This year, my school purchased not one, not two, but five 3D printers. All of them, the same model, the XYZ DaVinci Duo printer. As an EdTech specialist, and self-proclaimed 'king-nerd' of the office, I chose to learn what I could to get them useable in learning activities in the classroom.
So... here is a bit of where I came from, and where I got to... and a few of the 'how-to-fix' things I figured out. Am I an expert? Probably not. But, this is what I learned this year.
.STL files are a pretty standard file for 3D printing. Basically, your 3D printer is printing lots of little triangles, stacked and arranged in different ways to build your model. But, there are different types of STL files. The XYZ printer likes ASCII STL files. So, if you are downloading... conversion may be required.
Getting 3D designs made is a challenge, but there are a lot of tools. A number of them come from AutoDesk for free. Here are a few I like:
123D Design this Application is Mac/PC and iPad... and pretty good. It has lots of pieces that can be used as templates to create things like cars and airplanes, as well as regular shapes and lettering. Tutorials from AutoDesk are here
Google Sketchup probably just as easy as 123D Design. I tended to stick to the 123D software, but a number of students at my school liked this application.
Why not design on a touch screen! The interface is much more compliant for manipulating designs. I really like the interface of designing 3D objects on tablets, where laptops just are not the same feel.
123D Design discussed before, is also available for the Mac. This app also allows you to save your STL files to a Dropbox account.
Both Autodesk 123D apps discussed, allow you to upload your designs to a free Autodesk cloud account. Getting your designs off your tablet and onto your laptop is important, and AutoDesk makes it easier with their cloud service. The Meshmixer application, discussed in the Printing section, allows you to download your files directly in the application. Or just by logging into your Autodesk account, and downloading your files.
Gravity Sketch This seems like a great app for 3D modelling. It has much promise to create designs, without too much hassle. I have tried it, but haven't gotten to the point of printing anything yet... Tutorials are here.
Tinkercad is another Autodesk product... This works online, and gives some good, and basic designs. It does not have as fancy of an interface, but is a good product for younger learners, or possibly Chromebook users. Here is TinkerCad's learning portal
'Olivia and the dolphin' by Art Schultz all rights reserved.
Photos can be our treasured memories. But, they also take up a lot of digital space. Digital cameras can make huge file sizes, often filling our computers and cloud space. How do you keep your keepsakes, but not lose them when your computer dies? How do I share my images?
This session talks about ways that we can hold on to these treasures, and look at the new application on the block 'Google Photos'. There are some good tools, and free ones too! Let's look at the tool that meets your needs.
Want easy tools to make awesome displays? Want students to output data collected in an interesting way? How the heck do I get that big thing to print out on my teeny-tiny printer? All things answered here.
canva.com A website that creates great graphics, without much hassle. Does have in-app purchases, but they can be avoided easily.
color.adobe.com Keep your colors collected! Also has an iOS app, that allows you to upload images to create your custom color palette.
rasterbator.net Don't let the name put you off. This is a website that allows you to create poster sized images, with an A4 desktop printer. This feature can also be done in Adobe Acrobat, but this does not add in some of rasterbater's filters.
Professional Development isn't meant to be boring. It needs to be relevant. Our session is about building PD at your school that meets your school's needs. Professional Development is about creating a learning community within your school. Not drop-in, after hours, forced training. You are 'just in-time' to help create a vibrant professional development plan for your school!