Thursday, June 5, 2014

Chebu...what?

Throughout this school year, my class has been using telepresence to connect with Ari, a student at University of Arizona majoring in Russian.  He has been giving weekly sessions on various aspects of Russian culture, politics, current events, and history.  These have been so inspiring, in fact, that one of my students' companies that called themselves Sug-Art (3D sculptures printed from sugar), decided they wanted to create a prototype of a sugar sculpture modeled after one of Russia's most beloved animated characters - Cheburashka.  This was the biggest challenge so far for my students to design on Tinkercad.  The big ears that stick out to the side were giving them issues...



We attempted a total of 11 versions before we finally got Cheburyashka just right.  So many lessons learned along the way and nuances in using Tinkercad.  In the world of education where it seems like things are black and white, right and wrong, it is so refreshing to inspire in my students a spirit of entrepreneurship and creativity where it is okay if things don't work out the first time....or the second time...because it is all about what we learn along the way.  This is perseverance in action.


Here is the final version
Here is the problem-ear

Sweet Sculptures

Another student company idea got their inspiration from one that 3D prints edible sugar cake toppers.  They called themselves "Sug-Art" and set off to create a company that custom creates sugar sculptures.  In doing so, they had a lot of research and cost analysis to do.  What better way to do research than to write to the company from whom they got their inspiration?  We got their contact information from their site:
http://the-sugar-lab.com/


What started out as a quest to use 3D printing in meaningful ways in the classroom has led to interdisciplinary, authentic inquiry.

Here is the students' request for information:


Dear Ms. Vonhasseln,  

We are third graders in Phoenix, AZ.  We are working on coming up with a business idea as a school project and am interested in your technology for creating sugar art.  We are wondering about what type of machine you use, where and how much the sugar floss costs, and what it would cost to buy a 3D sugar printer.  Also, is the process for printing 3D sugar art the same as for printing 3D objects using plastic filament?  

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.  We look forward to learning from you and hearing back from you soon.

Sincerely,

Sug-Art
_________________________________________________________________________

The response:

Thanks for your interest in our work! This sounds like an awesome project you're working on!

We use 3D printers made by 3D Systems, called the ChefJet and ChefJet Pro. These printers are only prototypes at this time, but they will both be released to market later this year. Here's the press release. The ChefJet is monochrome (it produces parts the color of the material) and will cost roughly $5,000. The ChefJet Pro is full CMYK color, with a larger build-bed (you can print larger objects, or a larger quantity of smaller objects) and will cost roughly $10,000. 

As for the material you use with these printers, it's actually not a filament. The ChefJet printers use a different kind of 3D printing technology than plastic extrusion printers do, but instead use CJP (Color Jet Printing) technology. Unfortunately the pricing for the ChefJet materials has not yet been determined, but for the purposes of your project, you could research the cost of granulated sugar. You would need enough to fill a 10x12x12" bin (ChefJet) or 16x14x10" bin (ChefJet Pro). 

You can find a folder of images of our work here, as well as a document with some information about what we do and how we originally got started. I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any more questions! 

Thanks,
Liz

Liz von Hasseln, M. Architecture | Creative Director Food Products
3DSYSTEMS NYSE: DDD | WWW.3DSYSTEMS.COM
The Sugar Lab | 3470 Plata St. | Los Angeles, CA 90026