Redesign That: SketchUp in Schools #txed

SketchUp Pro

“We’re going to redesign our Spot’s dog house this holiday break!”
“What do you have so far?” I asked. My colleague held out a legal pad, crude drawings marring the perfect yellow pages. If you’re going to be re-arranging a dog house or your living room to fit a Christmas tree, take a look at SketchUp Make and SketchUp Pro, available for free to K-12 public schools.

Get SketchUp

With a Google account, you can do the interior design work using the newly-released My.SketchUp.com. And if you want the full power of SketchUp Pro (a $695 value), fill out a short form through TCEA. Private schools can obtain SketchUp Pro EDU licenses for as low as $15 per seat per year.

Use SketchUp on Chromebooks, Windows, and Mac

Available for Mac and Windows computers, SketchUp Pro now comes as a web version usable on Chromebooks. What’s more, SketchUp Mobile Viewer ($13.99) allows SketchUp models to be viewed on the iPad.
As my colleague put it, “Google SketchUp is 3D modeling software that lets you create anything you can imagine. It’s powerful enough to build complex projects, yet is easy to learn and use.” Their work appears in SketchUp’s 3D Warehouse, which houses millions of models. Simple enough to use that grade 3 through adult learners rely on SketchUp for a variety of tasks. SketchUp can be integrated into different classes.

Make Creative TEKS Connections

Classes such as, art, science, history, geography, and math are just some of the perfect venues for learning with this free software. Some ideas of how you might want to use it in your classroom are available at TCEA’s SketchUp Resources. Curriculum projects can align to the Technology Applications:TEKS in Grade 6, such as defined below:
Creativity and Innovation: The student uses creative thinking and innovative processes to construct knowledge, generate new ideas, and create products. The student is expected to…
(C) explore complex systems or issues using models, simulations, and new technologies to make predictions, modify input, and review results
You can find teacher guides that provide specific models.

Explore More Features

For children with autism, Project Spectrum shares powerful examples of student creativity made possible. SketchUp Pro can also be used for 3D modeling and printing. Students can create designs in SketchUp, then save them as OBJ files. These can then be opened in your 3D printer’s software (e.g. Makerbot) and printed. Talk about authentic learning!
SketchUp Pro also supports design templates for 3D printing, making it a simple matter to create to scale. You can also export designs in 3D Warehouse to STL file format for 3D printing. Doing so helps clean up your design before beginning to print. Another neat feature involves interacting with holograms. Visualize design data and collaborate with others using SketchUp Pro with Microsoft Hololens.

Conclusion

SketchUp makes creating models for sharing, and printing. Prepare your children for the future and introduce them to it today!
Special thanks to Taylor and Brian Wright for sharing their use of SketchUp to create real structures via their blog.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Holiday Flyers: Microsoft, Chromebook, 3D Printing, Makers

I had a lot of fun making these flyers using Powerpoint. It was the first time I’d ever used Powerpoint to create flyers, believe it or not!

Note: These were published as a series of blog entries at TCEA.org Technotes Blog! TCEA.org is a non-profit education organization. Check it out at http://www.tcea.org/blog. In the interests of full disclosure, Miguel Guhlin serves as a Director of Professional Development; find out more about his work at http://ly.tcea.org/connect

While some report that 3D printing isn’t a thing anymore, it remains one of the top tech trends for the foreseeable future. That may be because 3D printers are finding their way into classrooms and homes with startling alacrity. This blog entry shares a few choices for printers, design tools, and sources, as well as mobile device apps.
merry

3D Printers for Home

Wondering what printers you can get for your home? Consider these three offerings, ranging from least expensive to most expensive. The Dremel IdeaBuilder packs a punch to your wallet, but offers the most flexibility and versatility in its options. The Mod T also has adherents who praise its small size as perfect for your office desk. Whether you’re looking for a home printer, or considering a small 3D printer for the classroom, there’s something available to match your budget.

Looking for 3D Printing Designs and Tools?

Look no further than Thingiverse and 3D Warehouse! They have literally thousands of designs already created and ready to modify or use as is. And if you want to design your own, consider these two programs for use on your device of choice:
  • Tinkercad – A wonderfully easy to use, web-based 3D printing tool.
  • SketchUp Pro – This $695 program for Mac and Windows computers is available at NO CHARGE to K-12 public schools! Click the link to find out more about TCEA’s offer.
  • My SketchUp – This browser-based version works great on Chromebooks and is available at no charge.

