Are you looking to get into 3D printing or have been granted a 3D printer but don’t know where to start? In this education-based episode, Drew Lentz, the learning group manager at MakerBot, talks about teaching 3D printing and finding the easy entry points to get started in using 3D printing in your classroom. Drew dives into educating teachers in 3D printing that can be used in their classrooms that are readily available in the market. With Tom and Tracy Hazzard, Drew talks about the 3D printing education-based community and the need to take it to another level to bridge the gap for those looking to start or are thinking about 3D printing. Lastly, get to know some user-friendly 3D and CAD programs you can use to get you started on your 3D printing learning.
Listen to the podcast here:
3D Print Teaching Startpoint with Drew Lentz of MakerBot
We have an education beast interviewing with us today with someone who is really in the trenches of 3D print teaching. Anyone of our listeners that’s a teacher, educator, head of the PTA, or anyone who is considering getting 3D printing into schools this is the one for you. We have Drew Lentz on the podcast today. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering but he is also involved in product design and was a middle school science teacher. Now for the last two years he has been an employee at MakerBot and is now the manager of the MakerBot learning group.
I think that is really important that MakerBot has a particular division devoted to education and 3D printing. It is his full time job to help teachers or educational institutions get involved in 3D printing by getting them curriculum, how to get started, etc. There’s really no end to what he does to try and help that happen. This is a huge growing area of need, and when you find a need like this you need to throw a bunch of resources at it because you’ve essentially got customers begging for it.
It’s also one of the number one questions that we are getting from our listeners is that they or their school does not know where to start. Their school might have a little budget for a 3D printer but they still aren’t sure where to even begin or know where to find resources.
We have an education-based interview.
This is a good one with somebody who’s right in the trenches of this. Any of you followers who are teachers, educators or considering getting into it or your schools are considering it, this is going to be a great episode for you because we’ve got a lot of great information. We’re interviewing Drew Lentz. He has a degree in mechanical engineering, but also was involved in product design and was a middle school science teacher. He’s been an employee at MakerBot.
He’s the Manager of the MakerBot learning group. It’s important that they have a particular division devoted to education and 3D printing.
It is his full-time job. He is not doing any other things. It’s absolutely his full-time job to help teachers, educational institutions, help people get involved in 3D printing, help them with curriculum, help them with how to get started. There’s no end to what he does to try to help it happen.
This is a huge growing area of need. We talked about that, but when you find a need like this, you need to throw a bunch of resources at it because you’ve got essentially customers begging. This is a big begging area. This is an area with this big gaping hole.
It’s also one of the number one questions that we’re getting from our followers is, “I don’t know where to start. Our school has a little budget. They’ve been given some money for a 3D printer. Where do I begin? Where can I find resources?” We’re going to address some of those subjects in our interview with Drew.
Drew, thank you for joining us. We’re excited to talk to you about lots of things education-related in 3D printing.
Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here.
We have many educators who are getting started. Some of them are getting grants. Some of them, their principals are coming to them saying, “We’re buying you a 3D printer.” They’re struggling with where to start. Could you maybe go into where you think these teachers should start?
From my experience in working with teachers, as far as 3D printing goes, it seems to be the situation that you described is consistent across the country, and regardless of grade level or anything like that. Teachers somehow get access to a 3D printer, whether it be a grant or a GoFundMe or somebody in administration or IT has given them one and then they have it and then there’s this intimidation factor of, “Where do I get started?” What I’d like to talk about are teachers who have found these easy entry points into how to use 3D printing in their classroom. To give an example, there’s a teacher in New York who ran a CO2 Car Project. It is not a 3D printing project. It’s a project that’s been run in science classes, technology classes for a while. Essentially, think of it as students are given a block of wood and a set of wheels and the idea is that they carve the wood down into a car shape, put the wheels in it, and then they race them head-to-head. They go fast. They fly across the floor. It’s awesome.
That sounds so much fun.
It’s a lot of fun. It’s a great project.
Is this like a CO2 cartridge that I would have used in a small BB gun as a kid?
It’s the same thing.
Some people would use them in baking for powering a whipped cream dispenser.
