What's happening in your 3D classroom?

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There are discussions among S.T.E.M. educators elsewhere on the web, most notably in the K-12-FabLab Google group. The purpose of this Thingiverse group is to provide both educators and students with a sharper focus on 3D design and fabrication. This is an opportunity to bring together references to project ideas for use in classroom environments and to offer up best practices and operational support tools for running 3D-oriented curricula.

This group is a shared resource for the benefit of all. if you have a question to pose or comment to make, you should first search existing topics for answers or similar discussions before creating a new topic discussion. Postings to this "What's happening in your 3D classroom?" discussion should be limited to brief summaries of your activities and directions that others should be aware of.

Members are encouraged to add to this group Things they've designed that could be of benefit to others in classroom settings. Designers should include information about the benefits realized from their design and how their design could be integrated into classroom environments. This information may be included in the description of the Thing or via a separate topic discussion of this group.

I am Sammy, STEM Educator. We are passionate about 3D printing. We use SelfCAD https://www.selfcad.com for teaching 3D modeling.
Check the models we have created in SelfCAD here https://www.instructables.com/member/Sammy50/instructables/. The teachers who want to teach 3D modeling or the one teaching can find them easier to follow and teach their students easily.

Hi my name is Bryce, I'm 14 and I love to design and make fun stuff. my school has a CAD And STEM program which both include 3d printing. Currently, I'm making EricThePoolGuys 3d printed Toyota 22re engine, which I have scaled down from 100% to 73%. For Christmas I asked for a MonoPrice Select Mini 3d printer, which I most likely will be getting. I really love 3d printing, and I hope that someday, I can design my own 3d printed engine parts, because I want to be a small engine mechanic...

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Hello, my name is julian . I'm from Argentina, and I work in the 3d educational project, in format of creative circuit, we use the tools to create creative space No matter where the workshops are dictated. I share facebook page of the project www.facebook.com/mi3dp

Hello, my name is Frank. I've been looking to get into 3D printing for some time now. Like so many others, when 3D printing machines first came out, they were a bit pricey. I finally went on a purchase one "Alunar m505 Prusa i3 DIY." I went the cheap route just in case I did not like it or I could not design like a pro. I'm drinking milk and my prints are coming out better than I expected to. My recommendation to all 3D printing newbies. Get yourself a roll of filament just for practice. You will go through some filament in the beginning stages.

I'm working on a few things at the moment and it is relaxing watching the 3D printer build your idea right from your mind.

I'm an Enterperneur, printer, real estate, life learner

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I teach high school research at magnet STEM school. Students are moving from engineering science fair projects that use conventional materials to ones that they can custom print with (ship hulls, wing profiles, rocket shape). I am also printing out equipment we use in our lab like the conical tube holders. We have been having students design and print playground equipment for their engineering class. I hope as the school acquires more printers we can move to a whole engineering class on rapid prototyping.

preschool - we are MEASURING in METRIC!! We started measuring everything from his toys to objects around the house and wrote the numbers down in his "learning journal" we then went through our measurements in CM and Converted them all to MM.

After we had lists of measurements, we made shapes in tinkercad only using mm measurements from his list that he converted himself (not trying to duplicate the object, just use the numbers he came up with to show how they relate to the computer program). We then printed them out and painted them, glittered them, glued them together.

We add adventure to this. It's halloween time and he wanted to make a pumpkin. So We took his ruler to the farm and drew all different sized pumpkins and measure them. He measured the gords. He measured the corn. He was really excited to see what numbers everything had. We then drew the face he wanted to cut in to the pumpkin. I asked him how many mm tall he wanted the eyes? How many MM DEEP did he think they would be? We then took our pumpkin measurements and cut them "in half" twice (using measuring cups to help understand) to make our pumpkin design in tinkercad. Using an idea by another user printed them out to put battery tealights in Then we counted the seeds.

Hi I am not a STEM educator, but I have a kiwi 3D printer in my school and I started this year a little activity with my students. We used Tinkercad to print some solids.
It was interesting for me as a middle school language teacher to integrate this activity with the 3D printer into my subject. We did a bit of geometry in German, then a quiz about geometry and our 3D printer. I created a team of expert students, who supported me when we shared our experience with the kindergarten and the primary school children. It was a simple but very exciting experience. Next year I want to continue the experience and to involve other colleagues and subjects in a cooperative and crosscurricular project.
Our work in eTwinning (in German)

I am not a teacher, but I have felt for a while now that the field of UAV's, drones, quadcopters or whatever you like to call them would have fantastic applications in a school 3D printing workshop and in a general STEM curriculum. My brother/business partner and I just released a quad designed for this purpose here on Thingiverse and we would love any feedback from students or teachers. I hope this is an appropriate place to link it, I thought it might be relevant or useful to this group.