3D Printable Ornaments

Never worry about breaking glass ornaments again with 3D filament-based tree decorations. These curios are easy to design, modify, and print for home and office. More importantly, they make it easy to print take-home designs for students.
Find more designs online with these apps at Thingiverse using their iOS app (free) , and 3D Warehouse using SketchUp Viewer for iOS ($14.99).

  1. Free Office 365 Account: Students and teachers get the online versions of Office plus 1TB online storage for free! Get it at http://office.com/teachers 
  2. Office Mix: You can add Office Mix to Powerpoint 2016 to create screencasts, video, narrated slide shows, and more! Get it at http://mix.office.com 
  3. Office Lens: Get this document scanner and whiteboard capture tool! You can save to PDF, Mail, Photo Library, as well as Immersive Reader, OneNote, and Office apps. Get it via your mobile device in the iOS App store, Google Play Store, or Windows Store. 
  4. OneNote: A fantastic app for keeping track of every day notes, collaborative lesson planning, and online notebooks. Add OneNote 2016 and Immersive Reader to reach various populations of students! Get it at http://onenote.com 
  5. Sway: A joy to use, Microsoft Sway presents an alternative presentation and storytelling tool. Use any mobile device to create web-friendly, simple yet powerful content for others. Get started at http://sway.com 
  6. Touch Develop: Combined with the Creative Coding through Games and Apps (CCGA) curriculum, create engaging apps that work on any device. Get started at http://ly.tcea.org/ccga 
  7. Microsoft Selfie: For your iOS device, this app makes taking beautiful images possible with automatic touchup features. Get it at http://ly.tcea.org/iosselfie 
  8. Docs.com: Create Sway powered web pages, share Office365 documents, and more with others. Get started at http://docs.com 
  9. Translator: Overcome the language barrier. Use your camera, voice, or keyboard to translate on-the-go, even without an Internet connection. Get it in the iOS, Android or Windows Store. 
  10. OneNote Web Clipper: Clip web page content and save it directly to your OneNote Notebook using Clipper. Get it online at https://www.onenote.com/clipper 
  11. Snip: Why just show when  you can show-and-tell? Share your idea in 3 easy steps or less! Get it at http://mix.office.com/snip 
  12. Fresh Paint: Create anything–original artwork, turn photos into beautiful paintings, and more! Get it in the Windows Store. 


magic
  

Build It!
1.KEVA Planks: Model construction creativity with KEVA Planks, cuboid wooden block toys for children. Explore STEM lessons at http://www.kevaplanks.com/stem
2.Play Well with Legos : Use legos to build marble runs, craft poetry bricks and more. And get Lego Digital Designer – http://ldd.lego.com/en-us/
3.Makedo Cardboard Kit : Use Makedo to make magical cardboard creations! Find out more at https://www.make.do Also explore digital origami tools!
Make It Digital!
4.BeeBot Model coding with the BeeBot floor robot. Check out available curriculum!
5.Ozobot A tiny robot that makes coding approachable for youngsters! http://ozobot.com and…
One bonus tip:
6. Minecraft- Education Edition :Use Minecraft to create and design objects in 3D virtual space. Learn more about the possibilities at http://ly.tcea.org/tceamee
Get access to more cool maker ideas at http://ly.tcea.org/makermagic

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Easy Answers to FAQs about 3D Printing

Getting started with 3D printing or thinking about it? There are tons of resources online, as well as Diigo groups where resources are shared frequently. Check out the TCEA resources available here and here. And then read below to find answers to the most common 3D printing questions.

#1 – Where can I get a 3D printer?

There are various printers available, but the one recommended by Mark Simmons (Director of Technology, Sabine Pass ISD) is the Dremel 3D printerFind a comparison table of 3D printers online. Specific recommendations are at the end of this article.

#2 – How does 3D printing work? How do I get started?

Once you have your 3D printer, you will need to use special software to create print files that tell the printer how to proceed and make things. There are many tools available, among them TinkerCAD, which is a web-based software package that is easy for young learners to start with.
Tinkercad is an amazingly powerful easy-to-use tool for creating digital designs that are ready to be 3D printed into super-cool physical objects. You will be guided through the 3D design process via easy hands-on “Lessons” that teach you the basics of Tinkercad before moving on to more complex modeling techniques. Read more.
Then, after learning to manipulate objects in 3D space, you can try other software. You can find a list of other software programs, including how to get SketchUp Pro for free for your school or district via TCEA. Many of these have to be installed on your computer, but there are also mobile apps you can use to digitize objects and put them into a 3D space.
Once you have created an object, you can print it. For classroom purposes, limit your students to objects that will print in less than four hours (think small!).

