Tinkerine announced two new educational offerings that will help encourage students to take further steps into 3D printing and related disciplines.
Tinkerine is one of the smart small 3D printer manufacturers who, after developing a practical desktop 3D printer, focused on a specific market. Unlike some of their contemporaries, Tinkerine is successful in doing so, realizing that it’s not the “machine” that sells, but instead “what you do with it”.
They wisely chose the Education market as their target.
Since that time they’ve spent considerable resources building material that’s specifically designed for use in the classroom. For example, they’ve previously designed 3D models that are of high educational value, yet can be 3D printed within a brief class time.
Now they’ve announced “Tinkerine Courses”, which are a step further into education, as part of their “Tinkerine U” initiative.
The courses are divided into three sections: a 3D printing overview, 3D printer setup and 3D design and modeling. Each section contains a series of chapters with multiple educational tasks. For example, this is from Chapter 3 of their 3D printing overview:
Chapter 3 - Going From Idea to Object “How to think and design in 3D”
Thinking in 3D: Three dimensional workout for your mind
The Three Axes: Hope you paid attention during your math class on graphing
From Paper to Screen: How to go from ideation to prototyping on screen
Changing Your Perspective: Converting the world around you into shapes
At the end of each section there’s a quiz. Tinkerine Courses keeps track of your progress as you proceed through the educational tasks. You’ll need to register and login, however, for this to take place.
Tinkerine also announced “Tinkering Challenges”. They explain:
With a natural tie-in to 3D printing, these open-ended design challenges present a scenario or problem for the students to solve using the tools they’re given. For our educator friends, we include key teaching resources such as lesson plans, 3D models, assessment guidelines, and worksheets to make it easier to implement design curriculum into the classroom.
The first Challenge is to design a spinning top. While this may sound simple to professional designers, remember this is a challenge set before students who have limited or no experience in 3D design or printing. The challenge is designed to encourage students to traverse the entire design lifecycle from concept, to iteration, to testing and conclusion.
Anyone going through that process will learn signficant life lessons they can apply in many situations.
The challenges appear to be “fun” as well, to encourage participation. The subsequent challenges that have not yet been released include: “My Alien Friend” and “Make a Name Tag”. There’s also ways to share your own challenges with the rest of the Tinkerine community.
I quite like how Tinkerine has created a friendly and useful environment for educators to much more easily get their students involved in 3D printing - including designing and actually producing objects. If you’re an educator, please check out Tinkerine’s efforts.