The classroom is quickly becoming a proving ground for 3D modeling innovations, and MakerBot is helping students learn by putting 3D models of historical and scientific concepts in their hands.
This month, MakerBot posted a 3D model of the Great Pyramid of Giza that educators can download through Thingiverse for free through its MakerBot Academy initiative and print on any 3D printer.
Thingiverse features thousands of models for download, but MakerBot’s free offerings are designed with classrooms in mind.
A three-day lesson plan is included in the download, appropriate for grades 3 through 5, which lets students explore the history and engineering feats of the pyramids. Built in 2560 B.C., the pyramids are one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Students can peer inside the plastic pyramid to see its different chambers.
The pyramid is the second curriculum-based item MakerBot has posted for teachers on Thingiverse. The company first made a splash in classrooms with a 3D model of a frog dissection kit. The model consists of six interlocking organs and a disemboweled, plastic frog that somehow retains its cuteness.
Do these free models and plans have you thinking about a 3D printer for your classroom? The MakerBot Academy has a crowdfunding page on DonorsChoose, where dozens of schools are amassing funds for the devices.
“We want teachers to be able to get their MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer in the classroom and immediately be able to 3D-print something useful that ties into what they are teaching," says Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot.
MakerBot broadened its reach into classrooms across the country recently by helping teachers in nearly 1,000 schools obtain a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer. The move expanded the reach of the popular 3D printing manufacturer to more than 300,000 students, according to a news release on the company's website.