Free Educational 3D Printing Curriculum Released by the City X Project

Guest Posting by Matthew Straub, Director of Communications at IDEAco

As far as we know, on Tuesday we launched the first Common Core State Standards-aligned curriculum that fully integrates 3D printing technologies, design thinking, and empathy for kids. Specifically, the City X Project toolkit is geared toward kids 8-12, and is the result of testing and experimenting with the workshop with over 500 kids in four countries. Our design thinking toolkit is meant for everyone, and we couldn’t be happier that it has already been downloaded by people in at least 13 countries.

The CIty X Project is accommodates approximately six hours of lessons, beginning with a fictional story about humans building the first settlement on a new planet, called City X. Every student participating is given a citizen card with a depiction of a City X citizen asking for help in solving a social problem faced in their new community. Teachers then guide their students through the design process as every student in the class invents something that can solve their citizen’s problem. Students make clay models, then digital 3D models, and, when a 3D printer is available, actually print prototypes of their new inventions.

The City X Project toolkit includes everything needed for a teacher run the workshop, including PDFs with printable citizen cards, designer workbooks for students, and most importantly, a very thorough and detailed instructor’s guide which will help walk any teacher through these lessons, even if they’ve never used 3D modeling software!

We began our journey toward releasing this toolkit over a year ago thanks to our Presenting Sponsor, 3D Systems. It took us nearly 20 workshops and nearly 200,000 air miles to get to this point, so we hope that any educator interested in integrating new technology into their classroom has an enjoyable experience turning their class into a room full of inventors! The full toolkit can be downloaded by educators for free at


Scan Your World with Sense for the Mac

All Mac users can now enjoy the Sense at home 3D Scanner as much as the PC user has been doing for a few months now. Released in late 2013, the Sense 3D scanner is Fully integrated with and the Cube 3D printer, the Sense allows scans to upload directly for 3D printing, either at home or through the cloud. It releases STL files and PLY files.


Mac users can  jump for joy with the newly announced support for 3D Systems.

The Sense is the first 3D scanner designed for easy consumer use and optimized for 3D printing. Catching moments in 3D is now easy and fun, and costs just $399.

The Sense software V1.1 features Mac support and other feature upgrades including improved scan tracking and stability, upgraded auto-enhancement for correct brightness and color.

These features build on the very easy-to-use interface that allows anyone to focus, crop, delete and share color 3D data. Sense printables can be sent to Cube® and CubeX™ 3D printers, or directly uploaded to for cloud printing in a range of materials, including Ceramix, Aluminix and Clear.




Latest buzz word in 3D printing: Haptics

Published on April 1st, 2014 by in Models

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The word “haptic” seems to be popping on everywhere lately, from the forums of Reddit to the pages of CNN. But what exactly does haptic mean?

“Haptic” is the general term used to describe devices that give tactile feedback to a human user. While haptics may seem like a brand new phenomenon, we’ve already been interacting with haptics for a while. Haptics are in the cell phones and video game controllers we use every day. Haptic devices are what make our phones vibrate after a keystroke or when your’e getting a call.

At the same time, higher-end haptic devices are powering a number of true-to-life virtual medical training, research and therapy applications. The Geomagic Touch by 3D Systems is one of these original devices. Geomagic Touch provides force feedback when users interact with 3D objects, so doctors can more realistically simulate surgical procedures, dental students can practice on lifelike virtual models, and researchers can “touch” molecular models.

One company that has fully utilized Geomagic Touch in the expansion of their haptic device applications is Inition, which include a wide range of medical training uses, like Virtual Botox. Click here to learn about more of the 3DS haptic device applications used and developed by Inition.


City X Project Establishes First Regional Partner in Singapore

Guest Posting by Matthew Straub, Communications Director of the City X Project

We at the City X Project – a 3D printing and design thinking workshop for kids sponsored by 3D Systems – are quite excited to announce that we’ve established our first regional partner in the city-state of Singapore. Our parent organization, IDEAco, now recognizes the educational development organization Clanworks as Singapore’s regional for-profit partner for bringing the City X Project curriculum in Singapore.

The City X Project design thinking toolkit for teachers will still be absolutely free for educators around the world. Our partnership with Clanworks is part of a broader initiative to professionally train regional partners around the world on the ins and outs of teaching 8-12 year-old kids design thinking and creative problem solving in the context of our story-based curriculum.

When members of our team travel to train a regional partner, we’re able to go far beyond explaining the goals and ideas behind the City X Project in person. We’re able to relay teaching tips, share details about our experiences, answer questions, and, of course, facilitate or provide feedback on a workshop locally. This enables our partners to continue to facilitate the City X Project workshop locally, whether for profit or not. As an ever-improving workshop, it also allows us to test and collect feedback of our curriculum in a greater variety of educational, geographic, and cultural contexts.

This approach to licensing the curriculum around the United States and abroad is an avenue to empower as many kids as possible with the tools and processes necessary to make, solve problems, and get their hands on 3D modeling and 3D printing technologies.

We couldn’t be happier to have local representation in Southeast Asia. We want to reach and empower as many kids as possible with 3D printing and lessons in creative problem solving. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to learn more about licensing the City X Project locally and becoming a certified regional partner!


Mykita Glasses “Manufactory” Creates Designs with SLS 3D Printing

Mykita glasses  are crafted with unique styles and looks like no other sunglass. Mykita has a style that is as unique as each person who wears them.

With names of each design like a person, (think Chester, Owen, Aretha and Faye) each pair of Mykita glasses are crafted from a 3D printer.

