A Doodle a Day

Just as “an apple a day will keep the doctor away,” creating something every day can have measurable benefits.

Art may not keep the doctor away, but it can still improve your life, your motor skills, and even your mental health. We spoke to an expert about just what shape these benefits take, with a focus on what art can do for students.

An exceptionally wide variety of people can benefit from creating art, according to Dawn Gilbert Ippoliti. Ippoliti is a licensed, board certified, and registered art therapist in New York City who has been in practice since 2003. As an art therapist, she develops ways to use art with clients of all ages to achieve goals that can range from gaining insight into a client’s psychological state, to exercising their minds through engaging in a creative process. She has also engaged in art therapy with children in New York City’s public schools.

"Creativity promotes productivity while reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and really just makes you function better overall and feel better as a human being."

Art therapy is becoming an increasingly popular field, which Ippoliti believes is in large part due to recent research into the concept of “neuroplasticity,” the ability of the brain to reorganize itself and form new connections.

Forming new connections is critical to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), which is gaining prominence in many education circles. With the emergence of a high-tech economy, educators are realizing the importance of emphasizing subjects that help students master and enter these new fields.

But a simple mastery of numbers is not enough to excel in many STEM jobs. This includes brand new jobs that didn’t exist 10 years ago as well as traditional ones such as engineering and programming. To truly excel not just in these fields, but in life as well, people need a healthy dose of creativity. Combining art with the more technical fields yields STEAM, a more holistic approach to preparing students for the future.

“When people engage in art making,” Ippoliti says, “they’re really tapping into the right side of their brain, they’re getting those creative juices flowing and they’re stimulating the side of the brain responsible for creation and emotion, an abstract way of thinking as opposed to the left which is more rational.”

Getting both sides of the brain working in concert, what is known as “whole brain stimulation” is very beneficial according to Ippoliti. “There is research that indicates that creativity promotes productivity while reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and really just makes you function better overall and feel better as a human being. Art therapy’s goal is to provide that stimulation.”

Ippoliti sees the 3Doodler as uniquely suited to providing that whole brain stimulation. “Using something like the dinosaur stencils on the website you can use the pen to make all the little bones and put it all together. So you’re not only being creative in terms of picking the design you want or the color that you want, you’re creating something, but then you’re putting it together like a puzzle and really engaging in whole brain thinking.”

The 3Doodler is unique in that it can provide familiarity with a high-tech material like extruded plastic while also encouraging a tactile feel that relies on an individual’s motor skills. There is extensive evidence that there are numerous benefits for children to work with art. There are obvious advantages to fine motor skills and spatial thinking, but being able to express themselves in any medium can lead to more confidence and more capacity for critical thinking.

The ability of the 3Doodler to fuse these different types of thinking is particularly valuable.

“There are some schools of thought that students should focus purely on academics,” Ippoliti says of curriculums that don’t make room for art. “These types of academics will focus purely on engaging the left side of the brain, but you need balance to really get all the benefits of a growing brain. You need the symbiosis between the two hemispheres. You need to be constantly engaging both sides of the brain to grow optimally.”

"It can be hard to figure out where to begin with a project, and the 3Doodler is great for just getting your ideas out there."

Beyond the extensive benefits for growing individuals, creating art of all sorts has a real value for everybody. Some research suggests that there are both psychological and physical benefits to creating art, with certain kinds yielding different therapeutic values. And one of the most significant perks of creating art is that getting the benefits is as simple as picking up a tool and getting started. That’s why Ippoliti loves the name of the 3Doodler.

“It can be hard to figure out where to begin with a project, and the 3Doodler is great for just getting your ideas out there. The name, ‘3Doodler’ means it doesn’t have to feel like you’re creating a masterpiece from the start. The name says ‘let’s just get it out there,’ and in art therapy getting the process started is often one of the most important parts.”

Fan Creations: Horns You Can Toot About

Passion inspires great artwork, especially in fans. That’s why we let fan creators loose with 3Doodlers for a project of their choosing.

Previously, we recorded Gina B’s initial impressions of the 3Doodler and the early stages of her project. Now, we take a look at the finished product!

Gina B wound up executing her vision of believably organic horns, complete with a headband to make them easily wearable. By mixing two shades of plastic she gave them a natural look and a more pronounced texture. She’s quite pleased with the outcome, but found that her project presented some unique challenges.

“It was more difficult and more easy for a couple different reasons,” Gina says of her project. “Using the device itself was insanely more easy and proves that all the issues I had with the first horn just came from my inexperience. I’d say that if you tinker about with it for a couple of trial pieces then you’ll feel a lot more confident when you venture out and try something on your own.”

