Text and photos by:
Hugh Hawley of "The Unitatoes"
My name is Hugh Hawley and I’m a young scientist.
I do STEM because I do not get enough science at school.
We did 3D printing at STEM! First, we watched a video about how a 3D printer works.
Then we watched a video on how to use the programs tinkerCAD and CURA. TinkerCAD was our building app where we could drag and drop random objects onto a flat 2D printer board. You could stretch the object in all directions. Making it higher, wider, longer and change its colour.
Then once you had dragged and shaped the object you wanted then we downloaded it to CURA which was our ‘slicer’.
CURA had all the statistics of the printer so it could estimate the time, weight and where the supports would need to be for the 3D printing. Then we downloaded the script (the very complex code) onto a USB which we would insert into the 3D printer.
The first thing the printer does is it heats up the glass like plate that it would be printing on so that the model sticks. It heats it up to 60 degrees Celsius. Then the melting iron which is in the head heats up to 210 degrees Celsius and a machine near the back of the printer, pushes the rod of plastic material towards the iron head and melts it onto the glass board as the 3D printer head makes layers and layers of the plastic structure.
Thanks for reading. Hugh Hawley