Educators often ask us, “How do I bring 3D printing into my classroom?” Teachers know it’s an amazing learning tool, they know it’s effective in engaging students in learning a myriad of new skills, but students can only make so many keychains before they disengage.
In response, MakerBot has put out a really nice guidebook called MakerBot in the Classroom, and we got a hold of a copy to share with you what a great tool it is for educators looking to implement 3D printing in their classrooms, or those who may already have a machine and are looking for some direction. The book is a total 144 pages, but a section of it is available for a preview download from Makerbot. If you already own a MakerBot machine, the book in its entirety is available for free. But this book is not a curriculum, simply a stepping stone to one.
MakerBot in the Classroom covers not only the genesis of 3D printing with Scott Crump and the inspiration of a hot glue gun and a school project, but also what innovative educators have done with 3D printing in real schools and real situations.
Many in-class case studies are listed and explored, giving readers examples of how to balance an ever-changing classroom environment with an ever-changing technology.
From there more technical aspects are explained, of course to be used in tandem with the operator’s guide. The book covers all MakerBot 5th Gen machines, but not the Rep 2x, which we would have like to have seen included. All the basics are covered, like suggested tools to have on hand and navigation of MakerBot Desktop (what is infill, what are shells?)
Also discussed are four different design softwares – OpenSCAD, 123D Design, Sculptris and Tinkercad. Personally, in our work in classrooms, either training teachers or working with students ourselves, Tinkercad is the one we use most frequently for its in-browser accessibility to all students on any computer.
The section we recommend to anyone with a copy of MakerBot in the Classroom deals with tips and tricks for scanning with Digitizer. Scanning can be such a difficult thing to do and if you’re an educator with a scanner, definitely take a look.
We discuss further on this week of the Fargo 3D Printing Show. We also show off our new set and our pretty impressive 151 hour print. Check it out below.