#3 – What are some helpful vocabulary terms one encounters when using 3D printers?

There are various terms that you do not necessarily need to know. Refer to the glossary at the end of this blog for a general list of terms. Some of the key ones to know include “build plate,” “filament,” “extrusion or print nozzle,” and “extruder arm.” It is also important to know that there are several types of filament, which resembles weedeater cord.

#4 – What can I realistically print?

You can print anything you have a design for, realizing that for more complex designs, you will have to print each component of a design separately and then assemble it.
You have several choices:
  • Design something yourself using 3D printer software (e.g. TinkerCAD or SketchUp Pro). You can also use a free app like 123D Catch (iOS) to capture an object using your mobile device, and then digitize it for printing.
  • Download a file from the web that’s already designed so that you can modify and print it (e.g. ThingverseCookieCaster).
  • Collaborate with others to co-design a 3D project, such as to help design a prosthetic device.

quote2#5 – What are some of the costs of 3D printing?

If you are hoping to get an idea for the cost of a 3D printer, you may want to look at some of the ones listed on Amazon. Here are a few popular printers:
There are less expensive 3D printers you can get for your home, of course. Also, consider these additional items:
  • Filament (approx. $25): The cost of a spool of filament, the source material for the 3D print.
  • Build Tape ($25): This is what goes on the non-heated glass surface of your 3D printer to facilitate removal of printed items. You can usually skip this if you have a heated glass surface (a.k.a. build plate or print bed).
For post-processing a printed item, you may also want to have on hand the following:
  • 3D Print Removal Tool ($6) – Helps you scrape off items from the print bed.
  • Plastic putty – Helps you hide the seam in larger items. You can sand it down to cover a stream. Use 120 grit sandpaper when sanding items.
  • Spray paint or enamel

Conclusion

Getting started with 3D printing can be expensive, obviously, but there are many ideas for curriculum integration. Be sure to review the resources here.

References

  • Source for Trudi Lawless quote
  • Source for prosthetic hand quote

Glossary of 3D Printing Terms

  • Build plate (a.k.a. print bed) – This is the glass your 3D-printed creation will be built on.
  • Dremel Build Tape – This is the tape used to cover the glass (the “bed” or “build plate”) upon which the 3D-printed object will rest. Non-heated print beds normally need to be covered in blue tape (painter’s tape) or even Kapton tape (i.e. polyimide tape – very heat resistant) in order to make the print stick to the print bed. The tape helps with initial adhesion of the thermoplastic and keeps everything in place during the print. The object needs to be firmly fixed to the print bed, as the slightest movement of the printed object itself will most probably result in a botched-up print. As the adhesion factor of the blue tape wears out quickly, it needs to be replaced regularly.
  • Dremel Multi-Tool ($20) – This facilitates removal of the 3D printed item from the print bed.
  • Extrusion or print nozzle – This refers to the nozzle from which the filament emerges. Also known as the “hot end.”
  • Extruder – The extruder is actually the part that is responsible for feeding the filament into the so-called “hot-end.” See diagram shown right. (Source)
  • Extruder arm – This is the arm to which the extrusion nozzle–where the filament is distributed from onto the build plate–is attached. The arm moves in the prearranged design, laid out in layers.
  • FDM – Fused Deposition Model refers to the type of 3D printer. FDM printers use a thermoplastic filament, which is heated to its melting point and then extruded, layer by layer, to create a three-dimensional object. “Objects created with an FDM printer start out as computer-aided design (CAD) files. Before an object can be printed, its CAD file must be converted to a format that a 3D printer can understand — usually .STL format”. (Source)
  • FFF – Fused Filament Fabrication is another way of referring to an FDM 3D printer, except the term isn’t copyrighted or trademarked. “FFF printers are by far the most common 3D printer type used for home 3D printing, i.e. desktop 3D printers. If you are thinking of buying your own 3D printer, a FFF is most likely the technology that you will end up using. Fused Filament Fabrication is nothing but a fancy word to describe a process by which a machine deposits a filament (picture something like a small string) of a certain material (normally thermoplastics, wax, or similar products) on top or next to the same material in order to create a joint by heat and/or adhesion. Thermoplastics are plastics which become semi-liquid above a specific temperature and return to a solid state when cooling down.” (Source for quotes above about FFF and diagram shown right)
  • Filament: There are several types of filament, including the following:
    • PLA – This is “pretty” filament, food safe and plastic.
    • ABS – This is strong and is what is usually used for logos. It has toxins, so it’s not safe for food storage items (e.g. mugs).
    • PLA/PHA – Strong and pretty looking.
    • Co-Polyster – ninjaflex, rubbery
    • Composite PLA – Shavings of organic material such as copper, limestone, poplar wood, cedar, plastic. You can use this to make small objects that appear to be made of metal.
    • Filament + Perfume – These are used to get rid of the “burnt” smell and have a nice odor. Good for schools where the 3D printer is in a common area.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