Axiom 250 Quadcopter

I teach in a middle school STEM Lab that uses Pitsco Synergy modules. I abandoned the 3D printing curriculum that we purchased through them and have designed my own. This is the first year for this module, and at first students would most find a Thing and add their name or initials. I was frustrated with their unwillingness to be more creative. Borrowing from the Believe in Ohio framework,( www.believeinohio.org) and using Tinkercad or Sketchup, the students now design a product that they could market (think Shark Tank) Working in pairs they also create a marketing strategy, possibly with a commercial or print ad. The students seem very motivated and energized to work on their projects. I feel that this project has more rigor. I have an Afinia 480 and a Flash Forge Creator in my lab.

Your "Shark Tank" project sounds very creative, allowing the students to do alot of critical thinking.

Do you happen to have your project documented anywhere? I'm looking for ideas this coming school
year for elementary students to get started.

They have had one class in Tinkercad, I'm also looking for additional resources for training on that
tool also, possibly project based.

Looks like most of the Thingsiverse are in Meshmixer .stl files. Does it mean a beginner like me should be proficient with Meshmixer first rather than 123D? Any idea?

3D printable designs are exchanged using the STL and OBJ file formats. MeshMixer isn't the only application that generates STLs. Most every 3D design and manipulation application is capable of generating STL files. Do you can use the best tool for the job, and one that resinates with your sensibilities.

3D-oriented curricula

"What's happening in your 3D classroom?"

This is my first year teaching Industrial Technology (CTE) in the public school setting, having come over from college 3D design courses recently. Our classroom received a donation from the former teacher who unfortunately passed away last year. 3D Printing was his dream, and with my degree in 3D animation, I will do my best to fulfill his wishes. Currently, we have 2 Airwold 3D Printers (AXIOME,and AXIOMe. Will be ordering a third one soon, with a dual-extruder option). Mostly just learning the technology this year, but next year our advanced students will design a product, learn how to model it in 3D (likely to use 123D Design, but I prefer 3DS Max myself - 15 years experience), and then print it out, finish it, and in some cases, make a mold and cast copies. We will finish the class by learning some Photoshop to create "marketing materials". If there is any additional time, I plan to purchase a "Filabot" and make our own filament in custom colors. It is purported to be roughly $12 per kilo rather than premade filament at $50 per kilo.
TO stretch the budget out further, we have been allowing students to print things by supplying the files or weblinks to me, then I will print when time allows. The student is then charged 10 cents per gram for the filament used, which is just under double what we pay. The excess is used to purchase more filament and repair materials.
I would love to know what other programs are being used in the classroom for 3D Modeling though. (I have 123D Design and Blender installed already, but Blender is too advanced for Junior High students)

We are studying atoms and elements. I spent one class period having my students learn tinkercad. The next day I gave them a task to complete. They had to choose an element from period 2, and make a 3difference printable model of it which contained the correct number of protons neutrons and electrons. The results have been really neat. They got very creative. If you try this, make sure you assign specific dimension requirements so the prints don't take too long.

I'm a middle schooler at this Hawaiian school. Just got into this 2 weeks ago and I'm excited to do more 3d printing! I currently made two of my ideas, one, is an apple core ear bud holder, and the other's a book stand with a few touches here and there. =)

Hi guys,

I'm a high school ICT teacher, I've been using Blender with my students in years 8-10 for a few years and this led to me convincing the school to buy a Replicator 2. I'm now using the machine with students in 11 and 12 where they do a toy design unit and a robotics unit in which the 3D printer is really handy for making parts for the robots. An example is my year 10 class one group used the BrickPi (add on to the Raspberry pi) ultrasonic sensor in conjunction with the motor to fire a catapult when someone walks into range.

We have been using this for design work but it's hard with only one printer. I recently brought a Prusa i3 for home and put it together (took about 12 hours - not brain surgery quite easy) so am now looking at convincing the school to buy a few kits and I'll start a group at school to build the kits at lunchtimes. This way we'll get about 4 more machines. I'm using Octoprint on a raspberry pi at home. It can run across a network and you can use the pi to stream video from a web camera also. You can then upload the stl files slice and print in octoprint.

This is advantageous as we will be able to run the software from anywhere in the school provided the kids have access to a browser -time tabling a specific computer lab can be problematic as say my ict class may conflict with the graphics class so one of us may need a different room. It also means I can keep the machines somewhere safe and just pop off the pieces when done and prep the printers for the next lesson. That's the plan anyway.

Some of the open source printers like the i3 are very reasonable in price and not too hard to build. Mine was $275 US it cost $360 Australian on my doorstep because of our poor exchange rate at the moment (and that was with 2 rolls of filament). I've had the machine running almost non-stop for a couple of months now and hasn't missed a beat. Now look at how much it costs to send a teacher on an in-service for a day, they have to cover your class for the day, your transport, potentially accommodation if it is in another city. I'm thinking of talking to a few teachers in the area and saying hey guys lets give up a couple of Saturdays, We'll build our 3D printers over that time and I'll show you how to get them set up and running and at the end of it you have a 3D printer for your school that's cheaper than a days in-service. Get 10 teachers in your area and you should get a bulk discount of some sort, worth a think.

