Tag Archives: Makerbot Industries

Printing out 3D models of 6th grade Sketchup designs

Screen_shot_2012-06-11_at_11
Img_4231

One of the last projects of my year entailed printing out some 3D creations from the 6th grade. Catherine Hildebrandt, 6th grade math teacher, had her students build 3D shapes in Sketchpad and then measure the surface area and the volume. I wrote about her lesson in an earlier post. Next year, we may try to use Tinkercad for this project; They’ve updated their online software to include more robust measuring tools.

Each of Catherine’s three classes chose one design, and I set out to print these using our Makerbot and Bits from Bytes printers. It was a way more arduous and complicated process than I’d expected. Each Sketchpad rendering needed to be exported as an STL file. The first challenge was locating a Sketchpad STL plugin. Once I had an STL file of each shape, I used a different compiler to ultimately send printable code to each printer — ReplicatorG for the Makerbot and Axon for the the Bits From Bytes printer. To speed up the printing time, I lowered the density of each model to like 15% and scaled them down a maximum length/width/height of about 12cm.

STL (STereoLithography) is a file format native to the stereolithography CAD software created by 3D Systems. STL is also known as Standard Tessellation Language. This file format is supported by many other software packages; it is widely used for rapid prototyping and computer-aided manufacturing. STL files describe only the surface geometry of a three dimensional object without any representation of color, texture or other common CAD model attributes. (from the STL Wikipedia entry)

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Can’t wait to see @JaymesDec at #TEDxNYED on 4/28…

This month’s NYCIST meeting is being hosted at Marymount’s 97th street building where Jaymes Dec set up a Fab Lab (short for Fabrication Lab, though Fabulous Lab would be apt as well). The space he designed and the number of machines he has gathered is impressive. Even more impressive are the awesome projects his students are doing.

Jaymes will be giving a talk at the third annual TEDxNYED taking place on April 28 at the Museum of the Moving Image. See the full lineup of speakers here: http://tedxnyed.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Notes from our tour of the Marymount’s new Fab Lab with @JaymesDec

Img_2879
Img_2899
Img_2900
Img_2902
Img_2905
Img_2909
Img_2911
Img_2889
Img_2883
Img_2871
Img_2881
Img_2880
Img_2896
Img_2895

I just got back from a tour of Marymount‘s new Fab Lab led by Jaymes Dec (@JaymesDec) and Lesa Wang. (Fab is short for Fabrication) Lesa has been teaching art at Marymount for years, and she says her whole curriculum has changed as a result of having the Fab Lab available to her. Marymount is an all-girls PreK-12 independent school on the Upper East Side. Visiting along with me from The School at Columbia University were Greg Benedis-Grab (science), Gina Marcel (K-2 Technology), Dena Rothstein (5th Grade), and David Waterbury (Tech).

Jaymes learned about technology as a graduate student in the ITP program at NYU Tisch. (ITP = Interactive Telecommunications Program). He has experience teaching afterschool robotics classes at Vision Education. Jaymes helped establish GreenFab in the Bronx, and when their 3-year funded project ended, he happened to be consulting for Marymount to set up their Fab Lab. Currently, he is employed by Marymount working on projects with grades K, 5, 6, 7, 8.

In terms of building their 3D designs, Jaymes prefers Tinkercad over 3DTin. He says Google SketchUp isn’t designed to create 3D files natively – for that, you need to install a plugin.

In the Fab Lab are a ridiculous number of printing machines including an Epilog Laser ($30K) and the corresponding filter system. There are also multiple CNC printers including Makerbots and ShopBots. (CNC = Computer Numeric Control) The Shopbot is a 3D milling machine that can drill on 3 axes. This particular unit has a digitizing probe that can act like a 3D scanner so you can scan, modify, and print!
There were awesome examples of student work on the whole 4th floor:
– In the Science room, students were constructing workable prosthetic arms.
– In the Art room, students were redesigning toothbrushes, building their “dream car,” and making models of buildings.
– In the Fab Lab, students were building a variety of functional 3D objects.
Our ultimate ulterior motive for visiting was to see examples of innovation in education and to find a way for our 5th graders and Marymount’s 5th graders to collaborate on a project. Both schools study Ancient Greece, so one possible collaboration may involve The School kids designing temples and outsourcing to Marymount kids for actual printing (and vice versa). Or maybe we even have kids collaborating “long distance” on a design project using GoogleDocs and Skype.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized