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Bridge Project - Bridge Truss (STEM Project)

by WongZCMS, published

Bridge Project - Bridge Truss (STEM Project) by WongZCMS Jul 27, 2013
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This is just an example used in my Middle School curriculum. Feel free to add suggestions/download for use.

*Please let me know if there are any problems. I'm still new to the 3D Printing world.

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I am a middle school teacher, and our school recently purchased an Ultimaker II 3D printer. If you or anyone else on this forum would be willing to share the ways you use your 3D printer in your classroom I would really appreciate it!

Sounds cool, I like the multipart idea. Perhaps for a 4in gap, they must use pieces no wider than 2in? I'll post a link to a lesson plan I'm developing soon. What printer and materials are you using?

Our school just bought our lab the Makerbot 2 Replicator with plenty of PLA Filament. I've had a couple issues with it so far, but overall it's working just fine. I wish I was using this at the high school level since they're much more independent, but I will probably have to monitor the middle school students very closely while they're modeling. My biggest problem with the balsa wood bridge was the fact that the pieces broke so quickly and the use of exacto knives were a problem. However, I don't want one student modeling the bridge from scratch by themselves, so I think I'm going to have to specify different tasks. One person build the truss while the other partner does the deck and any other support beams. I figured a 2-3 inch span would work best. I had a lesson for the balsa bridge, but altered it to include overall print time, material cost (I'm still unsure how to figure this one out), and design. I figured time and money would be appropriate for their age, especially in engineering.

As far as testing, I'm still not sure. If the bridge was put together in pieces, then it would definitely have error and would be much weaker than a solid bridge. Either way, I'm still pretty stoked to try this out with the students!

Awesome! I'll be unpacking my cube printer this week. I hope to give this a try before the school year. Do you blog?

Best of luck! Unfortunately I do not. I do have a website that I post most of my projects on, but that's about it. What program were you going to use to model your projects with?

I've been using sketch up, so far. Autodesk programs are free for teachers and students, so I need to check them out!

I have them on my computer, and I know they are free, but my school wants to obtain a real license for long term use. However, they are extremely expensive haha. SketchUp works very nicely though!

Have you tested the load this can handle? I'm putting together a 3D printed bridge building competition for my high school science club students this year. I'm interested to see how abs or pla holds up compared to balsa wood.

I haven't yet. I also used Balsa Wood for my students, but middle school students are pretty messy and irresponsible at times with the equipment, so I wanted a different solution. For the model itself, it seems almost unbreakable. I was going to make an extra one and test it with the students to find how much it can withstand as a benchmark, but this stuff is tough! I got roughly 18 pounds max with one of the students 1/8" x 1/8" balsa wood model. I made these to match the balsa wood models almost 1:1 scale, but the limitations on width were a little annoying.

I think it will also be different because I am having my students only model parts for their bridge instead of a whole. That way, if they make any errors, I won't have to re-print a whole new model. I was going to have them superglue/gorilla glue the pieces together in the end.

*By the way, I'm pretty psyched to have met another teacher on here!

If you have trouble printing the overhangs, you might consider a variant of this: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:6749http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

Truss Bridge Kit
by tc_fea