3D Printing Name Tags with Tinkercad

Thanks to the easy to use CAD software, Tinkercad, kids could design their own name tags and watch them being 3D printed at Glastonbury Festival.

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Tinkercad has pre-designed shapes and letters that can resized and combined. It’s free to use and perfect for simple designs. The only problem was it needs an internet connection to work – a challenge when you’re 3D printing in a field. It was a bit temperamental, but we connected the laptop to our phones as a wifi hot spot, using about 500mb of data over the weekend.

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Mozilla Festival

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A group of us from BuildBrighton hackerspace, spent the weekend learning about the open web at the Mozilla Festival in London. Highlights for me included discovering free CAD software Fusion 360, having a laugh programming a Raspberry Pi and hanging out with hackerspace members, away from the space.

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We had a fun journey home via the River Thames.

Engaging Crafts People in Electronics

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For my final year project, I designed a simple circuit board made from press studs and aluminuim foil. It works likes a simplified electronic breadboard, with off-the-shelf components, to allow easy progression to traditional electronics.

The product is about changing unfounded perceptions, by highlighting the craft aspects of designing electronics and by lowering the emphasis on prior technical ability. It isn’t intended to be how people make circuits forever. It’s about having an experience that shows electronics doesn’t have to be ‘techy’ and there are ways to use the skills crafts people have to come up with creative projects that use power.

It’s about sparking a can do attitude for electronics.

The conductive strips, made from aluminium foil, are on the top of the board, so it’s clear which press studs are connected together, This is different to standard breadboards, where it’s not obvious if the connections go horizontally or vertically.

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The press studs can be used in 4 different ways. Components can be inserted into the holes, crocodile clips can be attached to the protruding section and conductive ribbon can placed between the top and bottom press stud. Finally, the top press stud can be sewn to ribbon using conductive thread, creating fabric based components.