This is an inclusive open project which enables everyone to make a personalized hand tool and more.
We designed some essential elements and uploaded them on Tinkerkad as STL files.
You can adapt them to your needs, combine them in an unique product and print it.
We like to think at this project as a link between a game and a way to improve daily activities in education.
By the way, if you are an expert 3D user you can create your own piece, upload it and contribute to the Project!
We hope to see online some new base elements and some designs made to share! So please, Enjoy!
I already said “We”. In fact, this project is designed by one of my dearest friends and colleagues Gabriele, and me.
We tried to figure out one of the best ways to mix 3D printing with Educational needs and personalization.
Nowadays it’s easy to approach online modeling softwares and 3D printing with basic computer and making skills; we think that combining these two elements it’s a good way to help both educators and students.
Basically, we started by brainstorming for a while. When satisfied with the concept, we started sketching and mixing the first elements of this project. Then we selected some of them and created a list of the parts to model and the main features to achieve.
Some of this features are:
- Easy to print objects, with a flat edge and no critical overhangs.
- Easy to combine objects, with a standard surface ( basically a 5*15 mm rectangle) which improves affordance and mixing.
- Inclusive components, which can satisfy many disabled users needs.
The standard surface used as a matching point
To add a third dimension to our sketches we used Autodesk Inventor Pro. By modeling every single piece alone and trying to combine it into assemblies we’ve been able to upgrade the parts and decide their final shape.
From 2D to 3D
Last, but not least we’ve made different prints to test our designs, try them at work and redesign a better version of them.
We’ve been inspired by Empire State Building + MakerEd Project and by some other things on Thingiverse, such as the Finger Wrench.
So we might be using a similar philosophy or shape, but the core of the project, the results we want to achieve, the objectives and the mission are totally different.
Create a tool ready to be used and suitable for various students' activities.
Learn to use a simple software which is perfect to introduce the world of 3D modeling.
Explore the potential of 3D printing in bringing something from digital to real world.
Inspire creativity and collaboration between students, encouraging them to share their discoveries and the result of their work.
Students and makers which have access to a computer and possibly a 3D printer.
As much as regards students this system is suitable for Elementary, Middle and High school, with some limitations for the youngest of them (e.g.: no pieces with sharp corners).
Most of the elements can be helpful in those activities that concern molding, cutting, shaping, drawing, soldering, measuring and so on.
They’re also useful in Art & Drawing courses and Universities, and in teaching basic concepts and recreational activities for the younger students.
No need to say that every Educator can personalize this system including or excluding some part of it or picking a particular item for a specific need. We also think that ergonomic aspect are very important and that 3D printing is a paradise for this. So some of the element are designed for a complete integration of all the students in the class activities and all of them are designed to provide a regular comfort during use.
For the execution of this “workshop” students will need access to computers with an internet connection.
It would be nice to have at least a 3D printer to realize the models and follow the whole process. However the production can be outsourced to a local Fablab or a 3D printing online service.
No 3D modeling skills are required for the students, Tinkercad is very easy to be used and really user friendly; instead basic knowledge of modeling and printing is a full plus for the educator.
The Educator chooses one or more manual activities to perform with the students.
Students guided by the teacher define a tool or the tools that they’d like to use to achieve the results of the workshop.
2 to 4 students group in front of a computer. After creating a Tinkercad account they start looking at the possibilities given by the basic elements online. They then sketch and design on paper their own pieces.
Looking for the right pieces
The students create singular models by working alternatively. Once alle the pieces are merged in a single file they can be scaled and adapted to suit the student needs. Then the pieces are grouped to form the final model. The educator can help the students to correct the shape and guide them to a better result.
The two pieces to combine
The final object, ready for print
The models may need to be printed separately and then post-assembled or are now ready to be exported and printed.
Time to act! With the finished products the students can now perform the initial task and achieve the desired results.
By the way, the student can be asked to realize just one item per person an be guided in the thinking process analyzing pro’s and con’s of their ideas and methods.
*This kind of process, which is very similar to a workshop, can be realized in any tipe of school and with almost any age of students.
We see another possibility of use which is likely to be come true in Art & Design schools and universities, where students realize their own tools to suit perfectly their needs and make comfortable long operation tasks. This second approach however doesn’t necessarily starts from an educator and is more likely to be a personal need more than a class topic.
At the end of the workshop the students have realized their products, tested and used them. This helps them to understand their thinking strength and weaknesses.
They also made it in team, which can be helpful to fully evaluate all the conditions and learn as much as possible.
The educator can grade the students not only for the ability to perform the task, but for every aspect of planning and realizing the product.