Making and learning with 3D printingBy Flexiscale
3D printers are set to become ever more prevalent in our homes, offices and schools. They hold promise of revolutionising fabrication, with cheaper printers and materials coming onto the market backed up by open source and paid design files. It’s a truly empowering technology, using the internet to shorten supply chains and start a new wave of innovation.
The new paradigm will require education in materials, CAD and CAE (computer-aided design and engineering) and best practices for both kids and adults. I Can Make is a company formed in 2014 that aims to teach, with tutorials and kits for homes and schools that introduce future makers to 3D printing.
I Can Make is building a suite of tools, designs and other resources to plug-and-play with commercial 3D printers. They plan to enable us to produce objects from designs that just work, while using the tools in structured workshops to learn all about the 3D design and printing process – opening up the possibility to create our own objects and develop skillsets that will become ever more important in the future.
The team behind I Can Make comes from the STEM and design fields, and has rallied around a mission to make design and technology fun and inspiring. One example is a 3D scaled-down model of a steam train, which is available to print and comes with classroom content for use by teachers. The team aims to build other, similar stories around their products.
I Can Make is supported by Nominet Trust among others, and they’re conducting school workshops at Tower Bridge in London. Maker kits will soon be available to download, and I Can Make has a dedicated teaching resources page for school projects and lesson plans. Check out these and more on their website.
Image 'Shadows of 3D printed objects' courtesy of fdecomite.
Last updated: 04th of June, 2014