3D printing merit badge

3D Printing into Boy Scouts – Addicted 2 Additive

3D Printing into Boy Scouts

Posted on by johnsondp

The Boy Scouts program is a broad spectrum of education mixed with high-adventure activities. The program opens your mind and gives you a taste of what the world has to offer. Scouting teaches personal valuation of efforts. It teaches pride in one’s work. It teaches pride in being apart of something larger than yourself. It gives you a sense of purpose and meaning. It requires you to come to terms with uncomfortable things, be they people, a cold sleeping bag, or poorly cooked food. Everyone cares about the greater good.

Scouting has been a significant component of my life and family. My two brothers, my father, and I are all Eagle Scouts. In a chance to get more involved in Scouting and the 3D printing industry, I have been working with two experts in 3D printing to bring 3D printing into Scouting. 3D printing will be a significant component of the workforce, and it is beneficial to teach this technology to the younger generation. I see tremendous opportunity with this technology for the Boy Scouts.

I have been working with Bill Macy, Founder of Rippl3d – a company focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education, and several Scouting leaders to incorporate 3D printing and other disruptive technologies into the Boy Scouts of America.

Update #3: Unfortunate News

Leadership positions in the Scouting often rotate. The advisor for new merit badges gave me recommendations for approaching my submission, and excited about this opportunity.

The new advisor for new merit badge programs reached out to me, saying they did not currently see this merit badge opportunity. I believe this is a project worth pursuing; however, timing is not in my favor.


In April, I helped the United Innovators STEM Summit held at the Illinois Institute of Technology.  United Innovators is an initiative of the Illinois Tech Global Leaders Program. It includes eight talented high school students encouraging young people of color and women to pursue STEM careers.

The event was designed for middle and high school students and included several interactive workshops from assembling a 3D printed prosthetic hand to develop thinking and coding. I spent my time helping run the 3D printed rocket challenge for which GSC donated most of the 3D printed rocket parts.

The challenge, developed by Rippl3d, encourages players to create their own 3D printed air-powered rockets. Two challenge options are available for different skill levels. The standard challenge gives students the option of selecting from one of four pre-printed tail configurations. In contrast, the advanced challenge allows students to design their tail configuration and 3D print the part on-site.

Students must then launch their completed designs, adjusting their launch pressure and angle, into a target to see who earns the most points based on proximity to the bullseye. The challenge’s overall goal is to encourage students to experiment with different designs and variables to find the best ratio.


These events are critical in engaging students in the possibilities of STEM careers and help them understand the capabilities of 3D printing. As a rapidly growing industry, it’s a challenge to create a curriculum that wouldn’t be outdated by the time it reaches students. These interactive workshops give students hands-on experience that helps them understand how 3D printing impacts their lives every day and open their minds to the career possibilities they may not have considered.

Update #1: IMTS 2016

Rippl3d had a booth set up in the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in the student summit section based in Chicago, IL. The booth challenged students to build a rocket with different design variables (tail design, launch pressure, launch angle, and weight) to hit a bull’s eye. All the parts were 3D printed, and the advanced challenge was to design their tail using Rippl3d software and print the design at our booth to test. We encouraged the participants to experiment with multiple launches to optimize their design. Out of over 2000 launches, only one participant achieved a perfect score. There was great feedback from the Boy Scouts in attendance. Many had an interest in setting up the same event with their troops and district. Over 100 scouts participated. The event provided ample proof of concept, and I am reaching out to get more troops involved in the Chicago area and starting discussions on the national level.

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Graphic Arts Merit Badge and Worksheet

Lion  Bobcat  Tiger  Wolf  Bear  Webelos  AoL
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All Merit Badges

January, 2012

Requirements for the Graphic Arts merit badge:

