No more Flat Stanleys! For many years, thousands of students have sent paper “Flat Stanleys” on visits around the world as a part of global collaboration projects. But now, with a 3D printer, student created characters can travel the world simply by sharing a 3D file which could be printed by anyone around the world with a 3D printer!
Our class has created four 3D jointed characters using the free Thingmaker app (link for the Android version). We are looking for other classrooms with 3D printers who would be willing to print one of our characters and then share a photo (or even a story) showing that character visiting your classroom. (Photos could be shared via Twitter to @karlyb or via email to kbosch at southfieldchristian.org.) The profiles and links for the 3D .stl files are below. I also am including some more detailed information on creating and printing the characters at the bottom of the post.
ABOUT THIS PROJECT
Students used the free Thingmaker app to design their jointed characters. The interface is very simple to use. Students simply select and drag parts from the top right corner and join them together. They can use their finger to twist and move the figure around on the screen.
The app creates a link to a webpage address where you can download all the parts in a zip file for printing.
We printed the parts on our Dremel Ideabuilder 3D40 printer. Students are fascinated to watch the printer at work. It took between 4 and 5 hours to print each character.
Here’s what the finished print looks like. Student had a great time assembling the parts together to make their characters. The fact that the characters are jointed and actually move is very engaging for students. They are very excited to move on to the next part of the project which is going to be creating animated stories featuring their characters. Stay tuned to see their videos!
(NOTE: We did have difficulty getting a few of the more complicated parts to print correctly and had to reprint a few individual parts a second time. Some parts needed to be rotated/flipped to get a more precise print.)
Disclosure: As a part of the Dremel 3D Idea Builder Ambassadors program, our school is receiving the use of the 3D printer for one year. If you are interested in learning more about the Dremel Idea Builder 3D40 printer, you may contact https://3dprinter.dremel.com/education-request. I’d appreciate it if you noted Karen Bosch/this blog post as a referral in the comments/questions section at the bottom of the form. Thanks!