We went weapons first, that’s okay. Essentially, you have these car bodies and you put little CO2 cartridges in the back of them, and you put two next to each other and pierce the CO2 cartridges at the same time. You picture then these two cars go flying fast. They fly down the hallway or wherever the teacher has them set up. That project in itself is awesome. What I love about this teacher, his name is Vinny Garrison, what he did is instead of rewriting and creating this whole new project because he had access to a 3D printer, he took that project and modified it a little bit.
The general idea is the lower the weight, the faster your car goes. What he did was instead of giving students the premade stock wheels that come with the cars, he had students designed and print their own wheels that go along with the cars that they had already designed. If you think about it, the stock wheels that came with the kits that they were using were about 5 or 6 grams apiece. He had students designing wheels and printing them out that came in as low as 0.8 grams. It’s huge weight savings.
I thought it was an awesome way to implement 3D printing without having to shake up the entire curriculum. He kept everything still on track, but the students have this different element. They’re working with the hand tools and everything and that part is great but also introducing this idea, they’re digitally making part of it and iterating on it and then producing their own parts to use them in their cars. I thought that was a great example of somebody who, instead of sitting back and trying to think like, “What new project do I have to make based on this 3D printer?” He found an easy way to, “This would work well with this project.” Finding little entry points like that is key to people getting started.
That’s a great idea. I love the idea of the wheels because this is not a heavy, time-intensive thing to print. You can print them fairly quickly. It didn’t take a huge amount of time from that standpoint as well.
Logistically in the classroom, it becomes a lot easier when you’re printing something small like that, because you can print 1 or 2 within a class period. You could print a plate full of twenty of them overnight and have them all done in the morning. You’re right about that. It becomes a lot easier logistically when you find, especially smaller things to print.
We’ve talked to teachers that at first they think this is a real daunting task, “How am I going to develop a curriculum and include 3D printing in it in my classroom?” The ones who have done it, when they come through the other side, seem to think it’s the best thing in the world even if at first they completely rejected it. What resources are there for teachers out there to help them find some of these projects other than listening to this project? You’re giving a few ideas, but are there some other resources they can look to?
There are a lot of resources that I like to point educators to. Some are probably a little less intimidating than others. The best resource in general in 3D printing to go to is Thingiverse.com. The educational content on Thingiverse, there is quite a bit of it but it’s not that easily searchable. It’s working on curating that and providing it a little nicer to educators. There’s a lot of educational content on there. We restructured the way that things exist on Thingiverse to allow for a lot more information to go along with them. There are some people putting on some amazing things. There was a post on Thingiverse, this technology teacher did an entire lesson around a brake caliper and how they’re made and how they work. He wrote probably a twenty-page document. That’s an entire full-blown lesson plan with a quiz and with the sample models and everything else that you need to run this lesson as a teacher. There are a lot of resources on Thingiverse that are amazing. In addition to all the rest of the stuff that Thingiverse has to offer like amazing designers and models on there that are easily printable. That’s probably the first step to go to.
In terms of other resources, there’s a book that MakerBot put out called MakerBot in the Classroom. It’s a 150-page document. It’s free, downloadable from our website. It’s split up into a few different sections. We have an Intro to 3D Printing, What is 3D Printing and What Is It Used For section. There’s a section called Three Ways To Make, which is essentially, how do you get designs for your printer, redefine them, scan them or design them yourself. We go through all the different ways to do those. There are four sample projects in there. All of them using free 3D design programs, all different ones. They each have a different set of learning objectives, different target classes and grade levels. That’s an amazing resource. It’s packaged up. That’s something that every teacher who has a 3D printer should definitely have on hand.
Drew, is there a community for teachers and educators in the 3D printing world?
Technically, there is. There are groups that exist on Thingiverse that are education specific. There is the structure of it, but if I were to say that that is the perfect community for going to as a teacher brand new to 3D printing, and getting everything you need, it is not quite there.