In attempting to get the symmetry of the horns just right, Gina found some new wrinkles in horn production. “It was a lot more difficult in one sense because I was trying to replicate the mirror image of a geometric shape. I started out the same way as before, but the shape wasn’t exactly the same although I used the same pattern. I actually found it easier to follow the pattern, but the first horn kind of developed a shape of its own that looked really organic and natural.”

"If you tinker about with the 3Doodler for a couple of trial pieces then you’ll feel a lot more confident when you venture out and try something on your own."

That unintentional change in the first horn meant that the better execution the second time was actually a drawback. So Gina got creative.

“First I tried to build it up with extra plastic, to try to alter the shape, but the structure underneath was actually wrong. So I sat down, thought about it, prayed to the crafting gods, and had an epiphany: the whole thing is plastic, so what if I hit it with a low heat setting from my heat gun to make it bend to the shape I want?”

Gina experimented with different heat settings and was able to make the second horn malleable enough in the right sections to give it the same curve as its partner. A hot glue gun and some fabric to increase the surface area allowed her to easily attach the horns to a headband, making for a ready-to wear accessory for a horned character. Making, modifying and attaching the second horn took her two and a half hours, for a total project time of five hours.

After working with the 3Doodler, Gina is convinced that it is able to fill certain niches in cosplay design, with the potential for brand new use cases. “It’s something to explore, all new mediums have unique cases where they fit really well.”

Gina says she enjoyed exploring how to create a 3Dimensional shape that was largely freehand. In the future, she will look into using the 3Doodler in more fine-detailing roles.

Falling for Frank Lloyd Wright

The father of organic architecture turns 150 years old in June. The impact of interior designer, architect, writer, and educator, Frank Lloyd Wright can still be seen today.

Having designed over 1,000 structures in his lifetime, the work of Frank Lloyd Wright has made a lasting impact on architecture and design. In celebration of his 150th birthday, we are pleased to present a new 3Doodler Create Project Kit for Wright’s signature example of organic architecture, Fallingwater.

Celebrating 150 Years

With 532 completed structures over the span of a 70-year career, Frank Lloyd Wright has become an icon of American architecture. Twelve of his buildings are listed amongst Architectural Record’s hundred most important buildings of the century.

"We are all here to develop a life more beautiful, more concordant, more fully expressive of our own sense of pride and joy than ever before in the world."-Frank Lloyd Wright

Wright firmly believed that architecture was “the mother of all the arts,” and approached each design with this intensity of conviction. His aim to was to reflect the landscape, people, culture, and feel of America within his own designs and architecture.

With dramatic new shapes and designs, Wright developed what he called “organic architecture”, representing what he saw as the harmonious connection of the citizens of the United States with both each other, and to the land they call home. As such, his homes center around shared spaces such as the dining table, music rooms, and terraces to encourage a sense of community and closeness to both family and nature.

Fallingwater

None of Wright’s structures reflects the harmony between architecture and nature better than Fallingwater.

"The making of a good building, the harmonious building, one adapted to its purposes and to life, [is] a blessing to life and a gracious element added to life, is a great moral performance."-Frank Lloyd Wright

Constructed between 1936 and 1939, the residence was designed for the Kaufmann family in southwest Pennsylvania. Stretching over a 30-foot waterfall, the house is a shining example of Wright’s commitment to a unique architectural design that integrates family life with natural surroundings.

While the Kaufmanns had requested a house with a view of the waterfall, Wright wanted them to instead live with the water itself, and to make the falls an integral part of their everyday life. His organic design was detailed down to the colors, with only two distinct colors used in the final building, both tied closely to the materials used—the light ochre of the concrete, and Wright’s own signature Cherokee red on the steel.

Since Fallingwater first opened its doors to the public in 1964, over 4.5 million visitors have come to see Wright’s architectural masterpiece first-hand.

Recreating a Piece of History

To honor this National Historic Landmark and icon of organic architecture, 3Doodler is pleased to present a unique Fallingwater theme kit for 3Doodler Create.

In collaboration with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, the Licensed Project Kit includes detailed stencils created from the original Fallingwater floor plans, so anyone can create Wright’s masterpiece in miniature scale. The kit also includes a visual step-by-step guide and four packs of ABS plastic to replicate the exact colors of the original structure. Learn more about the the making of this kit here.

Celebrate Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th Birthday by recreating one of the most powerful pieces of American architecture. Sign up for notifications on the release of this new kit at the3Doodler.com.

