Recycle 3D update: Creating your own 3d printer filament

Recycle 3D update: Creating your own 3d printer filament

Back in March this year, Fulford School STEM club launched Recycle 3D: a crowd-funding project to start turning waste plastic drinking bottles into 3d printed artwork.

Thanks to the generosity of parents, teachers and local businesses we raised enough money to buy all of the equipment we needed to get started, including:
  • 3D printer kit: students can put together the parts to create a printer capable of printing objects in multiple colours
  • 3D print filament extruder: a machine that melts down plastic pellets and turns them into the filament that gets fed into the 3d printer
  • Shredder: a microcut paper shredder that – given a bit of persuasion – should be able to shred drinks bottles

Thanks to some really kind support from the PTA and a grant from the Institute of Physics, we were able to smash our funding target of £1,500 to raise £1,676

Recycle3D STEM Club poster
Recycle3D STEM Club poster to recruit more Y7 and Y8 girls.

The kit has now arrived and so in yesterday’s STEM club we started assembling the 3d filament extruder.

The biggest slice of our budget went on a Noztek Pro Filament Extruder which takes plastic pellets, heats them up to melting point then shoves them through a nozzle to form a thin strand of plastic that can then be used in a 3d printer:

 

Please note: photos of students are only included here if students and parents have given consent. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Before we tried the extruder with shredded plastic drinks bottles we wanted to try it out with some ABS plastic pellets that came with the Noztek Pro.

Results were positive: the ABS plastic pellets we used had a melting point of between 195 and 200 degrees Celsius so we set the temperature to 197 degrees. Before long, a steady stream of plastic was coming out of the nozzle.

Sadly, the Noztek Pro doesn’t come with a spool to collect the filament. We used a spare wire spool to wind the plastic filament around, but we found that turning the spool at slightly different speeds affected the thickness of the filament.

Lessons learnt:

  • The Noztek Pro is a great piece of kit that works well, at least with small ABS pellets.
  • We could do with a spool that turned slowly to collect all of the filament that is extruded. A speed adjustable stepper motor rigged up to an old 3d printer filament spool and mounted to the end of the Noztek Pro would be idea.

 

Next steps:

The next thing to do is to start assembling the 3d printer. We also need to work out how to safely disassemble the paper shredder so that we can put plastic bottles through. I’ve tried it to make sure it can cope, but I don’t fancy students being able to shred their fingers…

The students who come along to STEM club are brilliant – really keen and motivated. We currently have loads more boys than girls. Part of the reason for establishing STEM club was to recruit more girls into Computer Science and Design & Technology so I want to get form tutors involved in recruiting girls who might be interested in getting involved.

Student made spelling app raises first £20 for NSPCC

One month ago, abc.tapandplay.uk went live as a spelling app for children designed and made by iMedia students at Fulford School.

This month (January 2017), app sales and adverts shown on the free version of the app have raised £20 for NSPCC – a charity researched and voted for by the same iMedia students as part of their project on copyright, graphic design and advertising.

This might not sound like loads of money, but the amount raised from each page view or advert click is tiny so it’s really exciting to see students work generating money for a cause that they believe is worth supporting.

Thank you to everyone who has downloaded our app or tried it out online. For more information about the app click here.

abc.tapandplay.uk raising money for NSPCC
abc.tapandplay.uk raising money for NSPCC

How does it work?

The app is designed for parents to give to their small children to entertain them for a few minutes with a fun educational game. They can buy an ad-free version of the app here or try the app for free here or online. The free version of the app contains adverts.

Each month, Google transfers the money that the adverts have raised (through views and clicks) and 100% of this money get donated to the charity that the students have chosen.

Here’s a graph to show how much money has been raised so far:

You can see which charities the students have chosen to support with the money raised from abc.tapandplay.uk for each school term:

Charities chosen by students
Charities chosen by students to receive ad revenue from spelling app

 

Please note that neither this website or abc.tapandplay.uk are endorsed or supported by any of the charities shown here.

Raise money for charity with free spelling app made by York students

Raise money for charity with free spelling app made by York students

You can now download the free version of ABC Tap And Play: a fun spelling app for android phones and tablets that raises money for charity.

ABC Tap And Play: fun spelling app for kids
ABC Tap And Play: fun spelling app for kids

Y9 iMedia students at Fulford School in York were given the challenge of learning how to design, create and optimise high quality images for the internet. To make the project more fun, we decided to create an app that would feature all of the images that students made.

The brief for the students was to design and create copyright free, high quality cartoon style graphics to include in an app that would keep toddlers and young children busy for a few minutes on their parents’ smartphone or tablet. The plan was to launch a web-app that would work on any device, a free app that you could download and a paid app. The free website and app would contain adverts, the revenue from which would be added to the paid app sales and given to a charity that the students voted for.

Each student chose a charity that supported a cause that they cared about most and had to persuade the rest of the class why the money should be given to that organisation. This term, 100% of all advertising revenue from the website and app sales are going to support the amazing work that NSPCC do to support children across the UK.

Download ABC Tap And Play from the Play Store

I’m dead proud of my students for their creativity and hard work designing and creating their images. We’ve raised around £20 in the month since the web version went live. That’s not loads, but with your help, we’d love to raise loads more.

For more information about the project click here.