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Entering the Third Dimension

Feb 6, 2014 | 3 comments

We’ve written about Donors Choose on here before. It is a website that allows teachers to ask for materials that are needed or will help provide better opportunities to learn. People can then donate to that project so that the class can have the project funded and get the new items that were asked for. Through this site, our class has received Chromebooks, iPads, Andriod tablets, iPods, camcorders, and many more items. Our most recent project we’ve had funded though may just be our favorite!

We were fortunate enough to be able to have a project funded for a Makerbot Replicator 2 3D printer! We’ve had so much fun downloading models from Thingiverse and printing them out to use in our classroom. Our next step will be to use 3D modeling software to make and print some of our own creations!

Are you curious to know how they work? We were when we first got it too! Instead of using ink, the printer uses something called PLA filament. They come on big spools and are fed into something called the extruder. The extruder heats up the material to melt it and make it more flexible and then then creates the model by moving around and placing the melted PLA on a build plate. We created a time lapse video so that you can see the printer in action! In the video, we printed dice that can be used for our math games and activities. It takes a while for them to print so we took about a three hour video and cut it down to about four minutes so you can see how our 3D printer works!

And in even better news, we just had another one funded as well. So we’ll soon have two 3D printers!