3D Printing

i3D Creatives Launches 3D Printing Curriculum for Ages 8-15

i3D Creative’s founder says 3D printing provides the link between virtual learning and the limitations of the physical world.A new platform designed to teach children how to use 3D printing has issued its first curriculum for students between the ages of 8 and 15.

i3D Creatives, a 3D design education firm, started with the i3D Creatives Launchpad curriculum to help younger students download and navigate its free 3D Design software, 123D Design. The interactive program includes videos that guide students through nine modules, outlining every detail of the program, followed by 10 lessons that students can use to design a number of different objects themselves. This format allows students to work through the modules and lessons at their own pace.

While the i3D Creatives Launchpad is the first curriculum in a series, i3D founder John Bokla said it will be quickly followed by the release of Tinkercad Launchpad, a curriculum aimed at children between the age of 5 and 10 who will be getting started with 3D design. In the future, i3D Creatives said they hope to supply ways to help teach students a range of subjects from physics and design to history and psychology.

"And we are currently testing and developing a curriculum for students to learn flight and aerodynamics," Bokla said, "but through these lesson sets we will start right from the beginning at the Wright Brothers' plane. What principles did the Wright brothers learn to enable the first human air flight?"

Bokla said the value of incorporating 3D printing into education is that it allows students to connect what they learn in a virtual world to the realities and limitations of the physical world, something that is not possible with videogames and virtual reality tools.

"My competition is not other teachers," he said. "My competition is the kids' videogames. 3D printing will undoubtedly be another form of education that will play a future role in a lot of these students in school today."

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.