Tag Archives: #3D

3D Printing in every classroom, Part III

 

Jeremy Simon Skypes Sierra and her class.

Jeremy Simon Skypes Sierra and her class.

See Part I here.
See Part II here.

Most Compelling 3D Printing Projects Involve Assistive Technology

We’ve considered the worldwide race to bring 3D printing technology to every classroom, and we’ve considered 3D printing at the administrative level, that is, what the aims, goals and objectives of bringing 3D printing to a U.S. classroom might be. Now it’s time to consider some specific strategies in the classroom, brought to us by people on the frontlines of our educational system, teachers.

These specific projects and lesson plans are resources to select from once you have determined the aims, goals and objectives of your 3D printing program.

I will disclose my bias from the beginning: I find assistive technology projects most compelling, those that have a social assistance value. One of the best examples of this I have seen is the project Jeremy describes in this blog:

The Sierra project was carried out on behalf of e-NABLE (Enabling the Future), a group which just won a $600,000 grant from Google to continue their work of “passionate volunteers” making prosthetic hands for under-served communities. Currently e-NABLE has 55 schools registered as part of their program. Students and whole classes are able to make prosthetic hands for those who need them with support provided via email and Google Hangouts. Kits of hard-to-find non-printed parts are provided at a discount at shop3duniverse.com.

Of equal value is another project Jeremy describes in this blog:

Initial Sketch of Marble Display Stand
Initial Sketch of Marble Display Stand
Finished Marble Display Stand
Finished Marble Display Stand

Why do these projects take my attention? STEM learning is inherent to almost any 3D project; however, the project with Sierra engages a widening group of people in an assistive technology (social assistance) project and, in doing so, not only teaches important values but show kids how they can have a huge impact in making their world a better place.

I can’t imagine anything more empowering for both giver and receiver than the kind of exchange that happens as Sierra not only makes a prosthetic device for someone but engages her whole class in that enterprise.

Not only did this lesson involve powerful values and empowerment, but in bringing a commercial operation into the picture as a philanthropic driver (when shop3duniverse.com spearheaded a campaign to get Sierra a 3D printer), it engaged Sierra and her classmates in an important aspect of philanthropic endeavor.

The Marble Display Stand project is exciting because it was an experiment in taking a 10 year-old’s idea and putting it into his hands in a matter of hours. This impromptu event perfectly embodied a curricular goal of “enabling the deep understanding and problem-solving ability that results from seeing abstract ideas actualized within an age-appropriate meaningful time frame.”

Clearly the excitement that project generated will lead to having that young man learn to use the technology to manufacture his own next idea.

In addition to the project and lesson plan links presented below, you will find ideas in another of Jeremy’s posts in this blog:

Reports from the Frontlines: 3D Printing Projects in Classrooms

Specific Projects

Idea and Design Sharing

Lesson Plans & Curricula

Recommendations from Teachers Who’ve Done It

And Finally, Funding – If Your School District Doesn’t Provide It

Full Circle: 3D Printing Assistive Technology Projects

Bringing this post full-circle, the kids in this teacher’s classroom wanted to 3d print prosthetic hands. Not only are these kinds of assistive technology projects appealing to adults who want to teach important values, values that are key to building a better society, but they are important to kids, who want to be those builders! Kids are naturally inspired by the possibility of helping others.

Follow us on Twitter (@3dprintingisfun) and like us on Facebook. Subscribe to this blog, or visit us at shop3duniverse.com.

GoPro Mouth Mount: Entrepeneur spots a need and uses 3D printing to start a very cool business.

gopro03

Steve Mara loves to surf. He loves it so much that he moved from the Midwest to San Diego 5 years ago so he could surf every day.

A couple of years ago, Steve noticed a new trend: pro surfers playing with different ways to hold their GoPro cameras while surfing.

Until then, GoPro cameras had been attached to the nose of the surfboard with the camera pointing back at the surfer. This produced fun video clips, but the focus was on the surfer, not what the surfer was seeing and experiencing.

Steve noticed pro surfers rigging their own mouth mounts, sometimes just biting on a piece of plastic or foam they attached to the GoPro. It wasn’t comfortable, but it delivered great surfing shots from inside “the barrel.”

Last summer, Steve talked with some of his engineering friends, who thought it wouldn’t be too difficult or expensive to manufacture a mouth mount. Encouraged, and liking the idea of a challenge, Steve decided to move forward.

His starting point was a silicone scuba mouthpiece attached to the custom mount piece. Another friend drew up a rough design in SolidWorks, and Steve began to search for a place to 3D print a prototype. Brick and mortar print shops in his local area were too expensive, and online possibilities had too long of a turnaround time for an eager entrepreneur who wanted to hold the prototype in his own hands, soon.

