We are getting to the final stage of the project…
Students have defined the problem, ideated a solution, and designed an object which will cover these needs. The time has come to prototype and test their design. This is the stage all students were looking forward to, where they can touch and feel their models, where they share opinions and conclusions, where they test their designs, and finally… print them with the 3D printer!
Steps in the last stage of the design process
- Once the decision on how to help City X inhabitants is made and the design ideated, students model the prototype in plasticine. It is here when the first obstacles have to be overcome, as for example, wings that break, windows that cannot be opened, roofs that bend. This stage gives them the chance to test their prototypes and correct anything which is not right.
- Students are then introduced to a new program called Tinkercad which they will use for later designing their prototype. Tinkercad is an easy-to-use 3D Computer Aided Design software. Students follow a tutorial where they learn the basic uses; some of them go even further to find out about more complex uses.
- Finally children get to the last and expected step: they start printing! Even at this stage they sometimes discover there are still mistakes and things to improve. But their ideas and designs are slowly coming true with the 3D printer.
Throughout the whole process students record their thoughts, materials, objectives, and difficulties, amongst other useful information, in a shared Google doc. This enables them to review their work and reflect on it, making them accountable for their own experiences. (see students’ recordings City X project – the process)