Tues Sept 5 – Printing Fractals

// Roundup //

According to the Assignments list, by class time today you should all be done with your Hello and First Fractal blog posts. Last week we talked about the Dragon Curve; if you missed any of that discussion then read last week’s Timeline posts carefully, and make sure that you watch the Numberphile Dragon Curve video if you weren’t in class on Thursday. At some point in the future we may have a quiz where I’ll ask you to talk about the three methods of constructing the Dragon curve.

// Today: First Fractals and a full print cycle //

  • Group Discussion: In groups, share your First Fractal ideas with each other. Each group download the fractal models (STL files) and decide which of the three would be the easiest or fastest to print first.
  • 3D Print to the Ultimakers: Print the easiest of your three models. We’ll do these steps together as a class, but here’s an overview of the printing steps:
    • Open Cura and load your STL file.
    • Select “Ultimaker 2+ Extended” or “Ultimaker 3” in the upper right.
    • From the Profile menu, select the “Racer X” profile.
    • Does your model need supports? Does it need to be re-oriented, centered, or placed flat on the build platform? Can you scale it so that it prints in less than 45 minutes to an hour? Discuss as a group and then I’ll come over and approve each model individually.
    • Get the SD card or USB drive from your group’s Ultimaker and insert it into the back of the computer.
    • The lower right button should say something like “Save to Removable Drive”. Press this button when ready.
    • Eject the SD/USB drive and put it back into the Ultimaker.
    • Make sure the printer’s build platform is clear and then Print your sliced file.
  • 3D Print to the Afinias: If you have time, print a second model from your group to an Afinia printer.
    • Follow the instructions at the JMU 3SPACE site.
    • Your model must print by the end of the class period; otherwise, scale the model or wait until the next class.
    • If your Afinia is broken then you can try to start your print on another printer later, whichever one in the room finishes printing first.
  • Class Discussion: Each group come to the front and introduce their fractal model to the class. Show your corresponding First Fractal blog post and talk about the model you are printing. Here are some questions to discuss: Why did you choose this fractal? Why do you think it is a fractal? Why did you think it would be easy to print?
  • Best Practices for Finishing Prints: Your print is over, but there’s still lots to do…
    • Remove your completed print from the printer. It may be easier after the platform cools a bit.
    • Clean up any rafts or supports on your model.
    • Take a photo of your print! We have a class iPad if you don’t have a good phone camera. You’ll need this photo for your blog post and to post a “Make” on Thingiverse.
    • Print a Level Test to show the next user that the printer is still leveled and ready. If your Level Test does not print successfully, then cancel the print and leave a note on the printer.
    • If your print does not finish before the end of class, leave a note with your name, contact info, and estimated completion time.

// For Next Time //

For homework you’ll watch a few videos on Dragon Curves and paper folding records and take some easy quizzes while you watch them (see the Assignments list for details). On Thursday we’ll continue printing and discussing our First Fractals, and fill out forms to get you swipe card access to 3SPACE…