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  • Writer's pictureBonnie Lee

3D Printed Cookie-cutters, Edible Things, and Real Houses Too

When I was an elementary teacher, the subject of art was often cut whenever there were budget cuts. I believe art has a better chance of becoming part of the curriculum if it is integrated with technology, also providing student with another way to communicate ideas. I want to create a K-5 math and art curriculum. It is a fun project where kids make their own cookie-cutters through 3D printing and test out doggie biscuit recipes with their cookie-cutters. It is hoped that this project will be applicable to other art programs and organizations.

This is a workshop I took at The Build Shop. I learned from them that I could build my own 3D printer. The nozzle gets clogged sometimes if not used properly or frequently. If I know how it works, then I can repair damages in a cost effective way. While some school districts already have 3D printing technology available to them, there are others who do not. We must find a way to bring 3D printers to all of them. is an open source organization. Their mission is to teach people to build their own printers, so they could literally print 3D printers for others.

Did you know that there is design firm in China called Winsun? They printed 10 homes in 24 hours! They were used in an industrial park for a tech firm. The material they used were concrete. Below, the culinary arts is taking advantage of 3D printing by making edible objects. The binding agent is the same stuff they used in sugar cubes. The technology in general is still too expensive to make multiples, because it takes hours to print one small item. Nevertheless, it's a good way to make prototypes.

One drawback of integrating art into other subject areas is that students get tired of making art to "fit" into other subject areas. There must be space to make pure art through 3D printing or rapid prototyping, something more open-ended and not for a set purpose.

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