Part of my work at Barnard’s Design Center (and other teaching capacities) involves creating dynamic makerspace activities and lessons; when I’m able, I’ll throw creative commons links to my slides and lesson plans, in the hopes that it helps other makerspace folks out there.
Please note: all of my lesson plans, slides, and activities are licensed under a CC-By-. I get a lot of my materials from amazing folks who share their scholarship and work online, so please do the same & pay it forward if you use any of these.
Getting Started: 2D Carving + 3D Printing
Lesson style: this workshop was a one-off, 1hr 30m session that introduced students to a CNC machine and 3D printing. I tried to keep it simple by relegating the hardware to two basic components: how it cuts/works, and what file type it takes. Then I broke it down into two group activities where students searched for pre-created files at thenounproject.com and thingiverse.com, then practiced cutting on the Carvey + loading 3D printed files into Cura (slicing software), and then onto our Ultimaker machines.
- Hands on: Students loved getting their hands on tools and files during each activity.
- Rapid prototyping: By encouraging a kind of rapid movement through the activities, students learned that you can get up and running pretty fast.
- Lack of time: even moving quickly, we still ran out of time. I’d make this session 2 hours if I ever teach it again.
- Challenging software: it’s tough teaching fundamentals and process without spending too much time on software. I sacrificed showing the intricacies of Adobe & Cura to move students along more quickly, but it means they likely wouldn’t be able to reproduce those files on their own later.
Overall: I think this session is a great fit for introducing some cool technologies to folks in approachable ways. Nearly all of my attendees hadn’t used Illustrator, Cura, or any of our hardware before, so I was happy they walked away at least knowing these tools weren’t as intimidating as they originally thought.