Below is the next in our series of blogs to show how the schools which entered the Ultimaker Schools Challenge came to win.

Our Group

This is our group, there are three members, I am Trinity Dockery (right), I am 16 years old and my role is team leader. All of the students in my team are currently in 5th year and are attending the secondary school, Colaiste Chill Mhantáin in co. Wicklow. 

Other team members include, Eduardo Ruiz Sabajanes (middle), he is 14 years old and is an exchange student from Madrid, Spain. His role was to help design the model. Last but not least, Kiernan Irons 16. This photo was taken at a “sci-fest” competition we had attended with this project in November, however we did not have a prototype made in time.

This Type of design competition is a regular feature in our school. Typically there would be 300 students plus studying a design related subject in our school and access to a 3D printer would be most beneficial for a number of projects we currently have in the pipeline.

We attend an Irish secondary school, Colaiste Chill Mhantáin in Co.Wicklow, Ireland.

Currently, we are doing our first year of the leaving certificate programme, there is a wide variety of subjects available at my school.

These includes, construction studies, engineering, applied maths, D.C.G. (Design Communication Graphics), physics, art and many other subjects. We can choose four optional subjects from this list, but Irish, maths and English are mandatory subjects, all subjects are split into ordinary and higher level classes. Our Leaving Certificate is our final school exam, we are graded in OL (ordinary grade) and HL (higher level grade), H1 and O1 being the highest in our preferred level. Our Leaving Certificate result and the subjects chosen decide what college course we would be eligible for.

One of our members, Eduardo Riuz, is an exchange student from Madrid, Spain.

Some members of the team had taken an interest due to their choice subjects being design related, Jefferson and Eduardo, for example, immensely enjoy DCG and Physics. Other members, like myself, are interested in the project, despite not doing any of the subjects mentioned.

Materials required

Most materials required were available to us in school.

Our school has an art department and CAD Lab to help with design.

Our engineering department has a supply of materials and meccanno readily available, however we have no access to any rapid-prototyping equipment which would have been advantageous.

Our “foldable trolley” project was initially taken on as a cross-curricular project for entry in our schools “sci-fest” competition

Some members of our team study Design Communication Graphics, others art and engineering.

Overall the project was very much STEM related and encompassed aims including sustainability, environmental awareness and accessibility.

The problem solving and design aspect to this project is what’s most beneficial.

Trolly Sketch

Project description

The aim of the project is to try and design a replacement for the traditional shopping trolley. Our aim is to look at the traditional trolley design. We have set about designing and prototyping an innovative alternative to the trolley.

So far we have investigated the current shopping trolley and have come up with a series of alternative designs and have started to evaluate their viability.

While we have been able to produce some prototypes from resources such as Meccano and card we have encountered some difficulty in replicating aspects of our final design that Incorporate linkages and folding mechanisms.

This is an area where a rapid prototyping device such as an Ultimaker would be most beneficial.

The research element of the project has been completed, the design component is well underway but some refinement and evaluation may be necessary as the process progresses.

Should we get access to an Ultimaker we’d envisage having a working prototype completed by the end of the term.

The use and application of 3D printers in schools – Practical subjects

A 3D printer could get a ton of use, would be great in construction for scaled architectural models, cut-sections etc, rapid prototyping is on next years engineering course as a special topic, it’s widely used for components in “F1 in schools”, wheels, spoilers nose-cones can all be 3D printed.

Could come in handy for TY module’s also models for the Xmas market etc, although it’s more for one-off’s as opposed to a mass production machine.

Could be used in making models for the JCSP make a book,but it’s real potential would be for DCG. It could replicate intersecting planes,cut solids, dynamic mechanisms, conics etc.

Unlike the CNC, it takes very little know how to operate, it’s a “send to printer job” laser cutters come in at €11k to €16k they’re a great job but more suitable to a workshop as they are big enough in size & would blow the budget.


Blackrock Education centre’s Manager outlined the whole school use of 3D printing

A 3D Printer could be an investment for the whole school not just the Technology/Practical Departments.

Art: miniture 3D sculpture models could be printed to scale.

Geography: Georaphical landscape features could be drawn up & printed to scale.

History: historical figures & scenes could be drawn up & printed to scale.

Science: Scientific Models, Biology models etc. could be downloaded ,drawn up & printed to scale.

Maths: Geometric shapes models etc. could be downloaded ,drawn up & printed to scale.

Home Economics: Custom printed3D cookie and Icing cutters are popular!

Types & Costs of 3D printers

The cost of the printers has come down dramatically in recent years but has now stabilised & are possibly on the way back up due to a limited number of suppliers.

The cost of the printer depends on:

  • The working area of the printers base.
  • The type of polymer the printer uses, ABS plastic requires a heated base.

Consumable Costs of 3D printing

Consumable polymer spools were quite reasonable, key-rings we printed out worked out at €0.09 per item.

The filament cost approx €45per roll,2/3 rolls would be useful starting up for effect & variety.

Resources available for 3D printing

There’s a vibrant online 3D printing community who upload and share many educational models for printing. These can be downloaded & printed directly.

A demonstration of the printer in use

Small keyring’s were produced on the night, Make time was approximately 15min.

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