Saturday, March 15, 2014

The "Discovery" That The "Banding Together" Project and MakerBot 3D Printer Is Bringing To Our Children

Since we added the MakerBot 3D printer to our library earlier this year, it has brought a lot of things. 

Excitement.  Happiness.  A little fear.  Creativity.  Collaboration.  A voice...that I wrote about here

And one of the things I love the most......

Discovery.  And lots of it.
Earlier this week I wrote the post Adding Something Very Special To Our Rainbow Loom Bracelets With The MakerBot 3D Printer....all about how my wonderful friend Andy Plemmons, our students, and myself are going to be designing and creating tiny charms with our MakerBot's for the Rainbow Loom bracelets that will be heading to our friends in India soon. 

On the first day of the charm printing, my main printer friend Luke (who I spoke about here) and I created a few with the files that Andy sent us.  In his library, the kids and Andy created a design using Tinkercad, which is what we are using too. 
The next day, the third graders and Luke changed the design a bit by adding a heart in the center of the single one Andy had shared.

We printed different sizes so they could really take a look and discover the things that they wanted to change and perfect.  
I love the big one they printed.  They were able to take a really close look at the ring on the top with this one.  The kids want this ring to be really secure so the charms don't fall off of the bracelets on the trip over and when they wear them in India. 

As we were discussing other designs we could create, one of the 3rd graders had the idea of bringing two hearts together for the charm.

This will symbolize the children in India and Iowa....and children all over the world....

"Banding Together" in love, friendship, and hope to make a difference in the world. 
They designed a new charm in Tinkercad....two hearts overlapping one another, with a heart in the middle.

This time when they printed, Luke and the kids figured out how to "mass produce" the charms and printed 20 at a time.  This was really cool to watch as the MakerBot printed them out.
They were just beautiful.
Everyone loved the design and couldn't wait to get them onto the bracelets.

In the picture above, the boys put the bracelets with the charms on for me to take that picture.

Then something happened that we weren't expecting.

After a couple minutes, the charms just fell off of the bracelets.  They were just to thin to support the ring at the top.  They were sad at first, but then remembered they could go back to Tinkercad and work on the design to print again.
This discovery is important as all of our young people learn more and more about the MakerBot, 3D printing, and the programs used to create.

I love the curiosity, excitement, and frustration that this brings to them.  All skills that will help them with so many things in life.

What started out as a little party making Rainbow Loom bracelets one day is really turning into a project and experience that will stay with all of us forever.

1 comment:

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