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Showing posts from November, 2015

Getting Started with 3D Printing: Part 1

By now, it is likely that you have seen or heard of the concept of 3D printing.  The easiest way to think of it is taking a 3D model off of the computer and turning it into a real life product.  3D printing is an additive manufacturing process so there is very little waste when you make objects.

When you decide to get started yourself, it can be VERY overwhelming trying to figure out which 3D printer to buy and how to even begin.  In this series of blog posts, I intend to share some first hand tips on how to make that process easier and help you avoid some mistakes that I have made.

Finding a Printer

Congratulations, you have examined your educational goals and figured out that a 3D printer would be a good fit for you and your students!  Expect that you will need to have a budget of approx. $700 to $1000 to get started.  That would include the cost of the machine, and a spool of filament.

Here at the RESA we have a RoStock MAX v2 ($1000 for the kit) and a Polar 3D printer ($600.) There…

3D Design with Students

Over the past couple of weeks, we have been adventuring out into area schools to work with students on how to become makers.  One method that we have been using is teaching students how to design 3D objects using Tinkercad and Project Ignite.

Below you will see some of the examples made by the students at Brown Elementary.  We were amazed by the details that these students were able to add to their designs!  If you look closely, one student designed a farm complete with a silo!

We would love to come do this activity with your students!
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New Resource Added!

John and I have been working to ensure that Berrien RESA has appropriate resources for all classrooms in our county.  As such, we have added the Strawbees Creation Kit.  This kit comes with enough plastic connectors and straws for your class to create all kinds of 3D structures.  We first came across these at Maker Faire New York and immediately wanted to start building.

What really got us excited was something called Quirkbot.  Quirkbot is a small, arduino controller that you program to bring your Strawbees creations to life.  Currently funded through Kickstarter, we are hoping to see it ship soon.

Until then Strawbees offer plenty of potential on their own.  Here is an example of a recent classroom using the materials to create the tallest freestanding structure they could in 15 minutes (don't let the costumes scare you - it was Halloween party day!).  We think they are a great tool to create shapes with in a math class, design a bridge to test in science class, or create a nes…