That’s a mistake, and nothing against Thingiverse or what you are doing at MakerBot because you are doing a great job supporting teachers, but it’s got to fit better into where teachers already are. That might be the area where it needs to happen. We keep saying this that unfortunately, the 3D print community is all preaching to the choir already. We’re already talking to the converted. If we’re going to get more people to adopt it and get more classrooms to have this, then we need to move to a place at which we’re talking in their language and their space.
It’s clear from speaking to the teachers that we’ve been speaking with that it is a void that absolutely needs to be filled. We have this group of people that are amazing and that are doing amazing things with 3D printing in the classroom, but then the bridge to the group of people that are new to it and are getting started or maybe are thinking about it, that bridge is weak. Having a community of where teachers already are and where they’re already sharing information or promoting that somehow is essential to getting this to the next level. It’s something that we are conscious of. We’ve been reaching out to a lot of teachers to gather some information on that so we can try to tackle that problem.
That would be great. There’s that problem in every industry areas, not just education. We see that happening in the design, community, and retail. We see that happening all over, but it’s the same thing that there has to be some place in which you’re bridging as you put it up which I like that phrase. You’re bridging into places where they already are because you can’t ask them to come to a place that they’ve never been before and expect them to embrace it. It’s not going to happen that quickly.
In that place, we could have the most beautiful content in the world, but if it’s hosted somewhere that nobody has access to it or nobody knows where it is, that’s a big problem. That is something we are seriously conscious of. We’re trying to gather as much information about that specific thing as possible. We’ve got a list of teachers that we reach out to that are our superstars, but if any of your followers are educators and are interested in providing more information about where they go to get resources on a regular basis, we would love to hear from them.
You’ll come to 3D Start Point and we’ll get that out to you.
We get asked this question by teachers sometimes, “Are there webinars or other resources like that, whether they’re live or they happened before and are recorded so people can look at them that are education-related on this subject of how people can integrate into their curriculum?”
Our team hosted a webinar on specifically this topic, which was finding the easy entry points to get started in using 3D printing in your classroom. It covers five stories, three from the ground level of people who are brand new to it and found these easy entry points all the way up through the advanced users who have had the 3D printers in their classroom for a few years and are starting to do some amazing things. That’s hosted, that’ll be on our website.
Let’s jump to CAD because that is more complicated, teaching how to use the machine, especially your MakerBot machines, which we know is easy from our standpoint of having used it for quite some time. How to teach CAD without it being a CAD classroom? That’s the more difficult part for a lot of educators to handle. Do you have some tips on how to do that or some CAD programs that you prefer?
The printers have started to become quite a bit easier, considering where they were years ago. This whole other world of you want to start creating your own models and where do you go to get started can be quite intimidating as well. If people are absolutely brand new to 3D printing, they’ve never seen 3D modeling before, without a doubt, I will recommend Tinkercad to them. Have you used Tinkercad before?
We have a seven-year-old who has been using it as well.
One of the most difficult things to get across, regardless of what 3D modeling program you’re using, is the idea of navigating around in 3D space. That’s something that can be quite a bit jarring at first when you’re designing something. People that are used to sketching on paper, when you have this third dimension that you’re navigating this camera view around an object that you’re creating can be overwhelming at first. Tinkercad does a great job of making that experience easy and making that experience user-friendly. Even though it looks a kid type of website, it’s extremely powerful and something that I use all the time. Even though I was classically trained in SOLIDWORKS, I end up using Tinkercad quite a bit.
That’s something we’ve heard from our friend, John Bokla, who hooked our daughter up with Tinkercad and got her going on it. The idea that these kids though, they much more easily navigate 3D space. If their brains work like that, ours don’t. We think it’s more difficult for them, but then it’s not.
It’s amazing at some of the schools that I’ve been at, you’ll spend eight hours with the teachers and you’re struggling all day and then you make this house and it’s like, “This is amazing.” The kids come in and in fifteen minutes, they have something that’s ten times more complicated than what the teacher has made.
I love the way their brains work, that’s the most awesome part to me.
You know what’s cool that is a bit underrated? A lot of kids play Minecraft, and that in itself is a 3D modeler. Even though it’s a video game, but it is essentially a 3D modeling program. That has done a lot. Even though kids are better spatial relations-wise anyway, kids that are used to manipulating things in that environment can pick up something like Tinkercad or any of the 3D modeling programs quickly.
