My traceable shape things can be printed out very quickly with little plastic. I made these designs to be simple and intuitive so that anybody would be able to re-size them as needed.
I optimized this thing to be printed in ABS with maximum settings. I would recommend a skirt with an offset of 0mm (otherwise known as a brim) with 2-5 loops for ABS. As can be seen from the photo, an increased infill may be helpful as well.
For this project I used a free program from Autodesk called TinkerCAD. I have long been a user of AutoCAD which is a desktop drafting program from the same company. I used TinkerCAD to make it easier for educators and learners to be able to more easily replicate what I did. TinkerCAD is awesome because it's not only free, but it's easy to use. It also runs in your browser and has built in instructional lessons.
For this project I started out with the geometric shape titled 'heart' on TinkerCAD. I then adjusted the height to 2mm in order to get a strong but minimal thing. Next I adjusted it using Shift+click until the long side was approximately 120mm so that the thing would be large enough to use, as well as fit on a variety of printers including MakerBots.
Next I used alt+click to make another heart. Then I re-sized it using shift+click to 110mm and moved it to the center of the original heart. Then, using the hide and group features, I had a final product.
The purpose of this project is to help kids see and learn shapes by being hands-on. Using my tracers kids will be able to interact with shapes by being able to trace, cut, and color them.
The intended audience is kids 3+ with adult supervision, although these would be good for all ages to keep in there craft materials for when they need a perfect geometric shape.
- Teachers wishing to modify the size of their own triangles will need to have access to a computer with internet access and be logged on to a free TinkerCAD account.
- Tinkercad is easier to use with a mouse than with a tablet or trackpad, so computer mice are recommended.
- No previous 3D design experience is required for the students, although familiarity with Tinkercad would be helpful.
- Kids should have access to crayons/color pencils, safety scissors, and be supervised at all times.
Step 1: Adjust size
Depending on your project and/or needs, you may need to adjust the size of the object. Simply download the thing from here and upload it to www.tinkercad.com. Next, press shift+click on one of the corners to adjust the size. Remember that you can adjust the snap in the bottom right corner which will allow you to be more or less accurate.
Step 2: Print!
Check out the beginning of this project for recommended settings. It would be good to let the kid(s) in on this process, but remember that there are lots of hot pieces on a 3D printer.
Step 3: Trace
Either have your kid(s) hold down the shapes and trace in or outside them, or alternatively tape the shapes down.
Step 4: Cut
Assist you kid(s) in cutting out the shapes. Using safety scissors is advised, and using non-straight scissors (like the ones that cut in wavy lines) could add more fun.
Step 5: Color
If you had the kid(s) trace inside of the thing, they could have just colored it all the way in already. Nonetheless, you can use this part of the project to also teach them about colors.
The kids can use this to learn about shapes, colors, and scissor safety. This will give kids a good head start for their academic careers!