MakerBot Education

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3D Printing is one of the most disruptive technologies around, and MakerBots are changing the way we create and learn. These printers are affordable, personal fabrication tools, compact enough to sit on any desktop, and allow anyone at any skill level to become producers, inventors and artists. MakerBot Operators produce physical objects from strands of melted plastic filament, an activity described colloquially as makerbotting. With MakerBots, students participate in project-based learning that is experiential in nature and has real-world applications. The process of designing, inventing and fabricating exposes students to various career paths such as industrial design and engineering, and allows them to directly engage with the tools used in those fields. MakerBotting engages students in the world around them, kindles a curiosity about how machines work, how objects fit together, and how the designers, architects, and inventors who build the products, spaces and technology in their lives have found solutions to a variety of design problems. Makerbotting has the potential to transform the way we think about Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, and to inspire more young people to pursue STEM careers.




May Ideas

Summer is coming. Time for workshop ideas. This month we'll suggest activities that you can do with MakerBot Desktop 3D Printers that will engage students in the different technical, conceptual, and aesthetic aspects of designing.

Don't forget to upload student work to Thingiverse .



Check back here in May for a new ideas!



April Ideas



Last month Tinkercad announced that they were shutting down their application. This was not great news for educators of younger students, but there are alternatives out there.
  • Effective 3/26/13 TinkerCad closed sign-ups for new users

  • April 30 2013 - All free accounts will be changed to read only

  • August 31 2013 - All academic accounts will be changed to read only

  • December 31 2013 - All paid accounts will be changed to read only

  • June 31 2014 - Read only access for all users will be discontinued



In April we'll explore those alternatives so that students can continue to use their MakerBot Desktop 3D Printers to engage in the technical, conceptual, and aesthetic aspects of designing.

From April 3 until the April 30 you will find a new web page that features ways that students can continue to develop their ideas. Read through and modify to suit your needs, and don't forget to upload the results to Thingiverse .



Check back here each week day in April for a new idea!



March Ideas



This month is about ideas. The MakerBot Desktop 3D Printer is a tool that allows students to easily engage in the technical, conceptual, and aesthetic aspects of designing. The relative ease of creating models, coupled with the speed of printing and the low running costs of the machine enables them to transform their ideas into tangible objects, while encouraging them to participate in an iterative process where they create, innovate and problem solve.

From March 1 until the March 22 (the start of Spring Break), you will find a new web page that features the day's idea. Read through and modify to suit your needs, and don't forget to upload the results to Thingiverse .



Check back here each week day in March for March idea!



February Customizer Lessons

Customizer by MakerBot is a simple way to make customized 3D Things that you can share, download and print! Customizer allows you to design parametric objects that can be customized with an easy web interface. To create your own Customizer file you have to upload a OpenSCAD script to Thingiverse.

OpenSCAD is software that allows you to create solid 3D CAD objects. It is free software and available for Linux/UNIX, MS Windows and Mac OS X.

OpenSCAD is not an interactive modeller. Instead it reads in statements that describe the object and it renders the 3D model from that code. This gives you full control over the modelling process and enables you to easily change any step in the process or make designs that are defined by configurable parameters.

Programming 3D Objects allows students to use math concepts in practical ways, develop their spatial reasoning and problem solving skills, and to be engaged in an iterative process of designing and refining.

February OpenSCAD will provide you with the fundamentals of programming with OpenSCAD.Students can use the tutorials and challenges to become power users.

From February 1 until the February 28 , you will find a new web page that features the day's OpenSCAD lesson plan. Read through and modify the lesson to suit your needs, and then have your students upload the models they make to Thingiverse .



Check back here each week day in February for the day's lesson!






January Daily Math Lessons

Learning and retention is enhanced through active experience. By holding and manipulating a 3D object students can gain insight into spatial and physical concepts that may not be clear or are difficult to either visualize or understand abstractly. While virtual simulations are becoming more and more prevalent, physical models are effective because they can be held and examined.

3D printers allow teachers and students to produce and share models across many disciplines. If you are not interested in creating 3D forms yourself, be aware that often models already exist and can be downloaded and printed to help demonstrate concepts in:
  • biomechanics —finger and knee joints, tendon extensor mechanisms
  • biology —folded proteins, demonstrating docking geometries
  • aeronautics —wing shapes, wind-tunnel models
  • math —3D fractals, knots, polytopes, manifolds, regular polygons
  • art — sculpture, objects of antiquity
January Daily Math Lessons will provide you with assignments you can use in your own classroom. Some are quick lessons, while others are more extensive and will need several class periods to complete.

From January 7 until the January 31 , you will find a new web page that features the day's math lesson plan. Read through and modify the lesson to suit your needs, and then have your students upload the models they make to Thingiverse .



Check back here each week day in January for the day's lesson!




December Daily Lessons

Daily Lessons will provide you with assignments you can use in your own classroom. Some are quick lessons, while others quite extensive and will need several class periods to complete.

From December 3 until the beginning of Christmas Vacation (December 21), you will find a new web page that features the day's lesson plan. Read through and modify the lesson to suit your needs, and then have your students upload the models they make to Thingiverse .



Check back here between December 3rd and 21st for the day's lesson!




Daily SketchUp Tutorials—November 2012

Daily SketchUp Tutorials will help you become a SketchUp Power User so that you can build amazing things.

From November 1st until the end of month, you'll find a new web page that features that day's tutorial. Follow the instructions and upload the models you make to Thingiverse .

If you follow each of the tutorials featured, you'll end up with some mad hot skills as well as an impressive collection of models that should really inspire your students.

Check back here each week day in November for the day's tutorial!




Daily Tutorials—October 2012

Daily Tutorials will show you different ways to work with a variety of applications. The first week will focus on TinkerCad. The second week will show you how to work with OpenSCAD. You will also get a chance to work with Blender and MeshMixer. The goal is to help you develop your modeling skills.

From October 1st until the end of month, you will find a new web page that features that day's tutorial. Follow the instructions and upload the models you make to Thingiverse .

If you follow each of the tutorials featured, you'll end up with some mad hot skills as well as an impressive collection of models that should really inspire your students.

Check back here each week day in October for the day's tutorial!




Daily Prints—September 2012

Daily Prints are stl files of interesting models that can contribute to lesson plans that go beyond just 3D printing.

From the September 5th , the first day of school—okay, from my first day of school—until the end of September, you will find a new page that will provide information about the day's featured print, who created it, how to make one yourself, why you should make one, and then what to do after you've printed it.

If you print each of the models featured, you'll end up with an impressive collection that should really inspire your students.

Check back here each week day in September for the day's print!




Contribute

If you would like to contribute to the curriculum, send your ideas or lesson plans to Makerbot .

Submit your own software tool tip or tutorial and we’ll feature it here.








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