What better way to collect a few handy leads for back-to-school 3D printables for the upcoming school year than polling my favorite 3DP educators! I sent a call out to a few whose work I have shared on the Adafruit blog and elsewhere before and have been receiving back lunchboxes full of ideas to share this week and next week.
For this 3D printing themed #BackToSchool I reached out to Josh Ajima who shares “tips, techniques, tutorials and lessons for integrating digital fabrication in the classroom” on his site Design Make Teach. I had the pleasure spending time with him at the MAKE 3D Printer Shoot Out a few weeks ago, talking with him and others about the changing and enlarging role of digital fabrication in the classroom. He sent me two projects that have been hits in his classroom!
PROJECT: Personalized Math Gyros by mathgrrl
First up for Josh’s recommendations, a project from mathematics professor Laura Taalman (better known online as mathgrrl). I have been following her work since the beginning of her brave personal print-a-day mission (her blog MakerHome bears the bold promise: “One 3D print every day from home, for a year” — and she has certainly been more successful at this than probably anyone else. And I actually grouped Josh with Laura last fall, so this seems proper!
Laura Taalman’s Thingiverse design and blog post demonstrate a really kid friendly approach to learning 3D design. Students create unique designs that have a high probability of creating a successful, fun and functional print.
From Thingiverse: Personalizable Math Gyros by mathgrrl
Make your own mathematical gryo/gimbals by using Tinkercad Community Shapes and some pre-made gyro rings. Swap filament colors halfway through the print for best results. The STL example files included here are for the two models in the Tinkercad example picture.
Customize your own with Tinkercad. (read more)
From mathgrrl on MakerHome, Day 338:
What makes this project work is that the resulting prints are very likely to print successfully. Beginning designers do not typically make reliable prints at first, which can be frustrating if you are under time constraints or giving a one-time workshop instead of a multi-session class. If a student accidentally resizes the gyro pieces then the object won’t spin and/or print correctly, so if you want to make absolutely sure the prints will work then you should check the gyro ring measurements on each design. It’s easy to replace the insides with a copy of the working gyro rings while still preserving the customizations that the student made. Halfway through printing we did a filament color swap. Having two colors is particularly effective on spinning gyros. If you have sturdy thumbs then you can also break the gyros apart and mix-and-match them back together again…. (read more)
My Historical Marker Template design shows how 3D printing based projects can enable students in every content area to Design, Make and Share real world objects that have purpose and value. In particular, this project gives students the ability to act like a historian and researcher.
The Historical Marker Template is suitable for commemorating a historical place or event. The example Historical Marker celebrates the founding of RepRap. I would like to collaborate with other Thingiverse users to create a series of markers recognizing key milestones in the history of 3D printing. These markers could be used at demonstrations and educational events to add an additional layer of information while showcasing 3D printing as an integral part of the history of MAKING. Please share your ideas for other historical markers or make and share your own. The original purpose of this Historical Marker Template was as part of a Social Science lesson plan. (read more)
From the DesignMakeTeach project page:
The students will need to present a proposal convincing the town/historical society/school to select their design for a new historical marker. Students will need to discuss the significance of the historical marker, the accuracy of any facts and quotations, the meaning of the symbol selected for the marker and the proposed location. Presentations can be in a variety of formats; oral, PowerPoint, Prezi, video, etc. The ‘winner’ of the design challenge could have their Historical Marker design 3D printed. The winning designs and prototypes can be displayed in the classroom or school and make a great exam review tool… (read more)
Thanks, Josh for the great suggestions! More from another superstar educator next week!
August is Back to School Month here at Adafruit! Each day we’ll be bringing you a post for educators on the blog. Stay tuned for product guides, tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System, and inspiration from around the web! Get started by checking out Adafruit’s educational resources, such as our kits and project packs, suggested products for young engineers, and an extensive selection of books to help you learn!