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Education is more then 2D!

3D printing projects / Gifted Education / Science & Technology / Remedial Teaching

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1. Introduction of the project

"De Alant" a class for gifted education started in 2011-2012 a 3D-project with two guest speakers, Erik de Bruijn and Martijn Elserman with their open source 3D printer the Ultimaker*.



Erik de Bruijn told us about the making of the Ultimaker and the importance of open source (also hardware). The speed at wich knowledge is shared is now more important than the possession of information.  Everyone can contribute in the development of the machine by experimenting and designing new objects.

 Eric told us enthusiastically and showed images. Afterwards, the kids had a first experience with 3D drawing and then 3D printing. The children had prepared some questions in advance. If the questions were not answered in the chat then they could still ask them. Of course there were more questions. Erik and Martijn gave very honest answers. Even later on in the project we were still inspired by those answers.

* Ultimaker: It’s a fast, high-detail, portable, affordable, open source 3d printer.

If you want to watch or listen to Erik yourself (Dutch): 




2. Start

The start of the project toke place in the classroom of the “Alant”.

Sixteen children, aged 8 to 12 years and one teacher (Manuela van den Bos) started to make a mind map.

2.1 Accessories

 What you really need:

- An enthusiastic group of children (divide the children into groups (A, B, C, D, E and later on F)

- An equally enthusiastic teacher who focuses on the process and can coach children

- A blackboard and colored chalk or an alternative of this

- A construction kit of Ultimaker

- Some extra screwdrivers

- Bags for small parts to keep

- To make mistakes as part of the learning process (You really get to know the product!)

- One computer per group to read the Assembly guide:





Not necessary:

- All prior knowledge of 3D printers

- Fear of making mistakes because you make them anyway


2.2 Mindmap

If you start a similar project then is making a mindmap is an important part to align with each other and align with the goals (group targets, individual goals). Mindmapping is in fact a method and process to goal setting that allows for greater clarity. Focus and brings out the natural resources of motivation buried deep within you. It is much more then just listing down  a few words. A mind map for goal setting is a great tool for brainstorming your wishes and desires. To do a Mind Map for goal setting, all you need is a blackboard. Make sure there are no lines on it (as that will impose a ‘structure’ on your thinking, which we don’t want)

picture: This is our mindmap (from the children)


Draw a "circle" in the middle and write in it. This is the key thought for the Mind Map. Now, draw lines radiating out from this circle and at the end of each one of lines, write an aspect you want to consider. Leave lots of space so you can start to fill it in.