by jshunk, published
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Students learn the most when they are having fun, so that is why I made Ed Blocks. Ed Blocks inspire students of all ages by providing hands-on learning.
Part of the design of the blocks requires the student to problem solve the placement and pairing of the blocks unique interlocking slide system. The slide system is specifically designed to challenge student's problem solving skills. It also provides multiple connection options with both interlocking slides and peg and hole placement options. This allows for both horizontal and vertical connection points enhancing students creativity and building capabilities. There are also two and four way connectors and octagon beams and holes to allow for varying angles of connection.
Tools like this can make a big deference in a student's development of spatial awareness, creativity, problem solving and design. Worksheets don't inspire student's creativity, but when a student is having fun and engaged in kinesthetic learning they get inspired to do great things. Simple building blocks were the impetus for my creativity and love for designing. That is why I want to inspire student's all around the world with Ed Blocks and hope that they will do the same.
Are you wondering what all the file names mean? Here is what they mean:
h.stl - Horizontal block
hh.stl - Horizontal block with hole
hb.stl - Horizontal block with beam
hhb.stl - Horizontal block with hole and beam
h2.stl - Horizontal two way connecter block
h2h - Horizontal two way connecter block with hole
h2b - Horizontal two way connecter block with
h2hb.stl - Horizontal two way connecter block with hole and beam
h4.stl - Horizontal four way connecter
h4h.stl - Horizontal four way connecter with hole
h4b.stl - Horizontal four way connecter with beam
h4hb.stl - Horizontal four way connecter with hole and beam
If you have any questions comments or concerns please let me know.
Coming up next:
- 3 way connector
Please note that I still have school so I will work on those whenever I can.
da Vinci Jr. 1.0
Standard 0.2 mm (200 microns)
Supports only needed for
How I Designed This
Ed Blocks Desnigning Prosses
I spent my whole summer vacation working on the Ed Blocks. I spent over one hour every day for about 90 days.
Using SketchUp 2016 I went though twenty-three different designs to get the Ed Blocks perfect. I started with a block that was 5 inches (12.7 centimeters) long and 3 inches (7.62 centimeters) wide and I knew that was to big. So then I shrunk it down to about 1.75 inches (4.445 centimeters) long and 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) wide. My final height for the Ed Blocks is 0.5996063 inches tall (1.523 centimeters) tall.
I went though about 160 meter of filament for all of my previous designs. As you can see in some of the pictures above that I have only four green blocks. That is because I was only able to print four of my final designs in green because the rest of my filament went to all of my trial and error blocks. Luckily I had another spool of clear blue filament to print the rest of my blocks.
The hardest part of designing these blocks was to make sure that the grooves fit into each other. If they were off by .3 millimeters then they would not fit. The first couple designs that I made did not have any grooves at all. The problem with that is there was no mechanism to hold them together.
When I was building with the blocks I found that I needed a block that could make a creation taller. I then created blocks with square beams and other blocks with matching square holes. Just like the grooves, if it was just a little bit off it would not fit. It took about four days to perfect.
After completing the beam and hole blocks, I wanted to challenge myself to develop a block you could position at different angles. I accomplished this by changing the square beams and holes to octagons. The blocks with octagon beams and holes allowed the blocks to be positioned at different angles. The difficulty in working with octagons was aligning the center and ensuring all the sides were equavalent. Thankfully SketchUp had a tool that I could make a octagon out of.
Just like any other building block you don't want to be stuck building in one direction, so I designed two way connectors and four way connectors. I designed the two way connector and the four way connector by copying parts of the hh.stl block and then attaching them onto a cube. After I attached the grooves to the block, I had to clean it up by taking out the unnecessary lines caused by copying and pasting in Sketchup .
Once I made the original blocks I copied and pasted them three times to add one with a hole, one with a beam, and one with both.
