Our friends at MakerClub have been running a 3D Printing workshop for quite some time, they started MakerClub in 2014 and the workshops have gone from strength to strength! Declan Cassidy wanted to let us know how things have been going and what they have learnt.
What we’ve learnt after 2 years of running 3D Printing workshops for young people…
We started MakerClub in 2014 to help inspire the next generation of young inventors, little did we know that we’d end up teaching over 1000 of them 3D Printing and robotics!
Along the way we’ve found out a few things about the process that we’d love to share with the CREATE community;
Young people are amazed by 3D Printing. When they first see one, they will stare, open mouthed, thinking about its limitless possibilities. Prepare to be inundated with questions as soon as you fire up your machine, so have answers ready, or at least know what direction to point them in.
1. It can turn even the most stubborn kids into budding engineers. We’ve seen young people who you would have never dreamed of being into technology or science, suddenly get fascinated. They have the power to change and inspire.
2. You’re never too old…or too young. We’ve seen 5 year olds and 80 year olds use our machines and both have been just as amazed as the other.
3. Lessons need to be well planned to get the best out of them. Even the biggest advocates of 3D Printing will admit that speed is not one of the current set of machines greatest attributes.
Young people get bored easily, so waiting for a print is not a good option, especially if you only have one or two machines. If you’re demonstrating something, pick a really small object that will only take 10 minutes, then get them designing stuff!
4. It represents a huge leap forward for teaching tools. While it’s still early days, it represents a quantum shift in teaching. The chance to build real, working prototypes, just like big companies do. 3D Printing changes what is possible in the classroom.
5. While Thingiverse is awesome. Designing stuff yourself is more awesomer. Get them using CAD software straight away! Its best to take those ‘stabilisers’ off before they get to into just printing stuff off these type of sites.
6. Give them a problem to fix. Start with a reason to use the machines capabilities and let them figure out their own way of solving it.
MakerClub create educational robotics kits for 3D Printers and run UK wide workshops that encourage invention in young people. They are currently working with Eaglelab’s to roll out weekly invention workshops.