Silly Rabbit, 3D Printing Is For Kids.
by Ari Takata-Vasquez
Mesmerized by the idea of 3D printing? You're not alone. Before we started creating 3d printed jewelry it really did seem like magic. You create a pretend object in the computer, send it to some magical box of plastic and lasers and presto-chango, you have an object! While this is unfathomable for adults, kids don't seem to have any issue with this concept. They've been enmeshed in technology and the idea of phones with cords and actual buttons is beyond their grasp.
We're seeing this generational difference very clearly as we're teaching 8-12 year-olds how to 3D print. We partnered with STEAM factory, a new organization integrating engineering and science with the arts, to teach kids how to not only design their own wearable objects but, 3D print them, too! STEAM factory is the brain-child of Louise Mackey, a designer for Gyroscope, an Oakland firm specializing museum spaces and exhibits. The Jack London improvement district has graciously offered up their office as a classroom for STEAM factory, so it's really a community effort to create this innovative class.
We've held two classes and it's incredible to see how excited the students are to create. They have limitless creativity and so giving them the tool of 3D printing allows them to see their imagined items in real life.
Some students are creating new and improved glasses with interchangeable arms, others are creating a bracelet that fit people of all sizes and some are creating a necklace with storage for precious items.
If you were a student in our 3D printing class, what would you make?
Until next time!