I started with my original block and then added a beam. I then copied the beam onto both my two way and four way connector blocks. The beams have to be perfectly centered or else the bottom block will not line up with the top block. Some beams were easier to put on than others. If you look at the image bellow or the file image above you can see that the four way connector is not a rectangle nor square, so I had to fill it in a make it a rectangle so the lines would be centered. Then I had to delete what I filled in.
I recommend that you copy and paste your original block to use when designing your beams, two way and four way connector blocks.
Additionally, when I was printing my first block with a beam, I found that it is easier to print with the beam facing down. That is due to the fact that if you put the beam facing up the supports print into the interlocking grooves making it difficult to take out. Even though it will take longer to print, it will be easier to take the supports off. It is completely up to you to decide what way you want to face it, but I recommend printing with the beam facing down.
Project: Ed Blocks
I gave my blocks the name Ed Blocks. They enhance creativity, problem solving, spatial awareness, designing and construction. Most of all they are fun and inspiring learning tools.
Overview & Background
The Ed Blocks will give teachers all around the world an opportunity to let their students have fun while learning. The Ed blocks will help students learn the skill of problem solving, planning, construction, design and spatial awareness. Using Ed Blocks students can imagine possibilities and see them to reality. With these blocks you find a challenge and then find a way to overcome that challenge. Teachers and students can also make numbers and letters out of the blocks. This is a great kinesthetic way for students to learn their numbers and letters. Students can also learn patterns and counting. The blocks can be printed in deferent colors and then lined up in a pattern and the students can try to guess what the pattern is. Counting can also be added in by stacking or lining the blocks up and then counting them. The educational opportunities are as endless as our imagination.
The objective of Ed Blocks is a fun and engaging learning tool. Students should be expected to learn the meaning and skill of problem solving, number counting and being familiar with numbers, patterns, letters and designing. Ed Blocks also enhance creativity, building, design and spatial awareness. Most of all the objective for Ed Blocks is to have fun!
Ed Blocks are fun, engaging and educational for people of all ages. They can be used in elementary schools for kinesthetic learning and adapted for lessons on colors, patterns, shapes, numbers and letters.
The Ed Blocks can be used in:
- Language Arts
- General Education
Skills Learned (Standards)
Students should have a broad understanding of skills of designing, creativity, and problem solving and spatial awareness.
The Ed Blocks can be used for many different lessons or activity's.
The teacher can pull up a image on a projector or verbally say what he or she wants the students to build. This can be done individually and the can learn the skill of problem solving, or they can work as a team of three to four and learn the skills of teamwork and problem solving as a team.
With younger grades the teacher can build a pattern and then ask the students what the pattern is, or the teacher can tell the student to build a pattern like red and blue. The patterns do not have to be color the can be something like beam and no beam, or two way connector and four way connector.
With younger grades the teacher can use these blocks to create letters to help teach the students their letters. After watching the teacher build, he/she can ask the students to build their own letters. When kids get into words then the teacher can ask the student to build a word the a teacher say to build or for them just to build their own words
With younger grades the teacher can use these blocks to create numbers to help teach the kids their numbers. After the teacher so the kids the letters than he/she can ask the students to build their own numbers. When kids get into math problems then the teacher can ask the student to build a math problem and then answer it or to build their own math problem and answer it.
Ed Blocks can also be used to build creatively. Students can be asked to design and build a creation that inspires them. This can be used during class time or during an indoor recess.
Lessons with Ed Blocks can be as short or long as you would like.
Blocks would need to be printed prior to the lesson time. Block printing takes 1.45 hours for a standard block. Instruction would also need to be given on how to use the blocks.
No references needed to create Ed Blocks.
Rubric & Assessment
Students should be assessed on their creativity and problem solving in using Ed Blocks.
Handouts & Assets
No handouts or assets needed to have an awesome time with the Ed Blocks.
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Ed Blocks by jshunk is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.
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- You must attribute (give credit) to the creator of this Thing.
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