3D printing in the classroom

Thanks to Makerbot and generous donors through DonorsChoose, my classroom received a Makerbot Replicator 2 3D printer in December. After some testing of the preloaded STL files, we started tinkering the following semester for the multimedia class.

Unfortunately, through the excitement of tinkering and problem solving, I didn’t capture many images or videos of what the students created. I did get a few, so I’ll share below what we did this semester with the 3D printer.

PI DAY CELEBRATION

Using their knowledge of the uses of Pi, students were to create a game to celebrate Pi Day on March 14. They were required to incorporate interactive animation with Flash, various Pi calculations or applications, determine probability within the game, create a gameboard with their graphics knowledge, and 3D print game pieces they designed in 3Dtin. Students partnered with Jason Douma from the University of Sioux Falls to learn about game theory and probability.

Dr. Who game with 3D printed TARDIS and Daleks

DrWho 1

Trophies created for winners of this group’s game

photo 1 (11) photo 1 (12)

Pi Cake for circle foods game

photo 2 (10)

MARKETING MANIA

Students used Design Thinking to re-think every day objects. Once their group chose a concept to move forward with, they used Tinkercad to create their new designs. Using their knowledge of volume/surface area, they designed efficient packaging with nets that had limited wasted space. They then created a marketing campaign to promote their new product. The top groups presented their ideas at marketing agency Lawrence & Schiller (one group also had the opportunity to present at 1 Million Cups). They also partnered with Paul Rankin from L&S to focus their ideas in the creation process and Erin Weinzettel from L&S to learn about creating engaging sales pitches.

 CordHub — A product to organize messy computer cords.

photo 4 (7)

This group was selected to present at L&S and 1MC and ended up absorbing another group, Mr. Untangled (a product that keeps ear bud cords from tangling) and created a new product CordHub mini out of this merge.

LS presenting

SporkChops — A portable set of 7-in-1 utensils that can be kept in a purse or at your desk.

The photo below shows the products with the printing raft still attached.

sporkchops

iPeach — A phone case that can double as a toy or phone stand when you attach Legos.

photo 3 (10)photo 3 (9)

BAKE/3D PRINT SALE

Through all of our testing and printing, students used quite a bit of PLA filament. We did not use all that was provided through the DonorsChoose opportunity, but we used enough that we need to order more for the next year. Since donors provided the filament for this year’s students, they decided to assist in providing filament for next year’s students. The top ideas were to have a bake/3D print sale where students donated baked goods and created small items to sell. Some students really went above and beyond using Tinkercad to create intricate designs, and others created simple items that others would want to buy. It was fun to see the variety! And we made enough to be able to purchase 3 large spools of filament for next year’s students.

Rollable Truck and other vehicles

This particular student spent a lot of time creating the vehicles below. The truck is made with axels so it is rollable. The VW van is made with a removable door and roof. (I haven’t tested printing the VW van yet).

These can be downloaded from Thingiverse for you to print yourself: Pickup Truck and VW Van

photo 5 (2)

Van BodyVan finished

 

Companion Cube

From the videogame Portal, this student designed and printed a Companion Cube. He even figured out a more efficient way to print it (rotate it to a 45-degree angle and print with supports!)

You can print this student’s design from Thingiverse–others already have, actually: Companion Cube

Companion Cube

Mustang

As we often encourage shared knowledge and collaboration in our classrooms, this student created a mustang with the help of his friend, who made the truck and VW van above.

You can print this student’s design by downloading it from Thingiverse: Mustang

Mustang

MOVING FORWARD

For this upcoming school year, I’m trying to find unique ways to incorporate 3D printing in the projects for both my graphics and multimedia classes — as well as maybe my art class. There isn’t a lot on the internet right now with how students are using 3D printing in the classroom, so many teachers are starting from nothing as I did.

I’m toying with the idea of week-long challenges or Maker Mondays for students to work on small 3D printing challenges throughout the year. If you’ve got a challenge for them or ideas on how to use the printer in authentic ways, please contact me!