Tag Archives: 3D Printing in the classroom

3D print the missing piece

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.

3D Printing in the classroom

The missing piece

3D Printing in the classroom

The 3D Model

3D Printing in the classroom

Ready to 3D Print

3D Printing in the classroom

The missing piece magically reappears

3D Printing in the Classroom

Now that we have had the 3D Printer in the classroom for a few weeks, I am even more convinced of its relevancy and opportuneness for any STEM Curriculum.  The alignment with several ISTE-S Standards (formerly NETS-S) is very clear, specifically Creativity and innovation, and, Technology and operations concepts.

The NMC Horizon Report 2014 Higher Education Edition lists 3D Printing in the “Time-to-Adoption Horizon at two-three years”. A recent article by Luckerson, V. (2014, Sept. 22) Too Cool for School. Time 184, 16. Indicates that “MakerBot has already placed more than 5,000 3-D printers in U.S. schools”

The upcoming  FETC Conference Workshop List includes not only a 3D Bootcamp, but also a Build Your Own 3D Printer Workshop as well.

I think it is safe to say we are well into the adoption process.

MakerBot 3D Printer in Elementary School

3D Printer © Paul Haberstroh

The excitement that this device has created with students and teachers is amazing. Watching an object being created from an iPad or computer screen image creates the need for students to desire to learn about the technology and processes.

Here is a quick photo essay on the process:

1. MakerBot has an iPad app, PrintShop which is very user friendly. If you have a BYOD or 1:1 iPad program, this is an easy way to get the students involved in the initial design phase.


MakerBot PrintShop App for iPad

2. Type the text you wish to create in 3D

3D Printing

The App adjusts the kerning and line spacing

3. Select the extrusion depth and angles

3D Text Extrusion

Extrusion depth and angle are adjustable

4. Send to 3D printer wirelessly from the iPad, (one of the features that was important to me in a 3D Printer was wireless capability).

3D Printing in process through WiFi

3D Printing in process through WiFi © Paul Haberstroh

3D additive printing process

3D additive printing process layer by layer © Paul Haberstroh

3D Printed Object

The finished 3D printed object © Paul Haberstroh

The finished object created a lot of buzz with the students, teachers and administrators. It was an excellent example that demonstrated the concept and potential of a 3D Printer.







New 3D Printer for Private Elementary School

3D printing is no longer the future or limited to commercial applications. The costs have come down to the consumer and classroom level making it the now and the here.

Having 3D Printing as part of an elementary and middle school STEM program gives students important skills in an expanding technology. 3D Printing transcends the digital to the tangible.

So significant is this technology, that it was mentioned during the recent State of the Union Address.

Students can create an object on an iPad or computer and send the file wirelessly to the 3D Printer. As part of the MakerBot package, a 3D Scanner can be used to scan and replicate an existing object.

3D Printer at Elementary School

3D Printer as seen from the onboard camera. © Paul Haberstroh