It’s funny you say that about Minecraft. We had dinner with a good friend from college, his name is Drew also. He has a son who’s ten who was building this complex building or something like that in Minecraft. Drew said that he spent three hours, up to 1:00 in the morning trying to do it, and he’s a trained industrial designer. Of course, his kid had done it in no time at all. He was saying that he is amazed at how complex and rich that environment is.
It’s amazing. I didn’t realize quite until I started speaking with a lot of teachers and then they were talking about their students and it’s like, “It’s amazing. The kids that have experience with that, they pick up on it in two seconds.” They already know all the basics. They’ve already overcome most of the hurdles which is whatever they want to make, they can make.
Is there a way to go straight from Minecraft and then output into getting it 3D printed?
There is. It’s more of a plugin called Printcraft. It essentially lets you take objects from the Minecraft environment and export them as an STL file. You can pull that into whatever slicer software you’re using and then you can print it. Speaking of Tinkercad, there’s a section in Tinkercad where if you make something in Tinkercad, you can export it for Minecraft. You can put it into your Minecraft environment. It’s interesting to see those two worlds going back and forth.
Tinkercad is great for beginners especially. I’ll have to look at it again. I didn’t realize it had more power than I may realize. It’s important if maybe they’re inexpensive or free programs. Are there some other CAD programs that you would also recommend?
We generally pull from a list of about 4 or 5 that we use, all of which are free. When we go into schools, especially if grant money has been used on the printer and everything, there’s no money left to invest in software. We always try to stick with the free options. If you’re looking for something a bit more advanced than Tinkercad, also from Autodesk, there’s a program called 123D Design. Think of it like Tinkercad’s big brother. It has most of the Tinkercad functionality plus a couple more advanced features that you can do. You can make a bit more complex things. You can start to experiment with some more intricate CAD tools, and it also is powerful.
What else would be on your shortlist there?
We got Tinkercad. We got 123D Design. For more on the artistic side, there’s a program called Sculptris and it’s by the same makers of the program ZBrush, that’s the professional version of this software but it’s the digital sculpting program. When you open the program, you’re presented with a digital ball of clay. You have a series of brushes to push it, pull it, squeeze it, flatten it and all that. It’s different from Tinkercad and 123D design, in the sense that there are no real dimensions. If you’re making parts that fit together, that’s not the program to use. If you want to experiment with the organic shapes and especially for those who are more artistically inclined, Sculptris is fun to use. You can make some amazing things quickly.
That’s important for a lot of people, especially in more of the art world. Historically, people have thought about CAD as being in the engineering world and maybe the architecture world and all that. Those CAD programs that work that way are great and are important, but there is an important artistic element and you may have to use more than one program to accomplish the things that you may want to of having things that function a certain way, and then having them have the right appearance.
Being able to go back and forth between the programs, you can make some awesome things. That’s definitely a real problem. People see 3D printing, they see CAD and they think, “That’s probably high school technology, robotics program.” The other side of it, which has been some amazing things, the artistic side of it, people don’t think about right away. I was at a training, I was working with a local community college and there was an art professor there who was clearly told that she had to be there and was not particularly interested in being in the training at all. When we pulled up Sculptris and we started playing with it, it blew her mind. She was like, “This is amazing. This is something I do. I teach real sculpting and being able to take a 3D scan of my students’ sculptures and then digitally modify them and iterate on them, that’s an amazing project to work on.” That had her hooked right away.
You need to make sure that’s in every presentation you make. For people all too often, 3D modeling is not being artistic. In a lot of ways, it’s not artistic, it’s more engineering.
That’s because of the way the CAD software itself is built. This one is different.
Modeling, once you learn the tools, is as simple as breathing probably. It’s a matter of doing what you see in your mind’s eye. That’s fantastic. I’m all for it. I’m glad you mentioned the artistic ones. Is there any more before we move on to another subject?