Fan Creations: Fabricating Your Own Figurines

For some, the adventure doesn’t end when the book closes or the credits roll. Fan Creators take inspiration from their favorite movies, games, comics, and cartoons and make incredible things. To see what that passion can produce, we gave some hardcore fans the latest 3Doodler Create for two weeks.

Finding a 6-foot tall panther with alligator scales and an 8-foot tale that ends in a stinger is tough.

Jon Giordano should know, he’s looked pretty hard. Fortunately, he isn’t searching the wilds for a nightmarish cryptid, he’s looking for a miniature for his roleplaying game.

At work, Giordano is a “numbers guy.” He teaches math and is working on a PhD in the subject. But while roleplaying games are known for their dice rolls and probability tables, what attracts him to the hobby is the ability to tell stories. Creating and exploring fantastic worlds with friends is the heart of the hobby, and as he has ventured into more obscure role playing games, Giordano has run into a minor hurdle that has nothing to do with storytelling or imagination: a lack of miniatures.

Miniatures are an important part of many role-playing games. Conflict and combat are common themes in these games. “Players will often get into situations and have to fight their way out of it, and make use of markers to keep track of the complexities of positioning in combat. That way you can look at the board and immediately tell that those two people are fighting against the giant robot in the corner, and those two are ducking behind trees.”

“If I were playing a standard medieval fantasy game,” Giordano says, “I’d be able to find tons of useful figurines. Ditto for sci-fi.”

That’s why Giordano was excited to get his hands on a 3Doodler. He wanted to be able to create custom figurines that heighten the experience for players in his role-playing games, like one campaign based on Native American mythology. The 3Doodler struck him as particularly useful for games that feature obscure monsters and creatures that may not be sold in stores. With the original 3D printing pen in his arsenal, Giordano believes that he can create fantastical beings that are even more obscure than the dragons found in your typical dungeons.

One of the major advantages of table top roleplaying games is that players can encounter anything that the game master can imagine. Personalized galactic warrior? Magical talking flowers? Mystic double-headed swan? All things that could appear as adversaries, or allies, in a tabletop game. Unfortunately, finding figurines for the more outlandish creatures can be just as hard as defeating them in combat.

"You’ll get that wow moment that a description just can’t give, the 3Doodler will really let me show players what I’m imagining for them without relying on theater of the mind."

Giordano was able to produce three figures with his 3Doodler. The first was a corrupted bird god, shaped like an egret but with plumage darkened by negative energies. As a sort of a counterpart, he also fashioned a Buffalo minotaur who watches over a herd. The Buffalo spirit was attached to a spare base from a standard miniature to provide more stability, but the bird could stand on its own. Lastly, Giordano created a mercurial river spirit by letting the “flow” of plastic from his 3Doodler define the initial shape.

Giordano was really happy with how the figurines came out, and is looking forward to incorporating them into a future campaign.

“You’ll get that wow moment that a description just can’t give, the 3Doodler will really let me show players what I’m imagining for them without relying on theater of the mind.”

The 3Doodler is a great solution for anybody who wants to add a bespoke character to an encounter, or even modify an existing figurine. With imagination and a steady hand, almost any small-scale figurine can be crafted. The potential for crossovers, custom variations on existing figures, or anything else a game master dreams up are almost endless.

A 3Doodled figurine also has a few unique advantages over other miniature options. Imagine the personal connection you can form with a figurine you or a friend crafted by hand compared to a store-bought one. While paper cutouts are another way to create one of a kind representations of fantastic creatures, they aren’t very durable compared to solid plastic. Combining pieces from multiple figurines in a kit-bash is another fun alternative, but if that’s your preference, being able to extrude extra plastic from a 3D printing pen may come in handy as well.

Even mainstream tabletop game masters might want to consider using a 3Doodler. Dungeons and Dragons has over 40 years of published materials describing various monsters and enemies for players to encounter. Even without getting into many of the supplemental bestiaries published by other companies, there are hundreds of different creatures and monsters described in official materials. Some of the more obscure variations have figurines that are almost impossible to find, if they were ever made at all.

So next time you are planning an adventure and want to show off an obscure monster you found in a forgotten bestiary, the 3Doodler might be the perfect way to wow your players by conjuring one by hand. Or better yet, create something entirely new and give it a physical presence to match your own description.

5 Careers That Didn’t Exist 10 Years Ago

Technology is changing the world, sometimes faster than education can keep up! With new career options developing, students now have a wider selection than ever before.

We believe in the importance of getting kids used to new tech and educational advancements early on. After all, this is what will shape the landscape for future career and job possibilities later on.

