by Corosis, published
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When I teach 3D modeling skills in my engineering class, I show them the basics of making simple 3D shapes, and then cut them loose to make their own design applying the skills of extrusions and cuts.
No need for high resolution, but rafting and supports will vary depending on student designs. I usually try to print 3-6 students holders each print to save time.
I like to have the students test their designs right away, and then make any needed modifications to their cad file. Often students will make the gap in their model exactly the measurements of the monitor, making for a great conversation on tolerances!
How I Designed This
Each student makes a unique design. I encourage them to not make them overly complicated, but to try to push their limits in CAD.
Project: Custom Name Card Holders
Students will apply a basic knowledge of CAD modeling tools to create a solution to a problem. The problem is "We need name card holders so that I (the teacher) can learn your names faster".
Students will apply extrude and cut tools to create a unique design.
This is geared for brand new CAD users. I use this with 9-12, but could extend to middle school or intro college level as well.
Students should know the basics of measurement and 3D CAD modeling. By basics, I mean students should be able to create a 2d shape, and extend that shape to make it 3D, then add onto that shape to make it more complex.
Materials needed: Measurement device, CAD software, 3D printer.
Usually the day before I start this project, I walk through the basics of extrusions with students. I show them that they can take a 2d shape like a circle or square and extend it back to make it 3D. They can they draw a new 2D shape off that and extrude it to either cut away existing material or add on new material. I like to use the analogy of working with clay: you can either cut away what is there, or stick more to it.
Create a design brief giving the students the bare requirements. For Example:
--Must be unique (don't copy your neighbor)
--Must fit on top of your monitor
--Must hold a standard 5x7 note card
--Must have a volume of 25 cc or less (if your CAD software will output volume. You decide how much material you want to devote to this project. This year I removed the volume restriction and it went fine.)
--Must be designed to be 3D printer (no overhangs)
Add other restrictions as you see fit.
I usually give students 2-3 class periods to sketch out ideas on paper and then build their favorite in our CAD software.
This is a great immersion project to help students apply basics CAD skills to make something they feel ownership of. Getting to see and hold something 3D printed that they designed themselves is very empowering for students. By the end students should be comfortable using the basic tools in CAD to create 3D solids out of their own imagination!
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Namecard Holder by Corosis is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.
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