by Maya Staresinic
You have this great new 3D Printer that has just been added to your Makerspace, but you are a little unsure of how to go about creating. You want to create a replica of a dinosaur’s skin to be able to show your grade 1 class to explain to them how repeated lines and shapes are used to depict texture, but creating this will be quite complex. Don’t move onto the next idea just yet!
Thingiverse is a design community that has been created for discovering, making and sharing 3D printable objects. It is one of the world’s largest 3D printing communities that houses items from a simple sphere, to the skull of a Tyrannosaurs Rex. The website allows the user to create, remix and build off of 3D items that have already been created and uploaded by someone else. All designs that are found on Thingiverse are encouraged to be uploaded under a Creative Commons license, so that anyone can use and alter the design.
It is an easy to use platform that allows the user to download the item or design they want to build off of before remixing it. The website uses an STL file (STereoLithography) that is a format that is original to the stereolithography CAD software created by 3D Systems. The STL file(s) convert seamlessly into your 3D printing software to allow you the ability to print it right away or remix it.
The beauty about Thingiverse is that it can be used to create items that pertain specifically to the curriculum to allow for a deeper understanding of the content, or it can be used to print items that will help with student concentration. If you can think of it, Thingiverse (most likely) has it.