This project undertaken by Bits from Bytes just goes to show that 3D printing can really be “kids’ stuff”… and just look at the quality of what these youngsters are producing. As an educator who thinks that 3D printing holds so much potential for developing our designers and engineers of the future I think this is a wonderful example of what can be done to “catch ‘em young”.
Thanks to 3D Systems for this article taken from their blog http://blog.3dsystems.com/2011/04/bits-from-bytes-in-classroom.html
Bits From Bytes in the Classroom
Our own Bits From Bytes just concluded a partnership with kide™ to pilot a project at Thorpedene Junior School in the United Kingdom. kide™ is a unique teaching tool for schools that allows children to design and make 3D printed toys. By using the computers to design, the 3D printers to make, and the toys to play with, children create a link between the virtual and materialistic 3D worlds. This offers full customization and personalization of physical toys and encourages live interaction through a playful learning experience.
The 4-month project called kideville allowed students to create a city made soley of 3D printed houses that they designed. By undergoing the entire creative process, the students learned how to deliver a design project from starting ideas to finished models. The process simulated a professional designer’s process including research, brainstorming, teamwork, sketching, technical drawing, CAD, hand models, 3D printed models, post-finishing and more. Our BFB-3000 3D printer was even installed in the classroom to teach the children how this amazing technology works and allowed them to see some of their houses being produced right in front of them in their own mini-factory!
The resulting kideville (see below) was produced by 66 bright, creative students from two classes. We were very honored to be involved with such an amazing learning opportunity!