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Zach - Art Education

3D Printing in Art Education

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Hi- I'm an elementary art teacher in Ohio and I did some fundraising a couple of years ago to get an Ultimaker 2+ for my classroom. I was excited to incorporate this level of technology into my art curriculum, but I didn't know exactly what kind of lessons to write to go along with 3D printing. I'm posting to share a bit of my story and also see what other art (or other) teachers are doing with their 3D printers. 

 

Last year, I had about 250 4th and 5th graders design objects using Tinkercad. I set an extremely loose framework for the project because I really wanted to see what the students were capable of creating. I had some amazing work as well as some very pedestrian designs.

 IMG_2547.thumb.JPG.85f0e552c3982abe58e33a0cdc9102a1.JPG

 

This year was my second year teaching 3D design for the printer. My 5th grade students studied architecture and each created a building of their own design. My plan is to display them as a large city. I have over half of the buildings printed at this point and it looks pretty fantastic. 

IMG_9445.thumb.jpg.8ce416cae85016f7fb31685ba6861068.jpgIMG_9360.thumb.JPG.aa371b9cb0bd13b439f69f3f53580a49.JPGIMG_9783.thumb.jpg.94846e382123c9be5cde76564e690c48.jpgIMG_9781.thumb.jpg.d84fcb02b350776f9b8a0c9a6505fe0a.jpg

 

My 4th grade project is a pencil topper design. The project allows for a lot of creative freedom, but the size is constrained so the printing will go a bit faster. Students are finished with their designs, but I won't be able to print until the 5th grade buildings are finished. 

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54 minutes ago, gr5 said:

You might like these ideas from educators although I think your current ideas are great:

https://ultimaker.com/download/73369/Contributor_Cards.pdf

 

Thanks! There is a wealth of art project out there, but next to nothing for 3D printing in the art room. I'm the Louis and Clark of art educators apparently. 

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There are actually a bunch of art educators using these tools, from the team over at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, to some handy templating and perspective teaching printables. You should come share your achievements and meet other 3D printing educators at Construct3D 2018! https://www.construct3dconf.com/

Ultimaker is a co-founder sponsor for the conference, and it is vendor agnostic, uniting educators from all contexts from K-12 to higher ed to informal education. Art Educators next to mathematicians next to those exploring social history, next to robotics, engineering, architecture, and more! You'd be in good company, and other educators would be thrilled to see the achievements of your students!

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And make sure to check out the hundreds of leads and articles in the Ultimaker Education Pioneer areas:

https://ultimaker.com/en/education

 

Here is the Resources by Subjects resource, with an article on 3D printing in art education by DesignMakeTeach: https://ultimaker.com/en/resources/21899-resources-by-subject

https://designmaketeach.com/2014/04/02/3d-printing-for-the-art-classroom/

 

We also mentions Tom Burtonwood, one of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago educators I was talking about!
You are in good company, and are also doing great work they'd like to see!

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I am impressed. And I like the freedom you have allowed as it gives them freedom of expression and that is most engaging for young minds. Your student's work is most impressive. And, mind the 'pedestrian' designs as some are just exploring and trying to make a connection outside the box, so to speak. A few of them may make those connections and really kick some impressive stuff out.

 

Very, very nice stuff and I dare say I see a budding architect or two in there.

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I like the city-idea. This really shows how much creativity they have. Did you require the buildings to be on an exact scale, like HO (=1:87), so the designs fit in a standard landscape with HO-scale trains, cars, and figures?

 

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Geert_2-

The scale is something I only touched on briefly this year. Essentially, I told students that the tallest skyscraper buildings couldn't be more than 130mm and I'm roughly printing everything else to scale. Some things, like residential houses are definitely bigger than they should be because I don't want kids to be disappointed that their work is significantly smaller than others. I think I'm going to develop a scale to use for next year and give size parameters for various building types. As with any project, it involves adjusting from year to year to make sure it turns out as good as possible. I'm planning on adding sign and city elements from a train shop to the final presentation. 

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15 minutes ago, mattgriffin said:

hey Zach, did the 130mm stipulation translate into a rough printing time goal? This is something that educators using 3D printing are always asking -- what's a handy size reference to encourage more parts to get printed. ;-)

 

In general, yes. If students wanted to go up the max height, they had to have a relatively narrow design to adjust for print time. I set up the printer to print three objects at once for this project. I'm able to get one set started when I get to school in the morning and start another set before I leave. It takes around a week to print the work from each class. I'd guess between 2-3 hours per print in this case. I'll probably go a little smaller next year because I'm going through more filament than I originally intended. 

 

I'll tell you, though, it's a lot of management to print 250+ objects over the course of a couple of months. I've got a whole spreadsheet and file organization system that has worked pretty well. 

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13 hours ago, mattgriffin said:

Did you save stls, 3mfs, cura projects (has meshes!), and/or gcode for each? I’d love to hear which asset you version/archive and why!

I keep the stl and gcode files around for the duration of the printing process. After that, I discard them because I'll have a bunch more files coming in next year. I'll keep the Tinkercad files around until the end of the school year just in case I need a reprint, but considering the students don't have 3D printing access outside the school (save for ordering prints from an outside source), I don't see any reason to clutter my student accounts with old files. That being said, I've kept the files for the more impressive projects in case I want reprints for examples or something of that nature. 

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1 hour ago, Zach - Art Education said:

Intriguing thought, but I may get into legal trouble if I try to sell off school property! 

I would rather keep the UM2+, and have school buy a second one. :) If the goal is to print as much models as possible in one shot, then a larger build area seems beneficial?

 

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On 2/15/2018 at 10:46 AM, geert_2 said:

I would rather keep the UM2+, and have school buy a second one. :) If the goal is to print as much models as possible in one shot, then a larger build area seems beneficial?

 

Try prying  money out of any US school system these days.......they have a thousand reasons why they cannot do something and then complain when someone else does it and shows it can work.

 

I can hear the budget administrator now..."But you already have one and we need the money for the principal's new raise!":deaf::blind::silent:

Edited by kmanstudios
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On 2/16/2018 at 9:00 PM, kmanstudios said:

Try prying  money out of any US school system these days.......they have a thousand reasons why they cannot do something and then complain when someone else does it and shows it can work.

 

I can hear the budget administrator now..."But you already have one and we need the money for the principal's new raise!":deaf::blind::silent:

I definitely wrote a grant and did some significant fundraising. There was no way of using my yearly budget for something this expensive. In terms of budgeting, principal salaries, at least in Ohio, have nothing to do with my supply budget. It has everything to do with state budgets and politicians who don't totally understand the needs of local school districts. Teachers are doing everything they can to provide the best education we can for our students. 

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