We all lose pieces to toys, games, and puzzles, especially in a school setting. One of the benefits of having a 3D Printer in the classroom is being able to recreate a missing piece. Not only is it nice to have the part back, but the process of recreating it is a great learning opportunity.
Recently, a piece to a Tetris Cube went missing. From the directions we knew what it looked like, and we could measure other pieces to extrapolate the dimensions. This was a perfect collaborative problem solving opportunity, as well as an occasion to introduce precision measuring techniques.
Using Vernier Calipers, students measured existing pieces to determine the dimension parameters of the missing piece. Once the dimensions were agreed upon, a 3D model was created using Autodesk 123D Design which is free for education. The model was then exported to the 3D Printer, and the missing piece magically reappeared! Next time a part goes missing, use the opportunity as a 21st Century Learning project.