I am currently working with one of our ICT teachers, Roger Barrow, planning a unit of work about Computer Aided Design and 3D Printing. In particular, this unit of work will focus on the themes of “Star Wars Technology” and “Life Changing Technology”.
The famous scene from Star Wars Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back, where Luke Skywalker confronts Darth Vader, provided the inspiration to pose this question, “If Luke Skywalker was here today, how could we provide an affordable and functional prosthetic arm?” If you Google the term, “3D printed prosthetics”, you will be presented with incredible projects such Robohand and Project Daniel.
Apart from researching ways 3D printing is changing the manufacturing of prosthetic limbs, students will be introduced to Tinkercad, one of our favourite, free CAD tools. Ideally, we would love to give students the opportunity to design and print their own full size prosthetic limbs, but are limited by time and the capabilities of our much-loved UP PLUS 3D printer. So, we have scaled down the project giving students the opportunity to design a prosthetic arm for our Luke Skywalker action figure.
I recently created and 3D printed my own designs and, by the time I got to version 3, I was please with the results. Of course, there are many different ways to approach this design and I can’t wait to see how our students approach this task!