Day 95: Making a World

Thursday, 21 January 2016


We had a last minute opportunity to visit the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) for their Designers, Makers, Users: 3D Printing the Future exhibit. This post’s title is a reference to something important we learned: 3D printing is moving its beyond rapid prototyping roots. For instance, we learned that 3D printed structures can become parts of buildings.

I enjoyed learning about Easton LaChappelle from Colorado, a 19 year-old who’s designing 3D printable prosthetic hands, seeing Amsterdam’s 3D printed Canal House, and seeing a prototype of the Pancakebot.

Earlier in the day, we visited our Lower School to learn from the Design Thinking teacher, Marlene Getzendanner.


She showed us her cardboard shelving, her favorite maker tools, and a few projects our lower school classmates have done recently.


Above are Marlene’s favorite maker tools used in her Design Thinking class. Clockwise from top:

  • ergonomic hammer with a shorter handle for smaller kids,
  • safety glasses,
  • Japanese saw which has a flexible blade and cuts on the pull stroke,
  • ergonomic drill,
  • cardboard cutting knife,
  • trauma shears which are great for cutting large sheets of cardboard,
  • bar clamps

Above left: We got to play with Little Bits circuits. This was probably the hit of our visit.

Above right: the guts of a greeting card made with LEDs and copper tape.

Marlene is extremely resourceful for her classes. After she sang the praises of dollar stores and thrift shops, the kids were hooked. One project she told us about is taking apart a dollar store fan for its battery compartment and motor.

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 5.08.39 PM.png

She uses the components to build circuit blocks to teach the kids. This Instructable describes a similar project. I think I’ll do this next year with my physics students.


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