Making 3D Technology Accessible to More Classrooms

In November 2017, we joined with DonorsChoose.org for the second year to help get 3Doodler into more classrooms across the US. Our goal? To make learning fun and encourage students to thrive on hands-on learning with 3D technology.

Teachers were encouraged to submit projects on DonorsChoose.org for the 3Doodler Match Offer 2017, requesting 3Doodler EDU bundles for the chance to receive matched donations. This year we also put in a special bonus donation for Special Education teachers.

How 3Doodler Helped Hands-on Learning

Through this campaign, we raised $150,000, which helped 51,714 students gain access to the 3Doodler across 385 schools. Out of the 405 projects that were funded, 68% were from schools with students from low-income households, all the way from Pre K-2 to Grade 12. More than 10% of the projects supported special education.

3Doodler In The Classroom

We’ve received the sweetest letters from the students who have started using their 3Doodlers! Take a look at all the creative ways they’re using the pen:

Inspiring students to learn through creativity, play, and hands-on learning has always been a key focus at 3Doodler, and remains one of the key motivators for us to do what we do. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Donorschoose.org and all the teachers who have participated in this campaign for making learning fun again!

Watch this space for more updates on 3Doodler creations inside the different classrooms. We’re very excited to see what the students will create!

Inspiring students to learn through creativity, play, and hands-on learning has always been a key focus at 3Doodler, and remains one of the key motivators for us to do what we do. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Donorschoose.org and all the teachers who have participated in this campaign for making learning fun again!

Watch this space for more updates on 3Doodler creations inside the different classrooms. We’re very excited to see what the students will create!

Inspiring students to learn through creativity, play, and hands-on learning has always been a key focus at 3Doodler, and remains one of the key motivators for us to do what we do. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Donorschoose.org and all the teachers who have participated in this campaign for making learning fun again!

Watch this space for more updates on 3Doodler creations inside the different classrooms. We’re very excited to see what the students will create!

Listen to a podcast on ‘Creating Breathtaking Projects with 3Doodler’ on Scalar Learning here.

For more information about 3Doodler EDU products, please visit http://edu.the3doodler.com/

Top Teacher Tips for 3Doodlers

1. Do not emphasize perfection.

This is a life rule, too. As teachers, we should be modeling attention to the design process over outcome. You never want to stifle any student’s creativity, nor do you want to set goals so lofty that your students may refrain from doodling rather than fail.

2. Dare them to explore.

Consider your build area unlimited, both horizontally and vertically.Unlike 3D printers, the 3Doodler’s “build area” is infinite and can be directed up, down, left or right. Give students time to explore space in all directions.

3. Draw thicker lines.

Slimmer 3Doodled parts and details should be doodled a bit thicker or retraced. Due to the nature of the filament, you will want to keep finer details sturdier to increase the durability of your doodle.

4. Teach students patience.

Slowly count to 30 before removing filament from a stencil and then peel back gently. Although not a long wait, you need to wait long enough for the filament to harden. Otherwise, your students will stretch, tear and ruin their amazing doodles.

5. Hold stencils in place.

Tape stencil flat to table, so that it does not gap or curl under filament as you doodle. Rather than cutting out your stencil along its outline, leave a wider border around it, which can easily be taped down to a desk.

6. Allow access to the 3Doodler outside of instructional time.

This will give your students non-pressured, explorative time, during which they may come up with astounding new ways to use the 3Doodler! And, as in any new task, 3Doodling skills become stronger over time. *Model and praise persistence for the student who makes a mistake and figures out a way to fix it with his or her 3Doodler.

7. Different colors, different speed.

Note that different filament colors flow at different rates from the nozzle of the 3Doodler. In order to gain improved control of directional flow, allow students time to experiment with different colors, then record and discuss each color’s rate of flow.

8. Set reasonable goals.

Before beginning any new 3Doodler lesson with your students, try it yourself first. Know your students and their abilities, e.g., prior experience with 3Doodler and fine motor skills. Rather than set your students up for failure, offer students plenty of upfront practice time using the 3Doodler before diving into that very cool language arts lesson, creating figurative doodles.