I am a middle schooler and president of a 3D printing club. We design in Tinkercad and print on an Ultimaker 2.

Last year I taught a grade 12 Calculus and Vectors course and had students produce a "useful" product using OpenSCAD and posting their design on Thingiverse. It makes a great application of 3D math concepts of translations, and rotations while thinking in 3D space. We obtained wonderful results. This link brings you to the work sheet. https://sites.google.com/site/lazureesmb/home/calcul-et-vecteurs-12/openscad At the bottom you will find links of students' products to Thingiverse. Btw, I teach in french, but you will get the general picture.

I'm a student in my senior year of highschool. Our robotics class has access to 3 printers, two maker rep 2's and one Cubify Ekocycle. I'm in charge of maintainting the ekocycle, and have been tinkering with the reps. They're mostly used for parts for the competition robots, but we also did a 3d-printed pinewood derby race and an individual design and print project. I have a few more weeks of personal time to work with these printers, but after that I will be using them for pieces for my robot for the final exam.

I am so sade! I am 14 year old and bought my own 3D printer with my best friend, and I what to learn a lot about 3D printers en 3D designing but they don't give 3D classes in my school.
Now I am going to change that, next year I am going to give a 3D class myself.
Pleas give me some tips of what I can do in my class \/

-Mathijs Boogaert

First you need to find a software for your designs. Since you are attending school, you can get free versions of all the programs from Autodesk. I work a lot in Autodesk Inventor. A very handy tool for creating all things engineered. If you think it is too hard to learn, try Google Sketchup. If you download the stl plugin for it, you can make 3d-prints from Sketchup.

Try making cookie cutting shapes to learn the basics. Useful and fun.

Thank you for your tips! I am going to try them all.

Me and my students use the printer for most of our project. We recently finished our drawing compasses. They turned out pretty well. The new groups will however not let me include images in the post. You can see it via this link: https://www.dropbox.com/s/b8u71sinlkgjz7z/20150123_092035.jpg?dl=0

We are also currently starting to build a RC car where all parts except motors and axis are printed.

You can add imagery and other basic formatting to your post using Markdown syntax. For example, here is the shot of your compass, which look great by the way...


  • Bob

The link seems broken though. I would rather have embedding native to Thingiverse. I have suggested it.

A bug has been reported to Thingiverse about external Markdown images not rendering properly in all browsers. So maybe you did the right think using a link.

BTW, you should add your compasses to Thingiverse then add them to this group for the benefit of all.

I would post them, but I'm not the designer. My students did all the work and should get the credit. I will share the models if I can get them to join Thingiverse and share.

Our Theology classes came in for 3D design instruction with Tinkercad, and are working on a project to design and print objects that represent Holy Cross themes. While there were a lot of crosses, some students came up with some really unique designs, which you can see on our website (https://sites.google.com/a/moreaucatholic.org/mchs-maker-lab/). Our Chinese language class came in for Tinkercad instruction in order to design their names in Chinese (3D printing was optional). We also worked with one of our dance teachers to create 3D printed butterflies as part of their fall performance.

Hi, jsimons, very interesting work, thank you for sharing! I like the idea of 3D playground with a policy and that the students can realize personal projects. Well done!

Even though I am a student myself, I work with my schools tech department to incorporate 3D printing into the curriculum. Right now, we have 6th graders working on creating bridges with our 2X and the 8th graders making marble runs.

My 6th grade math students are wrapping up (ran out of time this year but will be giving 3+ weeks to this project next year...) creating a tangram project. I gave them a picture of a tangram puzzle. Gave them a 40x40 grid to fill with the puzzle on their own/in a pair (thought this was cute since it used the LCM of the bases and heights of an 8x8 puzzle to calculate). Then asked them to find the coordinates of the end points of the bases and height and calculate distances and areas from these.

Then came the fun part: they needed to fabricate the shapes in 123d design app (some inventiveness was needed with the parallelogram and square). Using the 5x5x5 cubes they needed to scale the cube to 2.5 mm height and then figure out what the base and height of the rectangle should be in order to chamfer edges to create triangles. Lots of good solid math in here: converting bases and heights from 40x40 to 8x8, scale factors of the 5x5 to (example) 4x8.

Once they did this and created the pieces. They had to calculate for me the volume of material needed to print this (they needed to come up with triangle prism volume since we stopped at rectangular, but great assessment to see if they get the relationship between rectangles and triangles...). Then I threw a wrench in their plans and told them that I was setting the printer to 15% volume. Foregoing that this is not including the faces, I asked them to recalculate total material.

Then we printed! Some are now working on sanding and then measuring and designing a container: we have the DaVinci 1.0 and seems not to print extremely accurately at this size, but another fun opportunity to problem solve!