At a presentation to our faculty over the summer, we had the opportunity to share some of the awesome ways our makerspace and its tools and equipment can be integrated into a wide range of academic disciplines. Some of what we talked about is on our assignments by subject page. We were a little worried that all of the new project ideas could be overwhelming, however, especially when many faculty are interested in working with existing courses. In an effort to make things a little easier to digest, we came up with the following:
How to Integrate the Makerspace into your Courses:
Look at your courses and think about how a creative assignment or visualization might help in the understanding of a concept, event, place, etc.
Think about times during the course when many students had a difficult time understanding or staying engaged with the content and may have benefited from hands-on work or a change of scenery.
Do a library database search to find articles about different ways 3D printing & other makerspace tools have been integrated into your discipline.
Do a web search to find content about different ways 3D printing & other makerspace tools have been integrated into your discipline.
Contact your friendly makerspace coordinators. We have tons of ideas and are happy to chat about them!
It’s even available as an image, if you’d prefer! We know assignment design is a complex process, but we hope these tips can at least make it a little easier for faculty of all academic disciplines to provide high-tech, hands-on coursework for their students.
This summer, we did a little experiment with 3D scanning an item from the collection of the Lawrence University Wriston Art Center Galleries.
The original object: A 5.75 inch tall bronze inkwell from India.
The original, entitled Large inkwell, peacock design
First, we scanned the inkwell in the program MF Studio on our Matter & Form 3D scanner. It took 3 scans merged together to get a mostly complete image. We did not attempt to capture the hinged cover on the peacock’s back (where the ink would be stored and the pen would be dipped.)
Third scan of the peacock, lying on its side.
After cleaning up and merging the scans, we exported the file as an stl and prepared it for 3D printing in Cura.
Then we printed another using the Magnetic Iron Composite PLA. This filament can be hard on a print nozzle, which is why we were sure to use the Ultimaker 2+ printer. The 2+ nozzles can be fairly easily swapped, and only cost $11 to replace.
In addition to being magnetic, the iron blend is also rustable. We took the peacock print home for the weekend and used a solution of white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and table salt to try to give it an aged, rusted look. We coated the peacock with the solution, placed it in a sealed bread bag, then left it outside in the sun for the afternoon (shaking it occasionally to recoat the object in solution). Full instructions for this process can be found here, Improved Rusting Method for Iron Prints. The final product was pretty impressive, and looked more like something we dug out of the ground than something we had just 3D printed.
Peacock with one of Rob Neilson’s Teddy Box objects printed in the same filament that had not been rusted.
The two replicas together (in different light than the other photos).
Big thank you to our friend Beth Zinsli in the Wriston Art Center galleries for letting us scan one of the collection’s objects.