Boo! Transform your classroom into a creepy, crawly fabrication lab this Halloween!

Get Started

9. Doodling on paper.

When Doodling on paper, choose filament and paper that contrast each other in order for students to clearly see the filament as it extrudes from the 3Doodler and down onto the paper.

10. For Teachers: Work backwards.

Create freely and then determine how what you’ve designed could be used to teach a concept within your curriculum. Give yourself time to try all sorts of ways to use the 3Doodler, rather than diving in with a specific lesson plan in mind. It’s much easier to begin wide and focus in, rather than vice versa. Furthermore, investing time in your own 3Doodling skills will make you a better doodler, too.

11. 3Doodle with your students.

Your enthusiasm for this tool and its endless possibilities will spread. Doodle alongside students during indoor recess. Offer 3Doodling as a class reward for good behavior. Hold a 3Doodling class birthday party. It’s a lot healthier than cake and a lot more fun, too!

Julia Dweck is a public school teacher who works with students in grades K-5, focusing on the importance of creative and open-ended thinking. Julia is the 2016 winner of the Da Vinci Science Award for her innovative integration of technology in the classroom.

She serves as a school resource and exemplar for inventive implementation of the arts and sciences. Julia encourages her students, friends, and peers to take risks, whenever possible, in order to grow. Follow her on Twitter @GiftedTawk

Promising Penmanship: Doodling to Master Cursive Writing

Did you know that those who learn cursive handwriting show enhanced brain development in the areas associated with working memory, thinking, and language?

It is also thought that writing in cursive significantly changes the way the brain operates since typing and printing do not stimulate the same response.

This is why 3Doodler EDU includes cursive exercises in our lesson plans to help set your students up for success!

Given the obvious neurological benefits of cursive, it is not surprising that this style of writing also enhances comprehension, as shown in the analysis of student SAT results. This analysis revealed that students who wrote their essays in cursive achieved higher marks than those who printed.

The running theory is that individuals who write in cursive have more time to concentrate on the subject matter of their essay due to the faster pace of writing in cursive as opposed to print.

"The tactile practice of handwriting leaves a memory trace in the sensorimotor part of the brain, which is retrieved when reading the letters. In other words, handwriting reinforces reading in ways that keyboarding does not."-Cindy Long, National Education Association
Design by Grace DuPrez

While cursive is no longer required by many schools, many educators continue to promote cursive in their classrooms due to the overwhelming benefits of using it.

At 3Doodler we’re doubling down on the theories behind cursive and how cursive enhances brain development. If there really is a proven connection between tactile practices, memory, and recall, then imagine the possibilities if we deepen that sensory experience even further – in 3D and through touch.

Design by Grace DuPrez

For your elementary school students, be sure to use our Touch Text ELA lesson plan for a fun classroom activity that explores tactile letters.

For middle school and high school students, challenge them to write their favorite quote from an assigned reading in their most promising penmanship!

Have your students benefited from cursive in the classroom?

Share your classroom story on Twitter!

#3Doodler @3Doodler #WhatWillYouCreate?

All designs by Grace DuPrez. Check her out on Instagram.

References: the New York Times and the National Education Association

Spring into the Season with Heather Baharally

Spring is around the corner and the terrain is being reborn! As the leaves unfurl into Spring, 3D pen artist Heather Baharally has been creating beautiful blossoms in celebration of the coming season.

We were able to speak with her about her creative process and her personal connection with this special time of year.

"I love when the snow melts and you can smell the earth in the air. I love when the lilacs, maydays, cherry and apple trees all blossom at once, and the winds carry their scents and cause a ‘rain’ of pink and white petals. It is a magical and brief time of the year."

Can you explain some of the benefits of working with 3D pens as a 3D art medium, as opposed to other 3D mediums you may have worked with in the past?

3D pens are a ‘quick set’ medium, the plastic cooling and firming rapidly after release. It is a very fast media, with no waiting time for baking (clay) or drying time like paint. The plastic is reworkable with heat at any point, unlike baked clay or paper mache. The transparent and metallic plastics add a beautiful range of shine and sparkle.

