Saw a neat tweet earlier today about 3d printing, math, and engineering:
I recognized some of the shapes in the article as ones that we’d played with before:
The grey shape displayed in the article is a “made thicker for 3d printing” version of the surface I thought it would be fun to print that shape today and use it for a little project with the kids tonight. Here’s the Mathematica code and what the print looks like in the Preform software:
8 hours later the print finished and I asked the boys to describe that shape plus the gyroid. It is always fascinating to hear what kids see in unusual shapes. My younger son went first:
Here’s what my older son had to say (and he’s starting to study trig, so we could go a tiny bit deeper into the math behind the shape I printed today):
Next we watched the video about the shapes made by Rice University:
After watching the video I asked the boys to talk about some of the things they learned:
Of course, mostly they didn’t want to talk about the shapes – they wanted to stand on them! So much for an 8 hour print and 45 min of trying to clean out the supports . . .
Here’s how the standing went:
Definitely a fun project and a fun way to show kids a current application of both theoretical math and 3d printing!