Maker Education brings to school an organic, hands on learning process that opens students to the wonders of technology. Through 3D printing, Makey Makey construction, Rasperry Pi and Arduino development, Robot making, Sphero programming, coding and a host of other rising technologies, students can learn how technology works, dive into some passionate learning and understand the design process.
3D printing is quickly becoming a great way for schools to bring a student’s concept, whether it’s a drawing on a piece of paper, or designed in software, to life. Finally students are able to see a product develop from a vision and design stage right through to creation. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to develop 21st century workplace skills and develop confidence in their own creative ability.
When creating 3D objects we combine 3D Design software with 3D printers to create actual tangible objects. Examples of such software include the new Windows 8 TinkerCad from Autodesk app. TinkerCad has been available as a browser based web tool for a few years, but now it is available as an app on the Windows 8 platform.
With Tinkercad, students can:
- Design their own 3D objects,
- Tinker with objects in the library, or even just
- Follow design quests provided
- Once they have completed their 3D object, download the .stl format file and print via 3D printer software.
Why would I use this in my classroom?
If you’re not in a Maker Ed group or class, you can still use TinkerCad for a number of projects. These projects could be part of Project Based Learning or Technology classes. You can:
- Early Years – Design a Toy, Create class trophies, Create class mascots or super heroes, Design vehicles, chocolate moulds and cookie cutters, dinosaurs
- Early and Middle Years – Design an Environmentally Sustainable building, Figurines for a board game, Create 3D models of novel scenes of characters, create science models to show concepts, create innovative music instruments
- Middle Years Technology Classes – Create jewellery, phone covers, key rings, other useable objects
- Senior Years – Create prototypes for senior Design and Technology major projects.
To get started
- Research 3D Printing in Education and Maker Education
- Download and Install the TinkerCad app
- Follow the suggested tutorials
- Set a task for students and encourage them to support each other to learn the skills needed to create their project prototype
- Find a 3D printer and bring your masterpiece to life
- NB If you don’t have a 3D printer, students can share their work via the Gallery in TinkerCad.
Jump in and give it a go, but be sure to share back with us what you created using TinkerCad.