Plastic filament is not like any one media. Rather, it takes on aspects of different art mediums, and can be used in similar ways as many types of media! From clay to pen, and even to icing, 3D pens and plastics can take on the forms of so many other mediums, and do so quickly! Doodles can be reworked and refined, or left raw. You can always find new techniques with the plastics, with endless refinements of the process to explore. Inspiration surrounds the creative processes with 3D pens!

Why did you select the colors you did for the flowers, and how are those color combinations evocative of springtime?

Bold, bright, contrasting colors catch the eye and generate excitement! I love colors that evoke feelings of heat and sunlight. They are true to nature, and embody the realistic recreation of natural shapes and patterns.

Watch how Heather designs the flowers from start to finish!

Watch the Video

Describe your process with making the flowers, and the differences between working with the Create+ and the Start.

I like bright, high contrast patterns. Dynamic flowers appealed to me. Tiger lilys can always be found in my mother’s garden. Picking subjects that have an emotional connection to me inspires better workmanship. I draw the petals flat, adding layers of color and detail. I observe how the line of my plastic abstracts the line of a petal’s veins in nature. I attach the petals together while drawing the core of the flower, adding pistil, stamen and stem.

"With Doodled flowers, the colors stay vibrant all year round. The transparencies can create beautiful reflected lights when touched by sunlight. The addition of LEDs allow the flowers to share their blooms at night."

While Doodling layers onto petals, it makes them warm and sometimes shapeable. If they are too cool, I use a heat gun for reshaping PLA, as the plastic holds its structure well! I can bend and fold the Doodled PLA and it will retain its lined texture. Through pinching, rolling, and holding the curves in place, I can mimic natural shapes. Start plastic must be warmed at a lower temperature because it is designed to melt with less heat. It responds more like clay when heated. It must be handled delicately, but takes to smoothing well when heated lightly and in small sections.

Can you offer any tips or tricks to readers who are using 3D pens to create?

Let the line be a line. Allow for the bumps and wiggles to exist, and celebrate the ‘mistakes’! They make the work natural. Create in variety. In the case of flowers, play with the size and width of the flower petals. Practice slow lines and fast lines. Don’t draw too much in one place, and allow for filament to cool to avoid warping, unless that’s what you want to achieve of course! Add layers to give projects more detail. Every time you add a line you are adding volume. Leave room for your shapes to grow as you add the layers of detail.

Do Heather’s Doodles ignite your inspiration to create?

Share your springtime Doodles on social media and connect with our community!

#3Doodler @3Doodler #WhatWillYouCreate?

Want to create some of your own springtime Doodles? See our flower tutorial here!

Canadian artist Heather Baharally started working with 3D pens when she received her first 3Doodler pen from backing the kickstarter campaign. She has spent the last 4 years exploring the endless possibilities of this new and exciting media, developing several unique and distinct techniques and styles using 3Doodler pens. She won several of the early 3Doodler social media challenges and contests, solidifying her intent to use the pen to create artwork. From drawing portraits on plexiglas to large sculptural paintings on canvas, wearable chainmail and masks to 3D fairies and witches, she continues to push the limits of what can be done using 3D pens and plastic filaments.

St. Paddy’s Day Doodles for your K-8 Classroom!

St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t have to be a day for adults only! We have just the activities that will bring meaningful learning experiences to your elementary and middle school students to celebrate Irish heritage and folklore.

Now it is time to catch Leprechauns and make some lucky charms!

STEM Doodle Clouds + Leprechaun Trap Extension

When students think of Leprechauns, they think of rainbows, gold, shamrocks and clouds! Guide your class to explore the characteristics of cloud formations in our Doodle Clouds Lesson Plan. After the students complete their lesson, sort them into groups and have them create Leprechaun Traps using their Doodled clouds and other materials in your classroom, such as construction paper, crayons, and cardboard!

