The STRIDR Project by Laykanics
We recently came across a UK based startup called Laykanics, who have a hands-on approach to engineering through the 3D printing of mechanical toys. Being advocates of 3D printing in education, we decided to delve a bit deeper by getting hands-on ourselves and testing out one of their engineering projects.
5th October 2016 • News
Let’s start by giving a brief introduction to Laykanics and how they operate. Their online platform is a subscription based service that gives access to a wide range of engineering projects. Each project illustrates a mechanical principle or introduces a given technology and comes with a full set of 3D printable files, technical drawings and curriculum notes to follow. In addition, each subscriber gets a free KIT, that includes external components such as screws, motors and gears, to allow you to complete each project.
We decided to test out STRIDR – the simplest project.
The description of the project on the Laykanics website is as follows:
“This water-running boat is a simple way of learning about the use of compressed air as a source of propulsion. It illustrates the need for seals in systems employing air and introduces a practical method to achieve a sealing solution. The strider will remain a favourite at LAYKANICS as more powerful sources of propulsion are to be explored and adapted on to it!”.
The project kicks off with some quick facts followed by a simple step-by-step on how to assemble the 3D printed components and KIT contents. This is accompanied by some technical drawings (shown below). We really liked this aspect of the project as it introduces students to the types of visuals they will be creating and reading, should they choose to follow an engineering/design career path.
The overall print time for the components was approximately 6 hours, which was easily completed within a day at the office. Each part was carefully designed and included a screw mechanism that fit together perfectly.
Now with everything 3D printed and our KIT on hand, we were ready to assemble our STRIDR. The assembly took just a few minutes and we were excited to get our boat in the water. Check out the video at the end of the blog to see the full process.
The most impressive aspect for us was the level of detail in the “learn” section. From thrust to buoyancy, drag and friction, Laykanics have really focused their efforts on educating as well as making incredibly fun projects.
Laykanics have promised to add a new project each month to their online platform and over time, I can see this being of great interest to schools around the world. There’s a real need for brands like Laykanics, to provide teachers with hands-on resources to inspire and educate their students.
We would love to see Laykanics develop the “learn” section of the projects by simply having beginner, intermediate and advanced sections. This way, the projects could capture a wider audience because in our opinion, they can add huge value to all age groups (including adults).
The overall experience with STRIDR was great, and there is a lot of room for teachers to use the project as a base to expand on. Challenges could be set to see if students can make a better valve system and experiments could take place that involve testing out various components with different shapes and weights. We are very excited to try more projects so look out for the updates.