3D Printing Apps

“He’s not a programmer!” cried my Mom when my father bought me a $3,000 Apple //e computer, dot matrix printer, and software (e.g. VisiCalc, The Print Shop) at age 13. “He’s terrible in math.” Would you say the same about drones and 3D printers that involve programming?

Computers, obviously, were for programming. Her words stuck with me through the years, and true enough, coding and math remain anathema to me. Having served as a technology director for many years, I can honestly say my Dad made a good investment and he passed the “vision” test.

Note: This blog entry originally published by TCEA TechNotes blog. Check it out and read all the great stuff they have online!

Can the same be said of educators in schools who say NO to drones and 3D printers because they involve GUI (a.k.a. object-oriented) programming? Consider that technology gets easier to use and less expensive over time. Look no further than the  OLO 3D Smartphone Printer for yet another marvel that may soon be in your home or classroom.
Will you pass the test when it comes to envisioning ways your students can use 3D printing technology for learning or will a too-narrow vision constrain their possibilities? Introduce your children to 3D printing with some no-cost apps on your mobile device.
  1. 123D Catch (Android/iOS): Create 3D scans of any object.
  2. 123D Design (Mac/PC/iOS): Design and edit 3D creations with this program or app.
  3. 3DMaker Case (iOS): Enables you to design and create a customized case for your mobile phone. Having paid for multiple cases for my son’s phone, enabling students to design their own would provide a great learning experience!
  4. 3D Creationist (Android/iOS): Create 3D models using basic shapes.
  5. Cubify Draw (iOS): Make 3D models using your fingers.
  6. FabZat Shop (iOS): Print 3D figurines. You design them, then order them for printing.
Additionally, other apps such as Thingiverse and Maker Amino allow you to connect with various Maker or 3D printing communities.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Easy Answers to FAQs about 3D Printing

Getting started with 3D printing or thinking about it? There are tons of resources online, as well as Diigo groups where resources are shared frequently. Check out the TCEA resources available here and here. And then read below to find answers to the most common 3D printing questions.

Note: This blog entry was first published at TCEA TechNotes, an award winning blog. Read more great stuff over there!

#1 – Where can I get a 3D printer?

There are various printers available, but the one recommended by Mark Simmons (Director of Technology, Sabine Pass ISD) is the Dremel 3D printerFind a comparison table of 3D printers online. Specific recommendations are at the end of this article.

#2 – How does 3D printing work? How do I get started?

Once you have your 3D printer, you will need to use special software to create print files that tell the printer how to proceed and make things. There are many tools available, among them TinkerCAD, which is a web-based software package that is easy for young learners to start with.
Tinkercad is an amazingly powerful easy-to-use tool for creating digital designs that are ready to be 3D printed into super-cool physical objects. You will be guided through the 3D design process via easy hands-on “Lessons” that teach you the basics of Tinkercad before moving on to more complex modeling techniques. Read more.
Then, after learning to manipulate objects in 3D space, you can try other software. You can find a list of other software programs, including how to get SketchUp Pro for free for your school or district via TCEA. Many of these have to be installed on your computer, but there are also mobile apps you can use to digitize objects and put them into a 3D space.
Once you have created an object, you can print it. For classroom purposes, limit your students to objects that will print in less than four hours (think small!).

#3 – What are some helpful vocabulary terms one encounters when using 3D printers?

There are various terms that you do not necessarily need to know. Refer to the glossary at the end of this blog for a general list of terms. Some of the key ones to know include “build plate,” “filament,” “extrusion or print nozzle,” and “extruder arm.” It is also important to know that there are several types of filament, which resembles weedeater cord.
“The Iron Throne” from Game of Thrones in TinkerCAD Gallery3D Printed Design executed by (left to right) Jim Baldoni and Wes Ryan (NorthEast ISD) at TCEA Maker on 05/25/2016.

#4 – What can I realistically print?