  1. Review with your counselor the processes for producing printed communications: offset lithography, screen printing, electronic/digital, relief, and gravure. Collect samples of three products, each one produced using a different printing process, or draw diagrams to help with your description.
  2. Explain the difference between continuous-tone, line, and halftone artwork. Describe how digital images can be created and/or stored in a computer.
  3. Design a printed piece (flier, T-shirt, program, form, etc.) and produce it. Explain your decisions for the typeface or typefaces you use and the way you arrange the elements in your design. Explain which printing process is best suited for printing your design. If desktop publishing is available, identify what hardware and software would be appropriate for outputting your design.
  4. Produce the design you created for requirement 3 using one of the following printing processes:
    1. Offset lithography
      Make a layout and produce a plate using a process approved by your counselor. Run the plate and print at least 50 copies.
    2. Screen printing
      Make a hand-cut or photographic stencil and attach it to a screen that you have prepared. Mask the screen and print at least 20 copies.
    3. Electronic/digital printing
      Create a layout in electronic form, download it to the press or printer, and run 50 copies. If no electronic interface to the press or printer is available, you may print and scan a paper copy of the layout.
    4. Relief printing
      Prepare a layout or set the necessary type. Make a plate or lock up the form. Use this to print 50 copies.
  5. Review the following postpress operations with your counselor:
    1. Discuss the finishing operations of paddling, drilling, cutting, and trimming.
    2. Collect, describe, or identify examples of the following types of binding: perfect, spiral, plastic comb, saddle stitched, and case.
  6. Do ONE of the following, then describe the highlights of your visit:
    1. Visit a newspaper printing plant: Follow a story from the editor to the press.
    2. Visit a retail, commercial or in-plant printing facility: Follow a project from beginning to end.
    3. Visit a school's graphic arts program: Find out what courses are available and what the prerequisites are.
    4. Visit three Web sites (with your parent's permission) that belong to graphic arts professional organizations and/or printing-related companies (suppliers, manufacturers, printers): With permission of your parent or counselor, print out or download product or service information from two of the sites.
  7. Find out about three career opportunities in graphic arts. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.

Graphic Arts Worksheet

All Merit Badges


Sep 28, 2015 - William E. Boys

Graphic arts skills can offer enjoyable hobby pursuits, not only professional-route skills.  We are a 139-year-old hobby group, the National Amateur Press Association, offering a centralized way to exchange hobby print "journals," and we offer a free, no-strings-attached Trial Membership for anyone who would like to sample what we do. (Application available on our website, www.AmateurPress.org.)  For most of our history, members mainly worked in letterpress, but today it's mostly desktop publishing.  We heartily extend this offer to any Scout who has earned the Graphic Arts Merit Badge.  You might find a great new hobby!
--William E. Boys, Secretary-Treasurer
 National Amateur Press Association

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Find more Scouting Resources at www.BoyScoutTrail.com

Create Imperial insignia for Warhammer: Blackfire Pass


Hello, dear readers of the portal 3D Today.

I wanted to tell you about the use of 3D printing in polygon-role-playing games, it was a rather large project that I completed quite recently.

I love the Warhammer universe, and Warhammer loves me and sometimes throws work in completely unexpected directions.

Role-playing game in the style of Fantasy Battles for 1000+ participants. It has been taking place for several years now in the suburbs, and I am personally amazed by its scope of action.

Photos taken from the official group.

About 50 people will arrive alone from the imperial landsknechts.

And it was with these brave warriors of Sigmar that I had to work.

These badges were for veterans of the campaigns of 2516 and 2518 (that is, the current one).

Naturally, these campaigns are unique role-playing and Russian, so absolutely nothing can be found on the Internet.

But in order not to be sad, they gave me sketches:

Yes, yes, this very comet is the famous two-tailed comet of Sigmar, only in a different version.

Based on these sketches (laying them on a plane and gradually tracing them) I modeled 5 cm icons in Fusion 360. Therefore, I found a low-poly skull from Thingiverse and connected it to the blank in Tinkercad:

By the way, it was quite difficult to find a simple thick-walled skull without stylization and with large elements.

Why did I call the project large-scale for myself… and all because I needed 90 badges.

I have been typing this for a long time…. on ABS from Bestfilament with a layer of 0.1 mm. There were about 50 hours of printing.

As a result, these blanks came out:

Naturally, these are not all icons, they would not fit on any of my tables.

Each has been sanded, lightly sanded and treated with acetone.

The signs were supposed to look like worn bronze, so for painting I used only Tamiya enamel metallics: Bronze, Dark copper, Gold leaf.

Bronze applied with an airbrush (with the help of a friend who has one). And as soon as the painting process came up with the idea that it is quite possible that balloon paint for cars under the bronze hem would be no worse, and it would be much easier to apply it.

I applied copper and gold to add wear with a regular large brush using the drybrush technique. Still, I gave preference to the golden color, it looks brighter and more realistic.

If you're going to use this pattern, keep in mind that Tamiya bronze doesn't look like bronze in itself - it's too dark.

This is how Tamiya's base Bronze looks like:

The final result came out impressive in size (I didn't varnish it, because it would spoil the effect a bit):

By the way, the guys tried to make the badges in different ways, but it was 3d printing made it possible to do this most economically and quickly (3 days printing, 2 painting). And as you know, role-playing games are prepared at the last moment.

I hope these badges will save the valiant warriors of Sigmar from the Chaos corruption!

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