Forward Thinking: 3D Printing is a new class in which children are using fabrication tools to both learn about art and make art. I feel very lucky to be teaching a group of magical tweens through the Gallery Studio Program. My goal for this class has been to teach 3D scanning, modeling and printing as art-making processes. Class projects are anchored in sculptures at the museum. In order to gain confidence expressing themselves digitally, students have engaged with drawing, clay and painting alongside 3D modeling, scanning and printing.
In the first few classes kids worked on 3D scanning each others’ heads to 3D print busts of themselves, inspired by Fred Wilson’s ceramic busts of Nefertiti colored in light and dark flesh tones for Gray Area (Brown Version). Students worked through ideas of representation by creating headpieces for their busts that depict their talents and interests, inspired by the Beaded Crown (Ade) of Onijagbo Obasoro Alowolodu. This artifact, which we 3D scanned as a group, is decorated in horses and warriors to show the Yoruba King’s military prowess. Inspired by the core ideas and formal qualities of these works, students created their own original sculptures using 3D printing.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! We also offer the LulzBot TAZ – Open source 3D Printer and the Printrbot Simple Metal 3D Printer in our store. If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!