A Blueprint for the Future

MakerBot machines in some SHINE Centers' makerspaces help students turn their ideas into 3-D reality.

Students begin MakerBot projects with a computer design program called Tinkercad.

This SHINE student is now the proud owner of a donut shop!

A 2nd grade SHINE student dreamed about owning her own donut shop. Using the technology available in a SHINE Makerspace, she was able to turn this dream into a reality.

Several SHINE Centers have Makerbot 3-D Printers, which students are using to transform creative ideas into actual objects. In the process, they're learning how this fun project could be transformed into a successful career.

3-D printing has applications in several high-demand industries. Engineers have used it to produce accurate working models of  intricate mechanical designs. Architects have leveraged the technology to develop blueprints for larger constructions. Animation and design experts put it to use creating everything from feature-length films to commercials to educational websites. The medical profession is even using 3D printing to produce exact replicas of a person's body parts for transplants!

Some SHINE lessons require students to create a specific object, like furniture for a dollhouse. Others give students the opportunity to come up with a design of their choosing – like their own donut shop. Once they know what they're going to make, students use a software program called Tinkercad to begin to give their ideas shape. 

The Tinkercad program allows the user to either scan an existing 3D item or use existing shapes to "assemble" their design. Students can resize, rotate, align or group objects within the program to get exactly what they want. They can even "paint" it their favorite color.

The final design file is then uploaded into the MakerBot machine. Within a few minutes, the final product is ready to go. 

The technology and educational lessons in SHINE classrooms help students turn ideas into reality – and future careers!