In March, I visited the Makerbot store in SoHo to watch Jeremy Sambuca offer a demo of how he uses Tinkercad and Sketchup with the boys at The Browning School to design original objects for printing on their Makerbot Replicator 3D printers. Earlier in the year, I took a 3D fabrication course with Sean Justice at Teachers College, Columbia University. Sean showed his awesome LEGO-inspired creations which were inventive and evocative. (One example was a Lego nested in another Lego to represent a parent-child relationship.) Both Sean and Jeremy inspired me to approach Katie Hildebrandt with a 6th grade design/fabrication project that would also reinforce some of their math concepts like how to calculate the surface area and volume of geometric shapes.
Here are a part of the directions for the assignment:
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1. Create a new design.
— To change the name of this file, go to Design –> Properties –> Change name
— Snap Grid to “0.1”
3. Construct a rectangular prism w= 7.8mm l=7.8mm h=9.6mm
4. Construct cylinder with diameter of 5mm and a height of 1.7mm
— Select both the prism and cylinder
— Go to Adjust –> Align to center the cylinder on the prism
— You can “group” the prism and cylinder together if you’d like
5. Construct rectangular prism with length, width, and height of 5mm
— Make this a “hole” and insert into a bottom of rectangular prism
6. Save your project
7. Find Volume and Surface Area of your brick
8. Add your initials to the brick
** Extension: Make a 2×2 brick, a 2×3 brick, and/or a brick that doesn’t yet exist.
** More information about Lego dimensions here.