Reflecting on 3D Modeling and Game Design workshop

Learning TinkerCAD

We had a great time during our 3D modeling workshop at SparkMacon yesterday.   This workshop, the second class in our Summer Maker skills series, helps makers learn how to build 3D stuff for games, art and 3D printing.  The skills used in this workshop can apply to many topic areas:  medical applications, engineering, game design, and digital fabrication.    

In teaching this workshop, I hope we can inspire and foster the next Easton LaChappelle.  He’s an amazing young man who has launched his own company to produce functional and affordable prosthetics.   He started this work at the age of 14.  Check out his story in the video below.  I enjoy starting our workshops with this story since it helps the students think about the potential impact and change they can make with these skills.  These are powerful ideas.

As we have taught this workshop, I have especially enjoyed changing the challenge problem or prompts that I give the students.   In this post, I wanted to share a few insights and ideas for the benefit of other teachers.   In this last workshop, I wanted to give the students the ability to play with 3D scanning.   I think the students really enjoyed this.  

3D scanning

During our workshop, we committed ourselves to build parts of a small game world.    My son and two middle school students helped build this world.   We did parts of the game world in    At the end of the workshop, I imported their work into a game using the Unity game engine.   The work of each student has a different model color.   I think the students appreciated getting to see the Unity game engine since it gave them a maker perspective of building games.    By the end of the class, we had combined our work together so that we could publish using the Unity web player and a Google Cardboard format.  

Student work in TinkerCAD

You can check out their work here:

Very proud of the students and their work.  It was fun seeing the students helping each other.

Teaching this class is so much fun!  We had a great time building this game world together.  Looking forward to serving many new students and sharing the joy of making.

Join us for our next Maker Skills workshops!

Month 3: July 16 – Laser cutting: Makers will learn the basics of designing for the laser cutter by creating beautiful bookmarks, key chains, or jewelry.  Makers will learn techniques for editing scalable vector graphics for laser cutting jobs using InkScape, a free graphics design tool.   We will also introduce ways to design 3-dimensional work using various tools and cutting patterns.

Laser cutting samples

Month 4: August 20 – Robotics: Building upon the programming skills introduced early in the program, students will have the opportunity to build robots from scratch using the mBot kit.   Students will love customizing their mBot using puzzle based programming and the easy to assemble construction experience.   Students take home their mbot to continue the tinkering fun at home.

This series will be tons of fun.  Looking forward to seeing you there!

Register today for this workshop at .

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Photo Credit: Andrew Scott at