Exploring 2D Design to 3D Printing at Maker Camp

2D Design to 3D Printing Camp is always a favorite.  For the majority of the Mini Makers it will be their first time 3D printing!

In the Mini Makers program we are continually mixing tech skills with hands on activities to help develop a strong understanding so when working on the computer they have some physical example to fall back on.

Shape Hunt (2)

We started camp off learning exactly what 1D, 2D, and 3D is.  We investigated how to find those simple 2D shapes in the world around us to help design our 3D forms, whether we printed them or built them by hand.

2.5 sub

As you step into the world of 3D printing it is beneficial to know what exactly the 3D printer is doing.  3D printing is an additive process, adding material layer by layer to create a 3D form. The opposite is subtractive manufacturing, better known to many as carving.  Our Wikki Stix and Soap carving projects really get the Mini Makers excited to create.  We probably spent the remainder of the camp sessions finding bugs all around the room hanging from all over.

2.5 Add

2D design is key when helping young and even old Makers create.  To be able to take a simple 2D drawing and create a 3D object takes skill so we find Legos to be a great building tool.  Our Mini Makers build from blueprints to help understand the importance of making instructions clear so that others can build your design.


As they created their own blueprints many found it helpful to add more angles of their object, step by step instructions, and even what bricks they used layer by layer in order for their neighbor to recreate their design.  This project shows the importance of really thinking through a design.

Blueprints (1)

Sticking with our objective of 2D design to 3D printing our MiniMakers began designing bubble-wands.  By now they see how helpful it is to have multiple designs, to work out as many bugs as possible before beginning manufacturing.  We use a free web based program called DoodleFab to take our 2D drawings of our bubble-wands to create an SVG file that we can than convert to a STL file to download and 3D print!


With any project we tackle we focus on design, manufacturing, testing, and improving what we create.  Everything we 3D printed we tested.  We made bubble wands using DoodleFab, cookie cutters using Cookie Caster (free web based program), and bowls using Tinkercad.

2.5 bubble Wands

Here in the NanoLab the Mini Makers use Tinkercad as our go to 3D printing program.  We love that it’s free and user friendly.  Our Mini Makers are able to continue their 3D design skills at home they learned during their short 2 week camp session.  By the end of camp every Mini Maker felt comfortable enough to show off their skills they developed when it comes to 2D to 3D printing.  Not only surprising their parents and family with their knowledge but our staff here at DHF were blown away with their skills.

2.5 2d 3d

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