You can print anything you have a design for, realizing that for more complex designs, you will have to print each component of a design separately and then assemble it.
You have several choices:
  • Design something yourself using 3D printer software (e.g. TinkerCAD or SketchUp Pro). You can also use a free app like 123D Catch (iOS) to capture an object using your mobile device, and then digitize it for printing.
  • Download a file from the web that’s already designed so that you can modify and print it (e.g. ThingverseCookieCaster).
  • Collaborate with others to co-design a 3D project, such as to help design a prosthetic device.

quote2#5 – What are some of the costs of 3D printing?

If you are hoping to get an idea for the cost of a 3D printer, you may want to look at some of the ones listed on Amazon. Here are a few popular printers:
There are less expensive 3D printers you can get for your home, of course. Also, consider these additional items:
  • Filament (approx. $25): The cost of a spool of filament, the source material for the 3D print.
  • Build Tape ($25): This is what goes on the non-heated glass surface of your 3D printer to facilitate removal of printed items. You can usually skip this if you have a heated glass surface (a.k.a. build plate or print bed).
For post-processing a printed item, you may also want to have on hand the following:
  • 3D Print Removal Tool ($6) – Helps you scrape off items from the print bed.
  • Plastic putty – Helps you hide the seam in larger items. You can sand it down to cover a stream. Use 120 grit sandpaper when sanding items.
  • Spray paint or enamel

Conclusion

Getting started with 3D printing can be expensive, obviously, but there are many ideas for curriculum integration. Be sure to review the resources here.

References

  • Source for Trudi Lawless quote
  • Source for prosthetic hand quote

Glossary of 3D Printing Terms

  • Build plate (a.k.a. print bed) – This is the glass your 3D-printed creation will be built on.
  • Dremel Build Tape – This is the tape used to cover the glass (the “bed” or “build plate”) upon which the 3D-printed object will rest. Non-heated print beds normally need to be covered in blue tape (painter’s tape) or even Kapton tape (i.e. polyimide tape – very heat resistant) in order to make the print stick to the print bed. The tape helps with initial adhesion of the thermoplastic and keeps everything in place during the print. The object needs to be firmly fixed to the print bed, as the slightest movement of the printed object itself will most probably result in a botched-up print. As the adhesion factor of the blue tape wears out quickly, it needs to be replaced regularly.
  • Dremel Multi-Tool ($20) – This facilitates removal of the 3D printed item from the print bed.
  • Extrusion or print nozzle – This refers to the nozzle from which the filament emerges. Also known as the “hot end.”
  • Extruder – The extruder is actually the part that is responsible for feeding the filament into the so-called “hot-end.” See diagram shown right. (Source)
  • Extruder arm – This is the arm to which the extrusion nozzle–where the filament is distributed from onto the build plate–is attached. The arm moves in the prearranged design, laid out in layers.
  • FDM – Fused Deposition Model refers to the type of 3D printer. FDM printers use a thermoplastic filament, which is heated to its melting point and then extruded, layer by layer, to create a three-dimensional object. “Objects created with an FDM printer start out as computer-aided design (CAD) files. Before an object can be printed, its CAD file must be converted to a format that a 3D printer can understand — usually .STL format”. (Source)
  • FFF – Fused Filament Fabrication is another way of referring to an FDM 3D printer, except the term isn’t copyrighted or trademarked. “FFF printers are by far the most common 3D printer type used for home 3D printing, i.e. desktop 3D printers. If you are thinking of buying your own 3D printer, a FFF is most likely the technology that you will end up using. Fused Filament Fabrication is nothing but a fancy word to describe a process by which a machine deposits a filament (picture something like a small string) of a certain material (normally thermoplastics, wax, or similar products) on top or next to the same material in order to create a joint by heat and/or adhesion. Thermoplastics are plastics which become semi-liquid above a specific temperature and return to a solid state when cooling down.” (Source for quotes above about FFF and diagram shown right)
  • Filament: There are several types of filament, including the following:
    • PLA – This is “pretty” filament, food safe and plastic.
    • ABS – This is strong and is what is usually used for logos. It has toxins, so it’s not safe for food storage items (e.g. mugs).
    • PLA/PHA – Strong and pretty looking.
    • Co-Polyster – ninjaflex, rubbery
    • Composite PLA – Shavings of organic material such as copper, limestone, poplar wood, cedar, plastic. You can use this to make small objects that appear to be made of metal.
    • Filament + Perfume – These are used to get rid of the “burnt” smell and have a nice odor. Good for schools where the 3D printer is in a common area.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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