Our Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer is Here!

IMG_1428It’s here!  A lot has happened since our project was funded through Donors Choose.  I attended the American Association of School Librarians Conference in Hartford, CT.  While there, I attended several sessions on Makerspaces.  During one of my conversations, I had the pleasure of connecting with Shelley Diaz at School Library Journal.  She was very interested in our 3D Printer project and wanted to interview me about it.  You can read the article here.

Our local newspaper, the Athens Banner Herald is also in the process of writing an article about our 3D printer adventure.  In addition, Stroud Elementary and Hilsman Middle here in Clarke County are both getting 3D printers thanks to Donors Choose projects posted by their school library media specialists, Shannon Thompson and Leslie Gonzalez.

IMG_1429When the boxes arrived today, I was extremely excited but extremely nervous to leap into something new.  I reminded myself of how I always tell the kids to take risks, so I modeled my own philosophy.  However, I carefully read the instructions along the way.  The instructions were fairly easy to follow with photographs, clear descriptions, and on-screen instructions.

I loaded our first spool of clear filament and used the SD card to print a stretchy bracelet.  With each pass of the extruder, the bracelet magically appeared on the print plate.  The hardest part was getting the bracelet off of the build plate.  With some carefully prying and pulling, we were able to break it loose.  My second print, a comb, broke when we tried to remove it.  Later, I learned that it really is helpful if you use blue painters tape on the build plate.  I reprinted the comb and removed it fairly easily from the plate.    I’m sure there are some other tips and tricks that I will learn, but getting the print off the plate is definitely tricky.

Excitement was in the air as students and teachers came into the library to watch the printer go.  Even though it was printing pre-loaded items, it was extremely cool to watch and imagine possibilities.  A group of third graders is eagerly awaiting their chance to print their gems that they are designing.

I could see the wheels turning for several students and teachers, and I’m sure we will be printing all sorts of things before the year is over.

6 thoughts on “Our Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer is Here!

  1. Do you have a picture of the comb you printed?

  2. Okle Miller says:

    THAT. IS. SO. COOL! I can’t wait to read about all the great things your students make. So exciting.

  3. TimeOutDad says:

    Great post! We got a MakerBot Replicator through DonorsChoose, and are super excited, too! I bought this tool on Amazon, which helped get the pieces off. It comes with 2 tools. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EZUK7IG?ie=UTF8&camp=213733&creative=393177&creativeASIN=B00EZUK7IG&linkCode=shr&tag=tim03-20&psc=1

  4. […] After our district decided not to buy a 3D printer, we continued expecting the miraculous.  Miraculously, Donors Choose and Makerbot created a partnership and overnight a 3D printer was funded for our library!  Check out the post! […]

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