Wednesday, October 18, 2017

GRAPHTEC Cutting Plotter CE6000-40: Vinyl Cutter

GRAPHTEC Cutting Plotter CE6000-40

 Vinyl Cutter

             The Graphtec CE6000-40 Vinyl Cutter is a very interesting and amazing machine that is available here at the AIC Makerspace. With this machine, you are able to express your ideas in vinyl form, as you are able to create your own designs to be printed. The Graphtec Vinyl Cutter can make your dreams a reality!

Photo Gallery of the Vinyl Cutter!

A few of  things the vinyl cutter can do are listed below:
Photo By Chris Connors

  • Labels! In a classroom or even your own home, vinyl stickers can be used as signage an labels. The signage in a classroom can indicate where things are located and exit signs etc.
  •  Decorate projects and walls with a vinyl cutter. The design that comes out in the vinyl sticker paper is in the control of the user, which allows for endless possibilities.
  •  T-shirts- A commonly used method of transferring your design onto a t-shirt is called silkscreening. This is simply the transfer of an image onto a t-shirt through areas blocked off in the vinyl. A tutorial on silkscreening with vinyl by maker Chris Connors is listed here:
What we have already used the vinyl cutter for in the MakerSpace:

The Almost finished Plinko Board
Photo by Chad McGowan

      For Ashland Day, a few mentors (including me) got together to create a game for the kids to play while outside. We came up with the idea of a Plinko board; a game that is based on the luck of a ping-pong ball going through a series of obstacles made of nails to get a prize. To decorate it, we put vinyl stickers on the Plinko board, and it made the game look 100x better. For the sign, we printed out vinyl letters to paste on some cardboard, which looked very neat and complete because of the vinyl. 

          The Graphtec Vinyl Cutter here at the AIC Makerspace is one of our most prized possessions. As shown, it has proved to be a very useful machine for the mentors and will continue to prove so, as we start new projects with the Vinyl Cutter. Not only this, but the students that come by to the afterschool Makerspace programs will also be able to use this amazing machine, while the mentors get to watch their ideas come to life.  

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Running a Maker-space: Inspiring Creativity and Ingenuity

Running a Maker-space: Inspiring Creativity and Ingenuity

A maker-space serves many purposes, providing access to tools, materials, and an environment that promotes creativity; however, there are many important factors to consider when creating and running a maker-space for students. 

There is a lot that I have learned from running the after school workshops for middle school students that I think are important for running the maker-space.

Carvey - A Makerspace Tool

Design Technology - Carvey 

 A New Machine!

     Once upon a time, my fellow G Block STAT students and I walk into the Makerspace room ready to be amazed. Mr. McGowan was testing the Carvey machine. This machine can carve into material put inside the machine. Carvey is an amazing 3D carving machine that allows quality objects to me made from materials such as wood, metal, and plastic.This remarkable piece of design technology can be used for student creativity. 

     Carvey can be used to teach students about digital manufacturing. With a software program known as "Easel", Carvey creates designs on the piece of material inside. This supports student creativity as it is designed for the classroom or any clean makerspace. Also, Carvey is a easy to use machine that is good for beginners and professionals. In the AIC, Carvey has been used to make signs and designs like the one shown above. 

     All in all, student creativity can flourish with the new machine, Carvey. For more information about this fascinating makerspace tool, click here. In addition, more information can be found about the software here. Learn about Carvey because it could easily become the future of tomorrow! 

Works Cited
"Bring Carving into the Classroom." Carvey®. N.p., n.d. Web.
"Easel - A Carving Machine." Easel. N.p., n.d. Web.

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Cardboard Cutting Tool

WORX WX081L ZipSnip Cutting Tool

If one is trying to cut out a shape in cardboard, the WORX WX081L ZipSnip Cutting Tool is the best tool to use. It is easy to take on the go with its small size. To properly use, it must be fully charged. If the cutting tool is not charged, it will not power on and therefore not work. It can be used on more than cardboard, the cutting tool can also be used to cut other materials such as rubber and carpet. The power button is on the top of the tool, with a grip on the bottom to place the other four fingers while pressing the power button with the thumb. The WORX WX081L ZipSnip Cutting Tool is an easy tool to use, no real training is needed. But, always make sure to not have a hand near the blade so that the tool does not cut someone. For more information about what the WORX WX081L ZipSnip cutting tool can cut, click here.

This machine can be used to make makerspace projects easier to do. Instead of taking several minutes using a box cutter to cut out a shape in cardboard, the WORX WX081L can do it in seconds. This reduced time helps so much on Tuesday after school, when the kids from the Mindess School come to learn about the potentials of the makerspace room. This machine helps for that because there is a line of kids who need something cut out of cardboard. The WORX WX081L cutting tool is also very precise. This allows it to cut cardboard along a line perfectly with no excess cardboard attached. The ability to have no excess cardboard is very useful because if measured correctly, the shapes cut out of the cardboard will perfectly fit together. The efficiency and preciseness of the WORX WX018L cutting tool makes it a very useful tool for makerspace.

The WORX WX081L ZipSnip Cutting Tool is very versatile and can be used in many situations. For example, if someone is trying to make a house out of cardboard, the WORX WX081L would be the best tool to use. It can cut the cardboard in little to no time, so the house can be made very quickly. also, this tool will be able to cut out the shapes of the house so precisely that they will be able to fit together. To see this product on Amazon, click here. This tool is an essential to many projects that can be done in makerspace, and it helps save so much time when easily cutting cardboard and other materials like it.

3D Printing; A Makerspace Tool

          3D printing, in a nutshell, is when you make a 3D model of a design that you either developed or copied. It's a very easy concept in theory, but finding ways to actually make something three dimensional is a fairly hard idea to grasp. The Flashforge Creator Pro is the model that our makerspace classroom has and it was made with the idea of allowing high school and college students to create their ideas. It's a great use for the classroom because it allows for dreams to become reality.

Image result for 3d printed artificial heart          However 3D printing isn't just for school. Doctors and scientists have been developing various ways to use 3D printing in medicine. They were able to find ways to create new prosthetics for people who need them and more recently, they have been able to develop 3D organs. Being able to print organs that actually work would completely transform medicine. No longer would people have to wait to obtain an organ and risk waiting until it is too late. The idea that people will be able to simply print out the organ that they need will allow for a decrease in organ rejection and death from a failure.

        Overall, the 3D printer is an incredible tool that has various purposes and can be very useful. Whether it be for creative purposes, or a life or death matter, 3D printing is the tool for you.

Works Cited
Center for Devices and Radiological Health. "3D Printing of Medical Devices - Medical Applications of 3D Printing." U S Food and Drug Administration Home Page. Center for Devices and Radiological Health, n.d. Web.
"FLASHFORGE NEW Creator Pro Dual Extrusion 3D Printer." Official Flashforge Store | Creator Pro Dual Extrusion 3D Printer. N.p., n.d. Web.