Nestor Llanos is a 3D designer who has done a great deal pushing the envelope of 3D printing forward, but now he’s helping start others on the same path.
Llanos was the Lead Design Engineer for the “Strati” 3D printed car developed by Local Motors, one of the more recent projects in his twenty year career in car design and 3D printing.
As an expert on the topic, he wanted to have his children get involved, saying:
Basically, I wanted to engage my own children in age appropriate 3D printing and 3D digital modeling technology. After that, I saw and I found that I could do more for children, and I decided to write “The Little Designer” book to teach children the experience that I have taught mine.
The intent is to offer this book to schools to assist children’s learning of 3D technologies, both design and printing.
What I find interesting about this project is the emphasis on fun characters that might resonate more easily with younger children. He’s made a small universe of characters called “BuddyLand”. The book takes the reader though some very simple steps to design these characters and ultimately 3D print them.
I believe that if younger children are introduced to the technology in this way, they might more easily be involved in higher level educational 3D printing material they may encounter at higher grades in their school system.
Eventually, this will lead to an increasing number of 3D-literate engineers emerging from our higher-level institutions and powering the economy of the twenty-first century.
One challenge already encountered by Llanos is that many schools still lack the presence of even a simple 3D printer. And some schools that previously purchased them have found them out of service eventually due to poor reliability of earlier units. In such cases, readers of the Little Designer Book will be able to design, but not 3D print their models.
That’s where Llanos created another solution: He’s launched the website “Dreamfactory”, which provides a way for kids to use TinkerCAD to access pre-made BuddyLand 3D models and print them through typical 3D print services.
You can’t have enough children knowing about 3D.