Research and Designing

Today was rather productive. Students started sketching possible designs. As they sketched, I noticed that some where really sure of what they are doing and they even knew what artistic medium they want to use in their artwork. I also noticed that some needed some guidance in working out their concept. One example in particular:

A young lady in my class folded her paper in half. She started to draw a waterfall, the sun setting, and some trees on one half and on the other half, she added a pond. I was a little confused on where she was going with this and I was relieved to hear a student inquiring about her project. The student asked her about her project and which part was going to be printed using the 3D printer. She stated that she was going to print ducks using the flexible filament so that the ducks are actually ‘rubber ducks’. She wants to attach the ducks in a pond that is formed by the waterfall. She also wants to show the sun setting in the background. So the student asked, where are you going to place the ducks. The young lady replied, “I’m placing the ducks in the pond”. Still confused, the student asked, why did you fold the paper. She replied, “This will be similar to a pop-up book.”

Due to the duration of my research (2 weeks), I informed students about thingiverse.com. This site house many design files created by various designers. The great thing about this site is that you have the option of customizing a design of your choice. Some students plan to use designs from this site and some students plan to make their own design. Students started browsing the website today and was excited to see various designs files that are ready for print. I do have some students who plan to create their own designs. Students who plan to make their own design are printing 3D words/text. They started searching for fonts and some sketched out various handwritten text. I had some students to complete their sketch and they scanned their drawings into the computer. I have some that found the typeface they plan to use and they started typing their saying/quote in Adobe Illustrator. Those that finished typing their designs in Adobe Illustrator transferred their designs to Google SketchUp and started transforming it to 3D. Those that scanned their drawings use Adobe Illustrator to live trace their designs before making it 3D in Google SketchUp. I still have some students who are still searching for designs.

I created a Pinterest board named “3D Printer Art” and I added each student to the board. For their homework, they are required to pin a minimum of 5 images of 3D printed art. Along with pinning the image, they are required to write a description of the image (artist name, what it is…).  I pinned a few examples to get them started.

This was an interesting day. I realized that collecting research is not an easy challenge. At times I felt that I missed an interesting conversation between students. One thing that is helping is the use of the index cards. Having students to reflect on their project after each tradition to a different step is really great. During my down time at home, I reflect on the cards and see what I may have missed in class.

Next week, students will start printing using the 3D printer and creating their actual artwork.

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