The MakerBot Saves Our Fish Again

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Our aquaponic system

Our aquaponic system

Our classroom aquaponic system has been functioning nicely for the past year in our classroom. This past fall we had a fish get stuck on the pump’s intake. The fish died and the others ate most of the remains. The tilapia are quite aggressive. I used our newly donated Replicator to make a guard to protect the remaining six fish.

3d printed pump inlet guard

3d printed pump inlet guard

Our fish remained healthy until this past weekend. An unpleasant smell greeted me upon arriving to my classroom after the weekend. One fish was dead and the water looked a bit murky. It was obvious the water was not circulating to the top growing media which acts as our natural filter. After checking for clogs in the hoses I removed the pump from the tank to find a damaged impeller.

Broken water pump impeller

Broken water pump impeller

I located a replacement part online for about $30 with ground shipping, but the fish would be long dead by that time. One of my coworkers suggested I create a replacement on our 3d printer. The replacement part for sale was a much less complicated design with three blades. I decided to give it a shot to save the fish.

Original, V1, V3

Original, V1, V3

After the third print I had a good fit.

Repaired impeller

Repaired impeller

Repaired pump

Repaired pump

The final part was printed at 100% infill to make it as strong as possible. I think I might make the center cylinder thicker to make it even stronger. You can download the file on Thingiverse here, http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:281473. Now I need to turn this into a lesson for my students about using 3d printers to solve everyday problems.

Day 8 #30DoC @arduino

This was a pretty busy week, so my make today is a quickie. I dusted off my Arduino and wanted it to say a simple message on a LCD screen. It took me a little longer than I expected. I stole some code from the clinometer device that I created last summer.

 

I am extremely rusty with programing Arduino at this point. I need get cracking on some code to work on one of my bigger makes of #30DoC. For those of you who are interested, here is the simple sketch:

void setup() {
// initialize serial communications:
Serial.begin(9600);
Serial.write(22);
}

void loop() {
Serial.write(12);
delay(5);
Serial.print(“Day8#30DoC Need “);
Serial.print(“2 Review Arduino”);

delay(1000);
}

Day 7 #30DoC @makerbot @tinkercad

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v1 of 10cm tall garden box identifiers. Screw holes need revision.

The tapered part needs a larger diameter and so does the cylindrical part of the hole. I will fix is soon, but feel free to do it for me. tinkercad.com added the ability to embed your creations clean html style. Here is my first shot at it.

https://tinkercad.com/embed/bZHL2mfZGRc?editbtn=1

 

Help me tinkercad, my embed is not working. Code looks fine when I paste it. Once I hit update, the code gets changed by wordpress to a link.

 

Tinkercad was great about getting back to me. As of right now the embed feature is not compatible with wordpress.com. Hopefully that will change in the future.

Day 5 #30DoC

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Today I built two small coffee filter parachutes. These are for demonstration purposes for some of my second grade students. The children have been designing their own chutes.  I have been collaborating with Dr. David Crismond of CCNY on this lesson. You can view a side by side drop of the two chutes below on YouTube. The entire drop from release to landing should be on the video., but I will have to fix that tomorrow.

 

Day 4 #30DoC

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Lots o grillin’

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I cooked for 50 hungry brother fire fighters tonight. Luckily I had help, since I never got out of the weeds. I served BBQ Chicken club sandwiches (bacon strips), fresh corn on the cob, Nathan’s French fries, and a store bought chocolate sheet cake. I did not have time to document the finished meal.

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Tomorrow I will be making a few parachutes.

Day 3 of the Creativity Experiment

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Sunday 10:59:13-16:04:13

Last May my incredible wife gave me this special birthday present. The past 12 months have been quite busy at home with the birth our our daughter. Things have been a bit more mellow these days. 30 Days of Creativity motivated me to get on all the little projects that have been on my mind, but on the back burner.

This Shuttle model is by far the nicest LEGO set that I have ever assembled. The detail, structural stability, and the fact that I grew up with the Shuttle program made this build a real joy. I am excited to share this model with my daughter and my students. We need to ignite the spark of science in the next generation. Space exploration holds the power to do just that. Today’s youth will be the ones to develop the space craft that carry humans beyond low earth orbit.

Here is a time lapse slide show of the building of the model:

Tomorrow I will be grilling.