3D Printer Fun

I believe in thinking BIG! That’s why when I decided I wanted a 3D printer for my class, I wrote a proposal and placed it on Donors Choose. Honestly, I had no idea what I was going to do with it. I figured I would allow students to create objects during Genius Hour. In addition, I was going to have THEM figure out the programs and printer – within reason, it is an expensive item.

So when I was notified that my project was funded by Chevron, I was beyond thrilled. Just after Spring Break our printer arrived. The following Genius Hour a group of students and I set it up. Fortunately, one of my girls had gone home and done research on the type of printer we received (Dremel). She knew more about the printer than any of us. After setting it up, we printed out a die. It was a pre-fab file on the SD Card. That was pretty cool. Then came the following week…

We discovered Tinkercad! Since then we have been creating, creating, creating! The early attempts were simple, but fun. I have students coming to school early wanting to create objects for their moms, brothers, selves…

They work together to solve design issues, and talk about new creations – there is a chicken in the making. I have another girl who went home and taught herself (with the help of the provided lessons on Tinkercad), how to use the program. She is our ‘Go To’ person. She is teaching us some of the ins and outs of the program.

It’s fun to see girls leading the way with this technology. It’s also interesting to watch the students watch the printer. It reminds me of the 1950 ads for TV, where everyone sat around as close as they could. Yeah, that’s what’s happening in my class.

I can now see how I can incorporate this into my curriculum. How fun would it be to have students working together to create the digestive system? Fun right?! Or create geometric shapes based on specific dimensions. Or create an object with a specific volume. Or create a topographic representation of a state. The possibilities are endless. This is just the beginning, I can’t wait to see where this takes us!

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