I’m going to have a whole bunch of others that I could discuss. We only have the one that is important to touch on is a program called OpenSCAD. The reason I say it’s important to mention this one is because it’s different than all the ones that I’ve mentioned so far, where you’re directly interacting with the model you’re making. What you do is you write in simple code in a console, and when you compile that code, it spits out a 3D model. For those that are intimidated by the fact of pulling into 3D space and starting to push and pull and make things and especially people that have the math or coding or computer science brain, it can be an awesome tool to get what they envision into a 3D form.
It’s the opposite end of the spectrum from the artistic one we talked about.
This is very technical, but you can do powerful things. The cool thing is because you’re writing all the code and if you imagine you have a code window on the left and then you have your window view on the right, and because you’re writing out, you’re describing your 3D model on the left-hand side. You can go back and make little modifications to it. You have this parametric design that you’re working with and go back and change a variable and you see that it could have a dramatic impact on what the output of your model is. It’s interesting. I’ve seen some math teachers teach Cartesian coordinates this way and plotting in 3D space this way. It can be a cool application for math and computer science, something like that.
The thing I like about OpenSCAD, I’m not a real user of it but I’ve seen and read other projects, is how you can use it to perform different operations on an existing model to customize it, add some text to it and things like that. That to me is exciting.
One of the things that we had talked with a teacher, Cindi Schulze, who had been on the podcast about the idea that there’s a percentage of students who will take to it, and how you can support them. I’m a big proponent of support at home as a parent. I don’t think that you could possibly dive in with enough classroom time to learn how to properly design in CAD. Art and design in general, in that way, from my experience, it’s not something that you do in a classroom. You end up sketching in your sketchbook overnight. Those that are coding, we’ve heard from someone at Code.org, also thinks the same way that the support at home is the most critical factor to getting that to germinate and grow into a budding 3D designer, 3D printer one day. What do you think about that and the idea of home support?
Cindi mentioned the students that will take to it. I’ve seen that at almost every school that I’ve either spoken to or visited, that there’s 1 or 2 or maybe 3 students that grab on to the idea. Making sure that as a teacher, you give them the resources or point them in the right direction and make sure that the parents are well aware of that as well. Making sure they know about all the 3D modeling software that’s out there and making sure they know about Thingiverse and what they can find on there and how to best use it. Allow them to use the technology whenever you can when they’re in school. That can lead to somebody taking hold of it and building some real-world skills.
One thing that’s awesome that I was talking to a teacher about is she had two students who were interested in the 3D printer when they got in their classroom. What she did was, previous to having them got interested in it, she took all the STL files from all of her students who were designing things and she would process them, make sure they would print well. She set them up for the printer and then print them. What she started to do, she started to give some of those jobs to those two students who stepped up as the 3D printing experts. At home, they would have these extra credit assignments of taking other student’s files, preparing them for printing so that in the morning, the print files were all set. The teacher was able to double-check them quick and then set up the print. That was a cool way to promote them and give them a little bit of confidence without burdening them with too much stuff and something that they’re excited about.
That’s like 3D teachers’ assistants.
They were 6th or 7th-grade students. These are not high school seniors. These are kids that took to it. I thought that was an easy way to say like, “You guys are good at this, why don’t you be the ones that look at all the files and make sure they’re good and then set them off?”
I am excited about the next generation and how they’re going to design differently and think differently. I’m excited about it. It’s the reason why I’m passionate about 3D printing. As a designer myself of consumer products, I see that potential absolutely changing everything we make and touch. Whoever’s got the passion for it, let’s give them all the resources we can.
It is fascinating. If you got 2nd, 3rd, 4th-grade students seeing that 3D printing is like, “That’s another thing to make things.” Having that mindset early on is going to be unbelievable. Who knows what those students are going to be doing years from now?
You have an announcement to make. You have something new that you’re promoting out called a Makeathon.