Steve has a smart girlfriend, who told him the public library had a free 3D printing lab and didn’t even charge for the filament! Although library policy only allowed people to print items they designed themselves, they allowed Steve to print his friend’s design one time. Although it took two hours to print, the time was well-used since the lab assistant taught Steve about 3D printing and design.

Finally Steve was able to take the printed prototype home and test it with his GoPro. A fast learner (during those two hours waiting in the library 3D printing lab), Steve was able to make some major modifications using several different editing programs. His new prototype used much less filament and considerably less time, about 45 minutes. A couple more tweaks, and it was time to “go pro,” with a professional design and manufacturing.

3D printing a prototype GoPro Mouth Mount.
3D printing a prototype GoPro Mouth Mount.
The finished 3D printed prototype GoPro Mouth Mount.
The finished 3D printed prototype GoPro Mouth Mount.

For the design, Steve turned to oDesk.com and for a modest sum was able to get a professional design with the exact measurements he needed. After 3D printing that design successfully, it was time to manufacture the product. The final product is made from polycarbonate to make it as durable as possible.

And now, with the help of 3D printing for his prototypes, Steve has been able to make his idea a concrete reality. Just 9 months into his business, he has already sold hundreds of mouth mounts!

Check out the videos on Steve’s website, http://hostevie.com/shop/gopro-mouth-mount.html, taken with the GoPro Mouth Mount. Steve’s friends are riding the waves, and you can almost feel the surf as you take an exciting and beautiful ride with them from your armchair!

Follow us on Twitter (@3dprintingisfun) and like us on Facebook. Subscribe to this blog, or visit us at shop3duniverse.com.

3D printing in every classroom, Part II

See Part I here.

Sierra
Sierra is 3D printing a hand in the classroom. Are you considering bringing 3D printing to your classroom? An increasing number of classrooms are choosing the Ultimaker!

WHY we need to get 3D printing into every classroom

Let’s talk about why we should bring 3D printing into every classroom and why it must be a fundamental part of the education of the future, starting today. We can talk about these questions through a mechanism known to any teacher who has ever written a curriculum. We’ll consider some possible aims, goals and objectives of 3D printing in the classroom.

In 3D printing in every classroom Part I, we looked at two paths to bringing 3D printing into schools. In our American culture, we will most likely take the second approach, what I call, “Bottoms Up.” We will generate enough excitement on a national level to stimulate local areas to plan for and fund 3D printing in their schools.

That means for 3D printing in every classroom to become a reality, school districts must think about how this transformative technology can most effectively and comprehensively become part of the project of local education.

For an investment in 3D printing to be effective, planning must include not only amazing projects but a clear idea about why those projects are an essential part of an education in our modern world. What are our district-wide aims, goals and measureable objectives?

Here are some ideas as we begin to lay out worthwhile aims and goals of a program to bring 3D printing into classrooms.

AIMS

In a provocative book published in the 70s, Growing Up Suburban, Edward A. Wynne argues that the “total environment of the suburban youth—the school, the community, the family, and the workplace—is in need of drastic reform.” Specifically he makes the case that young people in suburban homes are isolated from real world responsibilities, challenges and problem solving. This isolation contributes to alienation and anti-social behaviors.

During my own teacher education, this book had a tremendous impact on me. I believe that 3D printing, as a transformative and disruptive technology, is the right catalyst for generating the profound changes that need to happen in our communities. It can and does provide young people with ways to participate meaningfully in real life challenges and problem solving.

A recent presentation by Avi Reichental of 3D Systems contributes another dimension to shaping an “aim” for 3D printing in education.

In a world where we will have a “ubiquitous 3D lifestyle that will permeate every aspect of our lives,” we aim:

  • To prepare students to live in and participate effectively and meaningfully in a world transformed by 3D printing.

GOALS

A White House blog post sets a good framework to begin a discussion of goals:

“Although the new technology that is fueling the maker movement gets a lot of attention, more important are the values, dispositions and skills that making fosters, such as creativity, imagination, problem-solving, perseverance, self-efficacy, teamwork, and ‘hard fun.’

“As Steve Jobs observed, describing the impact that having access to a Heathkit (a do-it-yourself electronics kit) had on him, “Things became much more clear that they were the results of human creation not these magical things that just appeared in one’s environment that one had no knowledge of their interiors. It gave a tremendous level of self-confidence that through exploration and learning one could understand seemingly very complex things in one’s environment.”

