Get creative with your 3D printer
Scott Hagedorn
September 26, 2017

Unboxing your first 3D printer is an exciting experience. But now that you have it in your class, what do you do with it? How do you spur students to create their own models instead of simply printing what they find on www.thingiverse.com or other sites? Here's a project I did with my students using our Dremel Idea Builder 3D printer.

Virtual-reality goggles are the craze right now, but most of my students didn't own a pair.  They asked me if they could make their own, and I decided to run with it. I said they could do it but they had to print a pair of goggles that would fit their phone case. This required each student to measure and build his or her own design. The only item we did not print for this project were the lenses which you can find on Amazon for about $1.80 a set.  The students were allowed to examine various VR sets to get ideas on design and building but they had to create their own model independently. Here's video of them working on and giving insights about their project.

After we finished the goggles, I invited the students to submit their designs to the online 3D printing community,  www.pinshape.com. This allowed them to practice digital citizenship and offered a sense of accomplishment to watch how many downloads their print received.

I am a big believer in project-based learning.  Providing students the freedom to create their own designs and find solutions to issues they never anticipated unleashes the power of 3D printing. You can truly experience a new level of object modification to create new solutions that were previously inconceivable.

Scott Hagedorn is a high school technology teacher at Sabine Pass ISD and Dremel Idea Builder Ambassador. Follow his adventures with 3D printing and other maker movement technologies on Twitter @HagedornScott.

Tech Tips is a weekly column in SmartBrief on EdTech. Have a tech tip to share? Drop us a line at knamahoe@smartbrief.com.

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