Remind students that Leprechauns are attracted to anything which is glittery, shiny, and colorful – so encourage them to craft a trap that will catch those mischievous little leprechauns! After their traps are completed, have students explain the theories behind how their designs will catch leprechauns.

For some STEM Leprechaun Trap Inspiration, check out Education Closet’s amazing resources here!

STEM Lucky Charms!

In this STEM Lucky Charms activity, students investigate two of their five senses, touch and sight, then identify various patterns using these senses. Students will Doodle lucky “sole-charms” for their sneakers using the soles of their shoes to create a textured Doodle-charm.

Share your classroom’s St. Paddy’s Day Doodles on Twitter! @3Doodler #3Doodler #3DoodlerEDU


Also, check out the new Leprechaun we added to the 3Doodler Stencil Library

View It

Cock-A-Doodle-Do: Beginning Each Day with a Doodle

Welcome to our 4-part blog series on Demystifying Doodling. Written by educator and author, Julia Deck, this series explores the use of 3D pens in the classroom and reflects on common questions that teachers have about Doodling.

You may not have a rooster egging you on at dawn, but I encourage you to rise and shine because mornings are the best time to Doodle!

Scientific research indicates that our prefrontal cortex is most active during sleep, when we wake up, and shortly thereafter. It’s no wonder that we have the most creative thoughts at this time of day. You’re probably not a “sleep-Doodler”, so this leaves mornings. The early post-REM state is a time of open-mindedness that nurtures those “Aha!” moments which just might lead to great discoveries.

Here are four lessons we can learn from some of history’s most creative “morning” discoveries…

1. Keep a pad for doodling near your nightstand.

Dmitri Mendeleev, the creator of the periodic table, claimed to have seen a table in a dream where all the elements “fell into place as required.

Awakening, I immediately wrote it down on a piece of paper.” Mornings are critical for capturing dreams that often evaporate into the ether of our subconscious if we don’t actively build on them. Doodle your ideas on paper upon waking before they fly back into the recesses of your mind.

2. Creative thinking can clarify thoughts, leading to logical conclusions.

You could say that René Descartes was a morning person. He claimed that the idea for the Scientific Method came to him in a dream. Descartes felt that “Thoughts should be ordered, starting with the simplest and easiest to know, [then] ascending little by little, and, step by step, to more complex knowledge.”

Creative thinking can inform order that leads to further creative ideas and discoveries. Morning doodles can sort confusion into sense and order.

3. Doodling can express thoughts that go beyond mere words.

In that dream-like state between sleep and wakefulness, images can sow ideas never before spoken or written. You may not know the scientist, August Kekulé. Although not a household name, August’s morning discovery is one that changed the scientific world forever. In his dream, August saw dancing atoms moving around in a circle capped by the head of a snake. This led to his discovery of benzene molecules and their composition of circular “dancing” atoms. August didn’t wait for words. He began with an image. Morning doodles may help us express the sublime.

4. Doodles express thinking at the speed of light.

In dreams, our minds are open to receiving ideas and making connections. Edgar Alan Poe said that “Those who dream by night are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by day.” Einstein credits his theory for traveling at the speed of a light to a dream. He was sledding down a hill at a speed so far beyond the human experience that the stars appeared to transform. Meditating about what he had dreamt, Einstein was led to one of his most amazing discoveries. Doodling is a form of meditation that can promote deep reflection resulting in great epiphanies.

Morning Doodlers know that every new day can begin like Christmas morning, unwrapping the gifts of the previous evening’s inspiration, and unleashing the colorful swirls and lines that may result in great discoveries. So set your 3Doodler pen down right next to your alarm clock. For last night’s dreams may lead to some enlightening Doodles!

Julia Dweck is a published children’s author and public school teacher who works with students in grades K-5. Her teaching style focuses on the importance of creative and open-ended thinking. Julia is the 2016 winner of the Da Vinci Science Award for her innovative integration of technology in the classroom.

She serves as a school resource and exemplar for inventive implementation of the arts and sciences. Julia encourages her students, friends, and peers to take risks, whenever possible, in order to grow. Follow her on Twitter: @GiftedTawk