In an earlier post in this blog Jeremy Simon showed the power for a young person of having an idea and within hours holding it in his or her hand: “He [a ten year old] had an idea, sketched it out, and then we brought that idea into physical form – from his head to the real world in just a few hours.”

Following are goals that suggest themselves from the White House post and the powerful experience of one child that Jeremy Simon described.

Some goals of bringing 3D printing into our classrooms might be:

  • To foster the values, dispositions and skills of creativity, imagination, problem-solving, perseverance, self-efficacy, teamwork and fun.
  • To inspire the self-confidence that comes from exploration and understanding seemingly complex things in one’s environment.
  • To enable the deep understanding and problem-solving ability that results from seeing abstract ideas actualized within an age-appropriately meaningful time frame.

OBJECTIVES

Finally, here are a few measurable objectives, helped by a post from Stratasys. Students will:

  • Develop familiarity with essential tools they will require to build the future.
  • Be exposed to the same cutting-edge technologies they will encounter in their careers.
  • Have opportunities to participate and become accustomed to a different mode of thinking, designing and making.
  • Develop real-world problem solving skills.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

We’d like to hear your thoughts about this aim and these goals and objectives.

Can you fill out the objectives? For example, can you list specific tools students will need to build the future? Specific technologies? The specifics of how thinking, designing and making differ from the way we think, design and make now? What real-world problem solving skills are required as we enter a 3D printing era?

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Coming up: 3D Printing in Every Classroom, Part III.

How does your garden grow? This year with 3D printing!

From 3Dponics: an easy to use and open sourced hydroponics system that turns small spaces into home gardens

No soil, no sun, no water, no problem with 3D printing

I keep telling myself that spring is on the way. Some days it even feels like it’s here. That must mean it’s time to get underway with a garden.

I used to have a 120′ x 60′ garden. Great drainage, plenty of sun. All the manure I wanted. Now I have a 10′ x 10′ deck. Too much sun. No soil on the deck. A virtually sunless area under the deck where the dirt is. I can glean a few more inches here and there around the base of trees and along the back of my townhome. If I’m lucky, I can get a five month growing season.

I will guess that most of us in the United States don’t live in situations that allow us to grow our own food. Even if we do have space, we probably don’t have ideal weather 12 months of the year. Enter 3D printing and micro farming.

How 3D printing can help you grow your garden

I wondered if 3D printing could help me grow food on my deck and in my house. A quick check on the internet provided me with these great possibilities.

Mike Adams, the “Health Ranger,” offers a Food Rising Mini-Farm Grow Box system based on 3D printing and hydroponics. As a lab science director and inventor, Mike was able to work with taulman3D to create the strong, water-tight material he needed for his project. The 3D printed components are made with taulman3D t-glase Polar White Filament. FoodRising provides instructions to build your own Grow Box, complete with 3D print specs.

3Dponics specializes in matching 3D technology to hydroponics. It is “an open-source initiative for the development of 3D models that are used to build efficient and affordable gardens.”

According to 3Dponics, their “MakerBot app makes creating unique gardens with 3D printing quick and easy. 3Dponics Inc., creator of the first 3D-printable hydroponics system, is releasing its first MakerBot-Ready App to enable anyone to 3D print their own 3Dponics parts: the 3Dponics Customiser.”

Computer scientist Yuichiro Takeuchi of Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc. has developed a 3D printer that will print a garden in any shape you design! His invention is also built on hydroponics, a growing system that replaces soil with mineral nutrients. Takeuchi’s vision is for barren city rooftops to be covered with growth. Maybe my deck can be a small practice project?

Here are all kinds of handy gardening tools to 3D print:

And well, sometimes girls (and guys) just wanna have fun – build a chess set garden with 3D printing technology:
http://www.treehugger.com/sustainable-product-design/3d-printed-chess-micro-planters-xyz-workshop.html

When you’re ready to go big time, here’s a project I love. FarmBot “hopes to create an open source hardware, software and data solution that allows anyone, anywhere to build and operate their 3D farming printer, the FarmBot.” 3D printing food is exciting, but it probably won’t work on the mass scale needed to feed the hungry. This system has the potential to do just that.

FrogDesign marks “4 Tech Trends That Will Define 2015.” Two of the four are 3D printing and … micro gardening! These enterprises we’ve shared just match them up.

Here’s one more idea, designers: what about creating a hand along the lines of a prosthetic device? With gardening attachments?

If the garden isn’t happening, 3D print your own food!

But that’s another post.

In the meantime, follow us on Twitter (@3dprintingisfun) and like us on Facebook. Subscribe to this blog, or visit us at shop3duniverse.com.