And The Decision….

The 3D@DV team is pleased to say that we will receive a really cool LAY3R 3D drawing pen and filament!

3dPenWe will use this to jump-start our MakerSpace initiative here at Delaware Valley Friends School and continue to investigate the world of 3D printing.

Many thanks to the judges and Edu-Tech Academic Solutions for sponsoring the challenge and taking the time and care to look at all our work.



Our 3D@DV team has worked SO hard on their build of the solar system! Today we spent our 40 minutes mapping out the position of the planets relative to each other and the sun, and laying out the connectors. I, intrepid tech integrator, superglued the connectors in place later in the day. That was a challenge! I now have superglue all over my fingers.

Figuring out connectors...

Figuring out connectors…

We ran out of time so we didn’t get a chance to print the asteroid belt, but the good news is that we’re going to use this model┬ánext year as a manipulative for new students to experiment with. That is one of the best outcomes for us – that we not only worked as a team to build this model, but that others will get the use of it as well. I am happy for, and proud of, the entire 3D@DV team!


Working out last details

One of our team members brought in these awesome black boards so we could arrange our model. But it turns out we need more boards to be able to get the relative scale of the planets to actually fit! This is going to be a large model.


Here’s our rough scale for the distances each planet needs to be from the sun:


Tomorrow we assemble and glue the connectors, and deliver the project to the judges!


A few last minute tweaks…

One of the builders did not like the way his Mars turned out, so we’re reprinting that planet.

But today, the team took the sun, its base, and the planets that are printed out and assembled them into a rough approximation of the final scheme. They discovered that the base was too large and prevented Mercury from being positioned close enough to the Sun. So we adjusted the base and I’m reprinting that.

Over the weekend, I printed out a raft of connectors in clear filament so the team can mix lengths to get the planets as close as possible to a relative distance from the Sun.

Here’s our awesome Saturn!


The Home Stretch!

The team has been hard at work, refining the bases the planets rest on, as well as thinking about the connector system. I have been busily printing out their planets and connectors and testing the rods.

TinkerCad’s built-in Tinkerplay system is working well for our connectors, but the clear filament we printed the rods with is a little stiff, so we think we will have to use a little bit of glue to keep the connectors “connected.” I don’t think the judges will disqualify us for that!


Meanwhile, the 3D at DV team has begun their collaborative reflective document at the project: Summarizing how the project began and ended, and reflecting on what they learned; asking the driving questions, “What went well?” and “What went wrong?” They also are including a debate question about whether or not Pluto should have been included in their version of the solar system.

To be continued!

We’re back from break and back at it!

The 3D at DV team has been on spring break, but we’re back now and finalizing our plans for building the bases for the solar system. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but here’s the team’s rendering for the base of each planet. Each of the team members will integrate this base with his planet.

Projecting the file for the base in TinkerCad.

Projecting the file for the base in TinkerCad.

And here’s Ned measuring the Sun so we can calculate what size base that will need.

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 2.41.15 PM

Thursday we begin our test prints!

Calculating distances and connectors

Last Friday, the 3D at DV team met one last time before Spring break to brainstorm how we will arrange the planets around the sun and how the connectors will work.

The team found a website that expressed the distance from the sun to each planet, and then they converted that distance to millimeters to get a rough and relative idea of how far away we will put our planets. Then they arranged the sun on big easel paper and sketched out where the planets will go.


A calculation of distance for the nearest planet and the furthest planet from the sun:


So Mercury will be 16mm from the sun, and Neptune will be about a meter.

Stay tuned for more news after the break!