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3D Printing and Bulletin Boards

by Peggy Reimers
TCEAsnowman

In May of 2014, TCEA moved into a brand new office space. It’s a wide open space that’s been decorated with appealing artwork and artifacts from TCEA Conventions past throughout the staff and conference center. But we have ONE bulletin board in the staff Commons Area. It is your typical 4 x 6 bulletin board that you would find in a school setting. I must admit it doesn’t receive much attention, so I have kind of deemed myself the captain of the TCEA bulletin board. After all, as a former teacher of 24 years, decorating bulletin boards is in my blood.

This past December, as I was mulling over the new bulletin board, I decided to take a maker approach and get the TCEA staff to participate. I took a three-fold approach with the December-February bulletin board.

Everybody Makes

The first part is pretty much a standard activity. Each staff member made a snowflake out of a coffee filter they had folded, cut out their unique snowflake design, and dipped in water with food coloring. It was a quick and easy little craft that made for a nice holiday brain break from the workday. 

Create Art, Not More Waste

The second part is the focal point of the bulletin board: a snowman. He would be the one surrounded by the staff’s beautiful snowflakes. I tried to reuse or upcycle materials to create the snowman. The eyes were made out of soda pop bottles. I used discarded trays to create his snowball torso and head. 

3D Printing for Bulletin Boards

The third part of my vision included the 3D printed parts. I used these to create the snowman’s orange nose and red buttons. Coming up with no recycled material for these two pieces, I decided to put our 3D printer to good use.

If you are wondering when I was going to get to the educational part of this blog…here it comes. Why not have a bulletin board where the parts are 3D printed by your students? This would be a great class project which includes a plan of action, design, and measurement. Getting everyone involved and invested in creating the bulletin board helps inspire a positive culture, whether you’re in an office or a classroom. Everyone gets to see the fruits of their creative labor as they go about their days. Creating a bulletin board with reused or upcycled materials is another way to get those creative juices going. 

And don’t forget to check out this February blog post for another idea that combines making and 3D printing.

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