Digital design and fabrication in education
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Shiraz University, March 14, 2015
Daniel K. Schneider
TECFA, Faculty of psychology and educational sciences
University of Geneva
Digital design and fabrication
- Design (or adapt) a model on a computer
- Render it on computer-controlled machine (3D printer, laser cutter, embroidery machine, vinyl cutter, shop bot...)
Menu of the talk:
- Makers and making movements
- Digital design & fabrication in education
- Getting started
Download Owl on Lego and print it
I assembled an owl with a Lego model and shared online
Diversity of design and fabrication movements:
- Public Labs
- Workshops in schools
Common denominator = MAKING
Participants of the maker movement:
Design and fabricate interesting objects
Share, adapt and mix designs
Engage in shaping the environment
Ambitious rather top-down initiatives to bring making to a community.
The Fab Lab charter simplified:
- What is a fab lab?
Fab labs are a global network of local labs, enabling invention by providing access to tools for digital fabrication
- What's in a fab lab?
Fab labs provide core capabilities to make (almost) anything, allowing people and projects to be shared
- What does the fab lab provide?
Operational, educational, technical, financial, and logistical assistance beyond what's available within one lab
- Who can use a fab lab?
Fab labs are available as a community resource, offering open access for individuals as well as scheduled access for programs
An international network
Carbon Fablab (oldest in Iran)
Urban "bricolage" with a perspective
no political purpose
spirit tied to Make Magazine
Now imagine a long tail of things: physical goods created with the web's digital innovation model. That's the maker movement.(Wired)
Difficult to define ....
A hackerspace (also referred to as a hacklab, makerspace or hackspace) is a community-operated workspace where people with common interests, often in computers, machining, technology, science, digital art or electronic art; can meet, socialize and collaborate.
In general, hackerspaces function as centers for peer learning and knowledge sharing, in the form of workshops, presentations, and lectures. They usually also offer social activities for their members, such as game nights and parties.
Raum Zeit Lab
Communities where you can learn how to investigate environmental concerns. Using inexpensive DIY techniques, change how people see the world in environmental, social, and political terms.
Public labs are/provide
- A community of tool contributors
- A repository of experimental tools
- A network of local groups
- An open data archive
- Free and open source software to analyse collected data
- A platform to build collaborations and index projects
- "Extreme citizen science"
- Fablabs and makers for development
Public lab tool financed by Kickstarter
Back to education (and research)
The "Pasteur problem"
The Pasteur quadrant (Stokes, 1997)
|| not science
|| Edison (invention)
|| Pasteur (both)
| Not applied
|| School knowledge
|| Bohr (pure theory)
"Pasteurs" are missing.
- Most societies have deficiencies in either "use-based research" or design (or both)
- Digital design and fabrication can be a way of combining science with design in education
Schools need making
- Children must learn how to design creative tangible things. The economic and cultural future of a society depends on it.
- Making encourages creativity. It could bring fun to engineering and engineering to the fine arts.
- Making bridges art, technology and science. It can raise interest for technology and also free synergies.
- Making teaches how to create and to run projects. We need "entrepreneurs"
- Making can teach ICT. ICT skills are still low. 20% of all jobs are IT-intensive, but most kids cannot use professional software.
We need STEAM !
STEAM = Science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics
Design and technology is part of the UK curriculum
Elsewhere, extra curricular
1-day event to interest girls in engineering
Creating tangible objects is better than educational robotics
How to start (1)
Get some gear
- Buy a cutting plotter
- Borrow an embroidery machine
- Assemble a 3D printer
- Find funding for a laser cutter
- Document yourself
- Learn, try
- Create things for others, band together
- Think ! How could you use it in education ?
Free online documentation exists
Free online tools exist
How to start (2)
Digital design and fabrication is not easy
It will take time and it requires thinking
Design activities could start
- ... with 2D, e.g. vinyl cutting
- ... by modifying existing designs
- ... by creating simple things, e.g. door stoppers
- ... by mixing designs
How to start (3)
Open a commercial TechShop
- Help others bring custom designs to the market
- Industrial prototyping
Sponsor techshop creation in Universities and vocational schools
- Allow students to produce industry-strength designs while they study
- Get inspiration from Gershfield's Fab LAB @ MIT
Help integration design and fabrication with other subjects
- Mathematics, Art, History, Management, ....
- Outreach, citizen science, development, ....
Some of my stuff and contributions
Lego for PHD students (1)
Lego for PHD students (2)
Geometry visualization (Julien DaCosta)
- Burke, John J., Makerspaces. A practical guide for librarians.
- Canessa, Fonda, Zanrro (eds.) (2013). Open Book on 'Low-cost 3D Printing for Science, Education and Sustainable Development'
- Libow Martinez, Sylvia & Gary S. Stager (2013). Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering the Classrooom, Constructing Modern Knowledge Press, ISBN: Print 978-0-9891511-0-8, http://www.inventtolearn.com/
- Loertscher, D.V., Preddy, L.,& Derry, B. (2013). Makerspaces in the school library learning commons and the uTEC maker model, Teacher Librarian, 41 (2), 48-51
- Makerspace playbook: School edition. (2013). Free e-book PDF
- Preddy, L. B. (2013). Creating school library “makerspace.” School Library Monthly, 29(5), 41-42.
- Preddy, L. B. (2013). School library makerspaces: Grades 6 - 12. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.
- Walter-Herrmann, Julia & Corinne Büching (2013) (eds.), FabLab, Of Machines, Makers and Inventors. Transcript, Reihe Kultur- und Medientheorie, ISBN 978-3-8376-2382-6, home page.
- Wong, T. (2013). Makerspaces take libraries by storm. Library Media Connection,31(6),34-35.
Text of this presentation and pictures made by Daniel K. Schneider are available under
a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Some pictures were used without asking permission (e.g. pictures of/from some labs, Make Mag cover page excerpts.... ) but should fall under "fair use", since the goal was to compare various representations.