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Art Connector Set (SVG Conversion Project)

by MakerBotLearning, published

Art Connector Set (SVG Conversion Project) by MakerBotLearning Aug 30, 2016

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Tinkercad 123D Design PrintShop

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In this project, students will discover the process of converting 2D drawings made on paper into 3D printed shapes. Each student will get 2 completed designs that can be combined with the rest of their class into unique and changeable sculptures. The process has several steps but the results are long lasting!

Overview and Background

As art and specifically sculpture gains more and more interaction with digital manufacturing processes, this class is a great introduction to what is possible between this kind of technology and sculpture. Depending on grade level and computer access, the teacher might need to work outside of class to make it seamless.

Lesson Plan and Activity

Step 1: Introduction

  1. Share sculptures that are modular and 3D printed from the References Section
  2. Share pictures of what the outcome should be and the example STL connector pieces from this project’s thing files

Step 2: Drawing

  1. Share the handouts with students
  2. Pass out tracing paper and black marker
  3. Students draw within the circle and include the cut out shape along multiple edges
    -See how creative students can be without going outside the circle size
    -The design needs to fit within the circle for the tinkercad sizing step!
    -Students can draw as many shapes as they want but should pick 2 to continue onto step 3!

TINKERCAD and 123D Design For instructions using MakerBot PrintShop, scroll down

Step 3: Photographing or scanning

  1. Scan or photograph the selected drawings one at a time
  2. Keep the contrast high and if possible black and white
  3. Crop out extra parts of the image (it should only be the art, not your hand and the edge of the paper)

Step 4: Converting to SVG

  1. Go to: http://image.online-convert.com/convert-to-svg
  2. Upload drawings to be converted
  3. Convert File
  4. The new SVGs will download into your downloads folder

Step 5: TinkerCad

  1. Import SVGs into TinkerCad (they will import very large, but don’t worry!)
  2. 1 circle is 50mm. Using the ruler tool, scale 1 circle down to 50mm x 50mm
  3. Each circle is 3mm tall
  4. Using the templates (connector hole template & pencil hole template) check size, and if necessary add to the drawings to make the cut out shapes more accurate and defined.
  5. Export STLs
  6. Bring into MakerBot Desktop and plate by what colors the student want for their designs (all red designs should be plated together, blue etc)
  7. Print!


Step 3-4: Printshop

Photograph each drawing from the iPad app
Step 5: Sizing in MakerBot Desktop

Using the Scale Sub Menu in MakerBot Desktop, make the object 50mm by 50mm by 3mm (you might need to turn off uniform scaling)

Step 6: Printing

  1. 2 connectors per student should take ~1 hour

Step 7: Assembly

  1. Take all the pieces and get building!
    1a. Supplemental Cardboard Connectors
    -Cut out circles from the handout
    -Tape the circles to cardboard
    -Cut around the shape
    -Tahda cardboard connector!
    -Color in with paint, pastel, etc for extra pop

Extension Activity

This would replace the drawing component. A student would create the connectors completely on the computer.

  1. Open the handout in Illustrator
  2. Using the pen tool, draw a pattern inside the circle
  3. Export the drawing as an SVG
  4. Import the SVG into Tinkercad
  5. Follow the original process

Duration of Lesson

  • 2-3 class periods - each student receives 2 connectors - a class of 30 students will have 60 connectors to play with plus as many supplemental cardboard connectors needed


To prepare for this lesson you will need the following supplies:

  • Computer/Chromebooks access (or iPad for Printshop)
  • Camera or scanner access
  • TinkerCad accounts
  • Handouts per student and extras printed
  • Cardboard
  • Pencils
  • Black marker
  • Tracing paper
  • Scissors

Rubric and Assessment

Grade as you would grade other art projects

Handouts and Assets:

  • Svgartconnectorset_handout.pdf
  • 2 STL templates to be brought into Tinkercad as holes for precise cuts


Stackable Sculpture:

3D printed sculpture:

Objectives and Standards


  • 2nd to 3d conversion
  • Drawing accuracy
  • Small components can make larger objects
  • Classroom Collaboration
  • Combing building material

Skills Learned (Standards)

VA:Cr1.1.3a : Elaborate on an imaginative idea.
VA:Cr1.1.2a : Brainstorm collaboratively multiple approaches to an art or design problem.

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What is the pencil hole for? Optional inclusion of pencils in the sculpture?

ola! irei utilizar este trabalho. Obrigado dou retorno.