The “manufactory” process embodies the spirit of the new manufacturing revolution as the glasses are built with one thing in mind– “precision craftsmanship with new technologies.” One of these new technologies is SLS 3D printing from 3D Systems, which Mykita uses to create the Mykita Mylon line of sunglasses. These glasses boast “individual adjustability” with style.

The SLS system allows Mykita to produce the frames in virtually any geometrical configuration. Mykita has already won an iF material award and a Red Dot design award for the manufacturing process of the Mylon collection and the product design. Watch how Mykita makes their sunglasses with SLS 3D printing technology.


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Free Educator 3D Toolkit Coming Soon

Guest Posting by Matthew Straub, Communications Director of the City X Project.

After 16 design thinking workshops in three countries and 547 inventions by kids ages 8-12 – all of which were made in 3D modeling software – City X Project Director Libby Falck announced this week during a talk at SXSW edu that all of our work will be culminating in a free toolkit for educators, to be released on our website on April 8th.

The City X Project is a 3D Systems-sponsored and Common Core-aligned workshop that uses a story-based curriculum, 3D printing technologies, and the Stanford d.School Design Process to empower kids to become inventors and changemakers. Our free, downloadable toolkit will include everything a teacher or other educator needs to run the workshop in their own school, including designer workbooks for students, City X citizen cards, and documents with tips and tricks for 3D printing and 3D modeling with kids.

Thanks to the support of the Pearson Foundation, our workshop aligns with several Mathematics and English Language Arts Common Core Standards, and we’ll feature several add-on activities that will allow teachers to explore the world of design thinking and City X even deeper and across various subjects, such as science and social studies.

You can sign up to receive a one-time email the day the City X Project toolkit is released here.


Virgin Atlantic Blog features 3D Systems technology

CES2014 was one of those places where you could see future technology up close and personal. The Virgin Atlantic Blog recently wrote an article on future technology. We were thrilled to see 3D Systems’ featured as one of their favorites.

Read the complete blog on future technology here.


3D Printing Joins the league of Edison, Einstein, and Ford

Published on March 4th, 2014 by in Announcements

3D printing has officially established itself as a game changer by joining some of the greatest inventions of all time! Our very own Chuck Hull, the inventor of 3D printing and founder of 3D Systems, will be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) for his groundbreaking work inventing 3D printing. Chuck Hull joins some of history’s greatest inventors, including Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, and Steve Jobs .

Hull is being recognized by the NIHF for his invention of the original 3D printing technology, Stereolithography (SLA). In 1983, Hull 3D printed a small cup, the first-ever object created with additive technology. This success lead to his founding of 3D Systems where Hull continues to lead the 3D printing revolution as 3D Systems’ Chief Technology Officer.

Since 1973, the National Inventors Hall of Fame has been honoring the individuals who have created, patented and advanced great technological achievements dating back to the birth of our nation. “Each year we have the distinct honor of recognizing individuals whose contributions to society will resound throughout the ages,” said Michael Oister, Invent Now CEO. “3D printing is an astounding technology that is poised to change the way our world works and the way we interact with it. We are delighted to welcome Chuck Hull to our NIHF family.”

Hull will be honored on May 21, 2014, at the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia.


FloridaSU Expands Innovation Lab with Cube 3D Printers


3D Systems is excited to empower students at Florida State University’s College of Communication & Information (CCI) by donating our suite of 3D printing tools. The CCI innovation lab will now include Cube 3 and CubePro 3D printers, a Sense 3D Scanner and a Touch 3D mouse.

“We are committed to empowering this generation of students with tomorrow’s skills today, and we believe that at the core of tomorrow’s necessary workforce skills is 3D design and printing,” said Leanne Gluck, Director of Social Impact for 3D Systems. “3D design and printing not only democratizes local production for established companies and professionals, but it also enables students to be the inventor, the designer, the artist, and to have the tools to start their own business if they want to.”

The CCI Innovation Lab will provide FSU students with the opportunity to prototype and iterate using cutting edge consumer 3D technology.

As Larry Dennis, Dean of the College of Communication & Information, says, “This gift will have a tremendous impact on FSU students…Providing students with ongoing access to state-of-the-art 3D printing technology is a great way to engage students and inspire them to think innovatively about the impact of this technology. 3D Systems’ gift has helped create a fantastic opportunity for FSU’s students and faculty.”

While the CCI Lab is currently in development, they will be offering training classes to student interested in using this 3D technology.


What a Difference 36-Hours Makes

Published on February 27th, 2014 by in Community

If you’ve ever needed proof of the high returns of student activity sponsorship, look no further than the meager $1000 that launched Makeathon, an interdisciplinary innovation super storm hosted by the University of Michigan student organization, MPowered Entrepreneurship. With funding from the Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation, this student group organized a 36-hour product design competition for under-grad and grad students in the Detroit and Ann Arbor area.

Held at TechShop Detroit from February 21-23, teams of up to five students were given access to a full workshop of design and manufacture tools to build their prototypes, including Cube 3D printers, laser cutters, vacuum formers and lathes. Each team was required to pitch to a live audience on the competition’s final day, and were judged based on the execution of technical components, craftsmanship, manufacturability of the final design, and whether the product met a need.

The competition yielded a diverse array of final products, from customizable 3D printed speaker cases to a retractable longboard to modular lighting for home décor. The winning design was ultimately for a chair that was engineered to assist elderly people in sitting and standing by reducing the force needed to complete these movements.

What idea would you bring to life with 36 hours and a comprehensive toolkit?


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