We are announcing a series of summer STEAM Makeathon. MakerBot is going to be hosting these in different cities around the country. To start, we have one in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, DC and Denver. You were talking about how there’s a lack of resources, there’s a lack of community sharing of content from teacher to teacher with regard to 3D printing or similar STEM-focused technology in the classroom. What the idea of these summer Makeathon is to get teachers in these areas together into the same place and to build some lesson plans, projects and content together, then host that and share it with the rest of the community. Even getting a couple of teachers and picking their brains about what projects they have done or want to do, you come up with these amazing things. I can only imagine if you’re in a high school in Denver and you’ve got 100 people there coming up with lesson plans, what’s going to come out of that. It’s going to be exciting.
This is meant for teachers to get together and learn from each other.
The idea is going to be targeted at educators to come there and work with each other and collaborate to build some lesson plans.
Can we get the schedule for that to share with our audience? These are some big cities across the country. A teacher may have to travel from Southern California to San Francisco or from Michigan to Chicago or something, but it might well be worth it. If they can plan in advance, that would be great.
I will give you the tentative dates and then I’ll make sure to send you the link with the actual signup so that you can share that with the audience too. New York is dated for May 21st and 22nd. San Francisco for June 4th and 5th. Chicago, on June 11th and 12th. Washington, DC on June 18th and 19th. Denver on June 25th. That is the same time that the conference is supposed to be in Denver as well. We’re going to tag along with that.
Do teachers have to pay to come to this? How does that work?
There is a fee. It’s going to be a $50 fee. That money is going to go toward funding a school in the area, giving a MakerBot Replicator through a company that we’ve been working with to provide them. It’s more to reserve your space so we can give back to the community rather than trying to make money or something like that.
That seems a reasonable enough fee.
I hope that the school districts and the schools see the benefit to sending their teachers to this and pay them for their time there too as well. That’s one of the things missing for a lot of teachers is that you’re asking them to do this on their own time, and they don’t necessarily have the support from that perspective. They’ve got a lot going on. For them to take the time to learn something new, as valuable as that is, they need to be paid for that time. I hope the school districts out there following this take that seriously and pay to send your teachers there.
The things that teachers can come away with this, thinking of two days together with other teachers developing specific content for this new technology that we know has a huge impact and can have a huge impact in education and starting to have a huge impact in education, that’s valuable. I hope that the administration of all the schools supports their teachers in doing so.
Another thing that I’m a proponent of is that parent-teachers organizations that those are great ways to bring that learning back to the entire district and to the entire school, they can also be sponsored by their PTAs.
Drew, this has been great. That’s a lot of great information jam-packed into an episode here that would be useful for a lot of our audience, I do appreciate it. We definitely would like to keep in touch with you as time goes on, as things develop and have you as a recurring guest here.
That would be great. Thank you for having me.
That interview covered a lot of different things when you think about it. We covered a wide area.
We covered projects, software and resources. What was interesting, he said it right at the beginning, is that most of these things are regardless of grade level, which is such an interesting idea that it isn’t any different to teach it at the basic level to the advanced level. It’s different in terms of how you teach it and what you’re teaching, but the fundamentals of implementing 3D printing and needing an entry point, needing these things, and needing these resources isn’t different across those different grade levels. All teachers need it.
Everybody has the same issues. They may find different little gateways into it. Obviously, modifying Vinny Garrison’s project for the CO2 car is not going to be something you’re going to do probably at the elementary school level, it’s probably a middle or high school level thing. There are things like that to be done at all these levels. Once teachers find some of those resources and experience how to get started then it’s going to be like a boulder rolling downhill.
When you think about a project like that, that’s the kind of project that I love because you can do so much with it in terms of lessons. You have the opportunity to learn, in that particular case we were talking, about lightening the weight. How the weight translates into distance and speed.
There are many great things these students can learn regarding infill percentage and structure of that, and then the weight of the results of that.
It could go even farther than that. You could have an art part of it by saying, “What happens when you do design applications to the way something looks? Do you get better wind resistance or less wind resistance in that particular case, or do stripes on the side of it look cooler as they’re going by you? Make it looks like the cars are going faster.” There’s a whole visual element that you can throw and add a little bit of art and design to something. A project like that has a broad reach of various things that you can address. You can do it by saying, “We’re going to judge on these separate criteria.” We have criteria that are science-based, criteria that are technology-based, criteria that are art-based. When you have those judging criteria, it pushes the students who are most interested in one of those things to do something in that area. It gives them a chance to be successful.
