, the kids were like a pack of hyenas descending upon a carcass.  OK, that is kind of gross, but they were all very excited.  It is hard sometimes for me to give up teacher-control in situations like this, but I know it is important for them to feel ownership over our tools.  So I just watched as the box was unpacked and set-up attempted.  

Unfortunately, the kids only had 6 or so minutes until the end of lunch, so the crowd was gone almost as quickly as it had formed.  There's a lot going on right now, so it may be a few days or weeks until we get to play with it.  The best part of having an additional printer is its contribution to reducing printing turn-around time.  Because so many prints are so time-intensive, the printers are often the limiting factor in production.

Stay tuned....

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