“You have a 3D printer in your art room?”
“How did you get one?”
“What kind of art do students make with it?”
“Can you give me an example of a lesson you teach using the 3D printer?”
This is the line of questioning I usually receive when people hear I have a 3D printer in my art class. It’s okay, I’m used to it. I don’t mind answering questions about 3D printing and art . I actually enjoy talking about how my students and I utilize our 3D printer. Through discussion and sharing I gain more opportunities to learn. With that said, I will now share with you a recent lesson my sixth graders completed using Digital 3-D Design, and our 3D printer.
3-D Printing Animals
I tell students that they are all scientists creating a new breed of animals. The idea is simple, merge together three animals to make a brand new animal. I break the lesson down into four sections; introduction, brainstorming, 2D drawing, and Digital 3-D Design.
During the introduction of the lesson I show students a variety of merged animal images. As we go through the images I stop to point out key art vocabulary like color, pattern, unity, and scale. In order for these young scientists to create realistic looking merged animals they need to show unity through the use of a pattern and/or color.
Next, students brainstorm ideas for their new animals. I ask students to sketch eight different merged animal possibilities. Each sketch should take approximately four minutes to create. I have students in need of help brainstorming generate a list of ten animals to choose from. Once the sketches are complete, students pick their favorite and begin to find resources online to use as reference for their 2D drawing.
Using the images students found, they create a fully rendered drawing of their merged animal. I ask that students show scale through the use of another object/s in their 2D drawings. In addition, students are told to create the environment that their new animals live in.
To Conclude The Process
Lastly, students work on iPads to Digital 3-D Design their merged animals and environments. When I recently taught this lesson, students used Morphi App. You can use any other Digital 3-D Design/modeling application you want. Like I mentioned in my last post, find the application that best suits you and your students needs.
Rich Stachon is an art and technology teacher at Glen Crest Middle School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Rich provides opportunities for STEAM consistently with 3D printing, stop animation and other areas of convergence between art and technology. You can find Rich on Twitter @rstachon to see classroom projects and find more STEAM resources.