Headteacher Magazine, guide to services and products for UK Schools
The latest project from Kitronik helps students shine a light on 3D printing and alternative energy.
Kitronik, a leading provider of electronic kits and educational resources to schools, has launched its latest project, an environmentally friendly torch which requires only manual power to create light!
The 3D Printed Windup Torch Kit is a great way to learn about electronics and alternative power sources and also lends itself perfectly to enclosure design projects, with students being tasked with designing a case and handle. The resources section on the Kitronik website provides a set of design files to inspire teachers and to form the substance of a scheme of work.
The resulting product means never being caught out in the dark again, with a powered LED light being available at the turn of a handle.
When fully charged using the handle winder, the super capacitor should be able to keep the LED fully lit for up to ten minutes. The greater the time spent on winding, the more charge the capacitor will store and the longer the LED will stay lit after winding has stopped, up to the maximum ten minutes.
The simple handle can be laser cut in seconds and only needs the addition of an M3 nut and bolt combination to complete the handle. Guidance for this process is supplied through the 3D printed resource which also contains free files so users can get printing straight away.
This project lends itself perfectly to enclosure design projects as students can be tasked with designing the torch case and handle. If laser cutting the handle, students can add their own design to be engraved!
In Kitronik’s design the handle has been cut from a Perspex sheet, while the rest of the design has been printed on a Robox 3D printer using black ABS. Any colour can be used to create an alternate aesthetic, yet another design choice. Although the handle illustrated is made of Perspex, any 3mm laser compatible material can be used. Alternatively, the Perspex can be substituted and the handle can be 3D printed along with the rest of the components. Files for printing the handle are included in the kit.
The parts for this torch have been printed using Robox's open source software, AutoMaker. Robox printers use smart reels which tell the printer what material it is using, meaning the printer sets the head and bed temperature automatically. The casing can be printed with as low as 15% infill and the rest of the components working well at 80%.
When designing parts or projects to be 3D printed, Kitronik always try to minimise overhangs to reduce the need for support materials. The benefits of this approach are that the product can literally go straight from printer to assembly.
Kitronik Director, Kevin Spurr, is pleased with the positive response from schools to the Wind-Up Torch Kit but not surprised, commenting,
“Our design brief with this kit was to keep the project simple and easy. So, we’ve created a product which offers a simple design, and is easy to use, print and assemble and which fits a designated kit, the windup torch. It’s ideal for the requirements of the KS3 D & T curriculum, helping students to develop their skills and knowledge in a meaningful context.
We also wanted to provide a comprehensive set of guidelines for teachers, as we know that there are some teachers tasked with teaching electronics who are grateful for detailed, step by step support. The accompanying resource files can be used to create a scheme of work and help teachers to develop their subject knowledge or can be used by more experienced teachers as a starting point for inspiration from which they can add their own teaching materials.”
Teachers also have the benefit of Kitronik’s support service. Their staff will be pleased to answer any questions through their next day email response service at firstname.lastname@example.org
The design files for the enclosure kit and handle can be downloaded from the Kitronik website here: www.kitronik.co.uk/blog/3d-printed-windup-torch-kit
Teaching notes and essential information for the Windup Torch are available here: www.kitronik.co.uk/2164-wind-up-torch-kit.html
Prices and Availability.
The Windup Torch Kit is priced at £6.35 excluding VAT and is available to order via the Kitronik website here: www.kitronik.co.uk/2164-wind-up-torch-kit.html
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