This week, we take a look at five new in-demand career options for STEM and tech-savvy students to consider.

Genetic Counselor

One field that has seen great benefits from new advancements in technology is medicine. New understandings of genetics and the data now available has opened up specialized opportunities for jobs that would have sounded like science fiction not too long ago.

Genetic Counselling can cover everything from cancer treatments to prenatal care and family planning. Some Genetic Counselors even specialize in specific fields like cardiology, neurology, or fertility.

Counselors look at each individual patient’s genetics, and examine the data to try and predict and prevent medical disorders. But the main part of the job, of course, is the patient. Genetic Counselors need to know how to connect and support each patient, and help explain the complicated medical side of things in ways that are easy to understand.

To be a Genetic Counselor, you’d need a Master’s degree in genetics, and likely would also need some certification in counselling as well. For students who love science and data, but are also very people-focused, this would be a perfect field to explore.

Nuclear Medicine Technologist

The job title alone seems daunting, but the actual job is less scary than it sounds. This is another new field that has sprung up alongside technological advancements in medicine—specifically all the new machinery that modern medicine relies on.

Nuclear Medicine Technologists operate all specialized medical equipment, like CT and PET scanners, gamma cameras, and other imaging tools used to help diagnose medical issues. The technologists need to know how to care for and operate the machines, a vital task considering how closely technology and medicine are tied.

And as medical technology continues to grow and improve, so will this career field. Continual developments and innovation means a need for technologists who understand and can work alongside doctors and patients to help reach a diagnosis.

The job doesn’t require a medical degree, but does take good interpersonal skills and attention to detail, as the machines are often delicate and complicated. An interest in robots and engineering is important, and there are accreditation programs available for students looking to enter this field.

Sustainability Manager

When it comes to business, everyone knows it’s all about the green. No, we’re not talking about money! The new trend for businesses is environmentalism and sustainability, and more and more companies are realizing that going green is the way forward.

That’s where Sustainability Managers come in. This role means making sure a company is doing all it can to enforce the most environmentally-friendly practices possible, but at the best price for the company. This takes a lot of creativity, and excellent communication skills to get everyone on board and make your ideas a reality.

And it’s not just companies that are looking to fill this new role. Everything from corporations to universities, and even large cities need Sustainability Managers to create long-term plans to help them go—and stay—green.

A degree in Environmental Science and a passion for saving the planet is the way to go for students interested in pursuing a career in this field.

Drone Operator

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles sounds more like a code name for flying saucers rather than a new career field. But UAVs and drones are flying us into the future, with major companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook looking to expand their drone teams.

Drone Operators are in high demand, and for a large variety of purposes. While Amazon is looking to expand drone use for package delivery, news and media companies are looking for operators with more artistic talent to capture aerial footage in photos and videos.

For this new job field, the sky is the limit when it comes to possibilities. Some experts expect drones to be used in everything from agriculture to public safety, oil and gas exploration, and even in the film industry.

Some universities are already beginning to offer specialized courses in drone operation and manufacturing, but as it’s still a new field there are a lot of different backgrounds that students can explore. Drone Operators should have an interest in robotics and engineering, but can supplement this with skills in photography and videography, or other personal passions and interests.

Data Miner

What’s more precious that rubies and diamonds? Data—for companies, at least. In our new digital age, customer information and behavioral patterns are crucial for businesses to stay on top of the game, and they need experts to make sense of all the data they collect.

Data Miners help companies deal with “Big Data”. They predict future trends based on current and past consumer behavior, all extracted from the world of data that businesses collect. Everything from transactions to complaints and even social media reviews gets picked through by Data Miners to find patterns and make sense of it all.

And there’s plenty of related jobs within this data-driven career field. Digital Marketing and Social Media Management are new roles that are also becoming increasingly necessary as consumers take to online platforms for everything from shopping to costumer service. Businesses are finding that having an online presence is vital, and they need people familiar with how social media works in order to get the job done.

As a brand new field, there are lots of educational paths students can take if they’re interested in a Data Mining or other digital careers. A degree in Library Sciences is great for Data Miners, while a background in marketing or writing is useful for other jobs within the social sphere.

For students looking for new career opportunities, imagination is really the only limit. We are constantly seeing new fields open up, often in places we never even thought of.

And of course, students always have the option to invent something completely new! After all, the 3Doodler didn’t even exist five years ago.

Looking for more ways to bring 3Doodler into your classroom?
Check out our dedicated EDU section for classroom tips, lesson plans, and exclusive EDU bundles for educators.