Sunnyside High School to fabricate 500+ Flashy Rings

UPDATE:  February 18, 2015.  Ms. Katie McQuone and her students put together this awesome video about their desire to use and manufacture “Flashy Rings”:

Sunnyside High School will leverage the power of Hands-on Rapid Innovation to learn about digital design, digital fabrication and entrepreneurship via project spawned from RaverRings


As part of the #AMakeADay hashtag on Instagram, the “RaverRings” as they’ve been informally named became a big hit at Sunnyside High School in Fresno, CA.  Being shown as an example output product of the Rapid Innovation Cycle, the students began “freaking out’ over the cool factor brought out by the 3D Printed rings.

Founder and CEO Chris McCoy stated, “while 3D printing isn’t great for large scale manufacturing, for low volumes and especially with the custom nature of ring sizes, a handful of 3D printers could produce all the rings necessary for the student body” which is approximately 3500.

The RaverRing that was demo’ed on January 28th during the first introduction to the Rapid Innovation Cycle was sold to the opportunistic Lovely–a student in Ms. Katie McQuone’s TV Video Production class.  “Who here would buy this [RaverRing] for $10?” Chris asked the group.  Lovely shot up her hand and said, “I will!!” and on the spot handed over $4 of the $10 (she has promised to pay the remainder upon return).  “This is $4 worth of data…” Chris explained to the class “and this is why having a prototype product or service is so important to accurately gauge market interest.”  This was the message being instilled into the class that day–that by building prototypes and using them as market experiments, students could reliably kickstart their own entrepreneurial ventures.

The goal of both You3Dit and Hands-on Rapid Innovation in the context of Sunnyside High School is to provide students the modern tools used by the top Tech firms in Silicon Valley–that of data-driven decision making, customer development and rapid iteration.  Additive manufacturing in the form of 3D Printing plays a large role in hardware prototyping because one-off instances of product designs can be made much much cheaper than ramping up a production line or buying professionally machined parts.

The RaverRing utilizes a double finger ring that is 3D printed and one Radio Shack LED Flashing Step product.  Chris saw them on sale initially and figured there “had to be something cool we could do with them” and for $3.00 for 2x, this was too good of a deal to pass up.

The leadership at Sunnyside that organizes pep rallies for the entire school said, “we’re planning to do a ‘Black Out’ pep rally with the Flashy Rings…this way the students can spell out 2015 on center stage with simple clapping and snapping to flash the rings.”  With the pep rally scheduled for April 2015, both teams at Sunnyside High and You3Dit will need to work fast and with student help to get all of these rings made.  “We’ve already been given support from companies like who have donated 3D Printer filament for this project.”  We’re hoping other manufacturers like Printrbot and Radio Shack as well might be interested in supporting this student-led digital fabrication and entrepreneurial experience.  Teacher and TV Production Lead Ms. McQuone said, “I want to get a ring in every kid’s hand and we hope to document and film the entire thing…possibly submit the experience to an upcoming film festival.”

Everyone is aware that there is work and effort to be invested, but there’s no doubt that this experience will light up the creative minds at Sunnyside High School.

Preschool teacher designs her own personalized jewelry…A+

Preschool teacher Kate Brehob is wonderful with kids.  Everyone who has met her knows this.  What we didn’t know–possibly herself included–is that she can also design sweet customized jewelry that is ready to 3D print.

Showing how her new personalized earrings will look.

Showing how her new personalized earrings will look.

The back story:

My cousin is naming her second baby for my grandmother. She named her first child after her mom so now there is going to be a new generation of sisters with these same names. I thought it was such a sweet idea and I wanted to give her something she wouldn’t find anywhere else that also had meaning. I decided to create stud earrings with each daughter’s name on them. I also thought they would be cute as stud earrings because both names have four letters each. The next step was just to figure out how to get tiny custom stud shaped names! 

-Katherine, San Francisco, CA

Using TinkerCAD–an entry-level computer-aided-design (CAD) software–and the You3Dit network, Katherine was able to quickly able to make the earring parts which she then cemented to blank, earring studs.  We sent her this CAD tutorial from Hands-on Rapid Innovation to help her get started.

“TinkerCAD was pretty easy to use, but I’m not used to working in millimeters” said Brehob.  Most engineers and scientists prefer the metric system and regularly push using these units (as demonstrated in TinkerCAD), however, people living in the U.S. are typically more familiar with the inch, pound and quart units of measurement.  Thus, if you’re struggling to figure out the size / scale of your project, consider downloading and printing one of these “to-scale” rulers. Additionally, we worked with Ms. Brehob to tweak the z-dimension height so that the earrings came out a just the right thickness so simply work with your designers.

“The first set turned out pretty good, but I think I’m going to add hearts or something to hide the backing of the stud” said the preschool teacher.  This observation was made after she had received the first set of prints.  “This is exactly the benefit of quick & easy access to rapid prototyping tools like 3D printers” said Chris McCoy, co-founder of You3Dit.  “3D printers unlock creativity via rapid iteration” which allows for faster convergence on final solutions and allows the mind to explore many solutions without a lot of cost (time, money, effort).

3D printers are not the end-all, be-all solution for everything–we know this.  But if you show people their potential and how easy it is to get started, people can start to see their real value beyond just a mini widget factory.  Since people are not yet used to having extreme personalization in their lives, they don’t add 3D printing to their solution set for problems.  This is one of You3Dit’s main goals: highlighting the potential of desktop manufacturing, educating people about how the technology works and then, providing people access to these machines that can help bring their ideas to life.