The members of Texas A&M University’s AggieSTEM program invited me to bring SOLID Learning elements of 3D printing to their Summer Camps this year. Considering Projects for the classes, as the format will be a Project Based Learning engagement intended to create a useful end product the participants will learn from in other settings after the summer camps are over - I ran across this design in the MAKE magazine. The classes sessions include teachers-only Boot Camp sessions and multiple teenage-participant groups for students in Middle School through High School brackets.
Last month's MAKE magazine (volume 39) has a cover example of a 3D printed projectile for spud guns that will carry a GoPro camera aloft to capture video from high above the launch area. This GoPro Cannon Cam project seemed an excellent possible project for our summer participants, since the end product be used in later Physics lessons illustrating ballistic behaviors, Mathematics lessons addressing changes in trajectory measured against time of flight, and even Wildlife and Resource Management studies of the area around their schools seen from far overhead.
To test the time required to build one of these projectiles, students who had not yet left for Summer events printed out components using surplus natural ABS filament from our Project Egg support project earlier this year. I discovered the designer of the Cannon-Cam projectile originally left out the slip rings (2x) from his STL archive on the MAKE magazine site, so I created the missing design item and shared it on Thing-i-verse (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:336517) for others who want to build their own projectiles. This was a hit with the students, as they enjoyed the idea that a toy missing parts could just have the replacements created at need with updates and personalization.
After the workshop participants got involved with the smaller pieces like the cut-off brass rods and torsion springs, things went in pretty well. The final design lacks only the GoPro camera and its window protector, and we will build the cannon itself in the weeks ahead! We are still trying to get permission to discharge the projectile on campus grounds and hope the Summer Camp’s sponsors like the project deliverable!