Friday, May 5, 2017

3D Printing in Classrooms: 3 Tips for Providing Creative 21st Century Learning Experiences

3D Printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a process of making a three dimensional solid object digitally. Students begin by creating a  CAD (Computer Aided Design) file using 3D modeling software. Birdville students can create CAD designs from any device. Beginning can become a little overwhelming as there are many choices.

Start Simple


A good place for students to begin creating 3D models is Tinkercad. Other beginning iOS apps used to create 3D models found in the BISD App Catalog for 3D printing include 123D Design  and Morphi. Secondary students can also use a PC to create advanced CAD files using Autodesk, SketchUp, or Onshape. After creating a 3D model, the next step is to save the model as a .STL file and prepare the model in order to make it 3D printable.




Choose The Right 3D Printer


Slicing, a process that divides a 3D model into hundreds or thousands of horizontal layers. prepares a 3D model to become 3D printable. Sometimes a 3D model can be sliced from within a 3D modeling software application. It is also possible that you are forced to use a certain slicing tool for a certain 3D printer. When the 3D model is sliced, you are ready to feed it to your 3D printer. This can be done via USB, SD or wifi. When a file is uploaded in a 3D printer, the object is ready to be 3D printed layer by layer. The 3D printer reads every slice (2D image) and creates a three dimensional object.


Connect With Community


Birdville ISD is lucky to be connected to a strong Makerspace community. Teachers do not have to know how to use the 3D printers to begin. Many local public libraries are available to support you. Users can also upload their STL file to sites and have their 3D file mailed to their home. Students at Smithfield Middle School use the 3D printer, located in their school's makerspace,  to print CAD designs for various projects.  The librarian, Beth Muirheid, worked with  a TX history classroom in which students studying regions of TX and each group created a 3d model of their area.  One element of their “map” will be printed on Brad.

Digital Learning Platform: The 3D printer provides students with a best structure in which students can make an authentic task or product.



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