ShopBot on the Road
Construct 3D at Duke University
Construct 3D 2017, the first national academic 3D printing conference, was held at Duke University May 5-7, 2017. Construct 3D is a national conference on digital fabrication focused on “3D printing” for higher education, grades K-12, and community education. Conference coordinators are planning to hold Construct 3D annually rotating to various academic institutions.
The teams from ShopBot Tools and Handibot participated as an event sponsor, exhibitor, keynote speaker, and also offered a facility tour and training at ShopBot Tools headquarters, just around the corner from Duke’s main campus.
The weekend was packed full of presentations and panels with direct access to industry leaders. Skylar Tibbits, founder and co-director of MIT’s Self-Assembly Lab, shared innovations in 4D printing. His lab uses a custom ShopBot Buddy® tool to rapid prototype and combine various technologies to get results that academics and commercial companies can use in their own realms. Dale Dougherty, founder and CEO of Maker Media presented the inspiring stories of makers all over the world and the growth and progression of the maker movement over the past few years. ShopBot’s Sallye Coyle gave the keynote presentation on Sunday morning. Sallye shared her experience of introducing educators to digital fabrication technology and examples of classroom success through the engagement of teachers and students.
NYSTEEA and Chocolate Mold-Making for STEAM
In late March, ShopBot Tools’ Jeanne Taylor and Sallye Coyle attended this year’s NYSTEEA 2-day BSTEM event in Malta, NY. The event included sessions on everything from elementary robotics to model railroading as a STEAM activity.
ShopBot was sponsoring the awards dinner at the event, held at the Automobile Museum in Saratoga Springs. With this in mind, Jeanne and Sallye set out to create a gift that each of the attendees could take with them. With the initial idea being to create small customized chocolates, experimentation with molds carved with the help of a ShopBot ensued.
To learn more about how the chocolate experiment went, as well as read about the NYSTEEA BSTEM event, visit the ShopBot blog.
The Embracing of Digitial Fabrication Technology in Polk County, Florida
The middle and elementary schools of Polk County, FL have begun incorporating suites of digital fabrication tools (CNC machines, laser cutters, vinyl cutters, 3D printers and electronics) into various locations throughout the county. ShopBot’s Sallye Coyle, working through TIES, recently installed ShopBot tools and Handibot® Smart Power Tools in three magnet middle schools. In addition to investing in the equipment, the county is investing in training the teachers and resource personnel to incorporate the use of the digital fabrication labs into their curricula.
How are the digital fabrication tools being incorporated into the schools? The ShopBot PRSalpha at Lake Alfred Polytech Academy is machining LinkerLogs while others are working with the laser cutter. The middle school students will create these Linkerlogs for use in the county’s elementary schools.
In a demonstration of how files work across multiple digital fabrication tools, Rick Runion, the teacher heading up the Fab Lab at Rochelle School of the Arts in Lakeland, FL, made a quick sketch of a saxophone, his instrument of choice. The drawing was then scanned into a CAD program, and replicated using several different digital fabrication tools: a laser cutter, a 3D printer, and the Handibot — a portable CNC tool.