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How do you teach 3D printing to kids? [message #71851] Fri, 19 July 2013 09:20 UTC Go to next message
avatar bartv  is currently offline bartv
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Hey guys,

here's a personal question: I want to set up a sunday afternoon activity for my son and his friends. They've all heard the story of 3D printing from me and they've seen the examples I bring home, but I want them to experience it for themselves - they should create something and hold it in their hands.

Who has done something similar? What worked well and what didn't? These kids are all 6-10 years old, so still pretty young (but not scared yet to try things Wink.

Right now, I'm thinking of letting them make their own custom Lego bricks using Tinkercad. That seems rather doable with limited skills, yet very relevant to them?

I'd love to get some help here!

Thanks,

Bart

[Updated on: Fri, 19 July 2013 09:20 UTC]


Community Manager Europe | Shapeways
Re: How do you teach 3D printing to kids? [message #71864 is a reply to message #71851 ] Fri, 19 July 2013 12:37 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar AmLachDesigns  is currently offline AmLachDesigns
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Lego bricks sounds like a good idea.

Maybe with a theme of allowing them to create their own robots/monsters/dinosaurs which can then fight each other?

Or maybe that's for me! Lol. I'm sure today's youngsters are much more politically correct, no?
Re: How do you teach 3D printing to kids? [message #71870 is a reply to message #71864 ] Fri, 19 July 2013 14:21 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar stonysmith  is currently offline stonysmith
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Bart, for very young kids (I once did this with 5 year old), I like to start by drawing a house.

Start with a cube, then draw a triangular shaped piece on top so you've got the basic house-shape. It's instantly recognizable.
Then draw a door, and a window. and possibly a sidewalk.
I often add off to the side a vertical cylinder with a large sphere at the top as a tree.

Super simple - just 7 peices, and they start to add their own suggestions. Don't worry about the "printable" aspect as you start.. add restrictions like "wall thickness" after you get the exterior looking good.

A rather important part of it is to use some pretty basic colors on each new part that you add. Don't get fancy/complicated with brick textures, etc.


Patience, Persistance, Politeness - the 3Ps will help us get us to Perfect Printed Products
Re: How do you teach 3D printing to kids? [message #71872 is a reply to message #71870 ] Fri, 19 July 2013 14:28 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Youknowwho4eva  is currently offline Youknowwho4eva
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Maybe we need a new creator for kids!?!


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Re: How do you teach 3D printing to kids? [message #71875 is a reply to message #71851 ] Fri, 19 July 2013 15:00 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar MrNib  is currently offline MrNib
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I can't over-recommend using Tinkercad for getting kids interested in 3D printing. I have introduced several young kids in the family to it and they've taken to designing things like fish to water. It's all simple drag and drop of positive or negative geometries that you group together. It doesn't get easier than that.

I would add that doing certain things like arraying objects (like bumps) can be a slight pain. The easiest way to do this is to offset parts from (0,0) using the ruler function but it might require some adult supervision and review. It would also be nice if they had some basic error checking capabilities built into the program. A good way to check a design is to make a copy of it, disassemble it, and measure things using the ruler function or reference objects. That way you minimize the risk of messing up the original file. The undo function also tracks the entire generation path of the design but I still like to make a copy before manual checks just in case something gets messed up.

[Updated on: Fri, 19 July 2013 15:37 UTC]

Re: How do you teach 3D printing to kids? [message #71882 is a reply to message #71875 ] Fri, 19 July 2013 19:41 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Bathsheba  is currently offline Bathsheba
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Maybe start by telling them it's not allowed?


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Re: How do you teach 3D printing to kids? [message #71966 is a reply to message #71882 ] Mon, 22 July 2013 23:06 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar UniverseBecoming  is currently offline UniverseBecoming
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Minecraft and Mineways.

Sculptris can be fun for them at that age.

Algodoo is easy enough to use that you can get them messing around with that and then you can guide them with something like Tinkercad or Sketchup into turning their 2D simulation into an actual 3D printed working object.

Yenka has a number of interesting educational software programs. One of them, related to 3D modeling, is Yenka 3D Shapes. With this software you can help them get a basic understanding of 3D. To the best of my knowledge you cannot do anything with the models you create in this, like you cannot export to obj or something like that, but it's simple enough that it may hold their interest for a while.

If you can find a way to capture their interest as it pertains to 3D printing, it'd be interesting to to see what they end up making. Surprised




I prefer to know nothing about everything rather than everything about nothing.  

James
Re: How do you teach 3D printing to kids? [message #72474 is a reply to message #71966 ] Thu, 01 August 2013 09:44 UTC Go to previous message
avatar bartv  is currently offline bartv
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Thanks for the input, everyone! Last week was a bit hectic with us being at SIGGRAPH, LA, and I'm sorry for the slow reply.

@AmLachDesigns: I haven't seen any signs of political correctness in my kids Wink Actually the first ideas I heard were pretty much along those lines!

@stonysmith: that's a great idea, that would definitely introduce them to all the basic operations.

@MrNib: how old were these? I'm trying to get a sense of what a good age is to get them started.. For how long could you hold their attention?

@Bathsheba: okay, 'Lego-compatible bricks' then. That's absolutely legal, now that the patent is expired.

@UniverseBecoming: Algodoo looks super cool, but it's a bit too much like a game - they already do enough of that Smile I already introduced them to Tinkercad and dragging objects around seems doable for them. Reorienting the workplane - not so much yet.. Oh, and I'll share their results, absolutely Smile

Cheers,

Bart


Community Manager Europe | Shapeways

 
   
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