You gave me a fantastic idea to augment that CO2 car project. I don’t know how they do it. It must be a complication how they puncture both at the same time exactly. I’m sure there are a lot of false starts there.
I have to start a picture of something that comes down and it pierces at the same moment.
They must have that worked out. I want to look that up. He said they’d take off and they go fast. Wouldn’t it be a great physics project if they made some structures on that car that you were trying to make the slowest car? The one that would get across the distance the slowest, even though you’ve got all this CO2 pressure forcing it and making it go. Let’s make something that is counteracting that. It’s a little different version of a project.
This is why it’s critically important to get these curriculum and project ideas into an area which teachers already are, because when you get there, then they’re going to come up with these fabulous ideas. They already know their students. They already know their curriculum. They know what they want to get across. They know what the mission. They have to teach this semester and next semester. That’s why you have to get those tools and resources into the right place. There’s a mismatch between that and that is the gaping hole. It’s moving that into a platform that is not being housed by a manufacturer. I’m thrilled that a manufacturer like MakerBot and even ROBO 3D investing and Cindi Schulze’s project through STEAM Maker Workshop, all of those things. I’m glad that the manufacturers are at least recognizing that and doing something, but it’s still not the right place to be and that is a huge miss.
The teachers do need an online community at least and then they each have their local community. All kinds of people are trying to reach out to them in their local community, but they need a community to come to. Hopefully, 3D Start Point is a place where you all can come together and try to get information and share information. Maybe we need to think about how we can facilitate that a little bit better. They need a place to go to. There are other places like you mentioned, there are Thingiverse groups. We’ve mentioned that on a past podcast that there are Thingiverse groups for teachers, but it’s not easy to find.
This is something that we want to throw out and make sure that our followers know about, that we are filling our directory at 3D Start Point. We’re filling it with resources in all sorts of areas. We will put in a specific section for educators. If I understand that the way the directory structure is, there’s already a spot for things like STEAM Maker Workshop and Vocademy and that these supplemental community groups, there’s already a spot for those. There needs to be a spot where teachers get together and other things like that. If you have any of those, if you know of any, you’re an educator, you have one of those in your local community or in your school district, let’s throw them out there. We’ll try and make sure that other teachers have a way to connect in with you and to do some of those things. We’ll be a conduit for that if we can do anything to help you with that.
The directory is not up yet to be clear, it is being built and it will be up. We’ll make sure to let you know as soon as it does go up.
We’re building it so send us the info.
Let us know the information. That was great to cover not only some of the projects and the gateways for teachers to get into integrating 3D printing in their curriculum, but also to cover the software because that’s something we haven’t covered enough on WTFFF?! and that to hear somebody who’s talking about it all the time. Drew Lentz is from MakerBot, that’s true, but he is into any which way that he can promote 3D printing and education. None of those software are a MakerBot product. They’re all free software available to all of you. Those are some great resources and recommendations.
As always, you can find us anywhere on social media, @HazzDesign, send us your info or anything like that. We’ll probably find a video of this car, I’m sure. These CO2 cart projects, I can’t wait to see it myself. If you want to send us any of that directory information, send it through the submitted questions section of 3DStartPoint.com.
Don’t forget, a quick mention about the Maker Milestones that Tracy and I are judging, that’s coming up. That #MakerMilestones on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, put your projects up there and you get a chance to win a MakerBot 3D printer. You get a chance to come on and be a guest on WTFFF?! We want to see more of these great projects.
We want to hear from some followers and see what you guys are doing for a change instead of just hearing from yourself. Let’s see more. Thanks again for reading.
- Drew Lentz
- MakerBot in the Classroom
- Cindi Schulze – past episode
- ROBO 3D
- @HazzDesign on Facebook
About Drew Lentz
Drew is the manager of the MakerBot Learning team, and has been working at MakerBot for the past 2 years. He and his team travel the world teaching people about 3D printing and how it is being used today. Prior to MakerBot, he worked as a middle school science teacher and is particularly passionate about getting 3D printers integrated into schools across the world.
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