COSI Blog
22
July
2013

Playdough Game Controllers and 3D Printing!

Photo from weekend Maker programs.

Finishing out this weekend of design! Nathaniel and I did 3D printing on Saturday and paper video game controllers on Sunday! A lot of people were drawn to the 3D printing because its such a cool, up and coming technology that's continually gaining momentum. A lot of parents had heard about it and were really excited to explain how it worked to the kids. Unfortunately it was down during our actual workshop but luckily Nathaniel had printed out some rocket ships to give to kids that came to the workshop. For the 2 hours we were in the cafe guests got to 3D model in tinkercad. Tinkercad is a simplified version of CAD, computer-aided design, the program engineers, designers, and architects sometimes use to do their 3D modeling/printing. Nathaniel actually rendered the rocket ships we gave out in the program! It was really exciting to see kids who were telling me they wanted to be engineers getting really into the program. It got me so excited I spent some time that evening playing around on it!

Sunday we made video game controllers out of paper. There is this really cool thing that some guys at MIT make called a "Makey Makey". Its basically a programmed chip that you plug into your computer that you can connect to anything conductive, graphite, fruit, metal. etc. that then recognizes that conductive material as part of the keyboard. Guests filled in parts on a robot that we connected to the "Makey Makey" which was then connected to a drum game, so when they touched their robot they played the drums! Another cool conductive material is playdough! We made game controllers out of playdough and attached it to a Super Mario Brother's game. Kids loved that! They were really excited by the playdough, it was a new twist on an old favorite. There was one Dad helping his daughter and I loved watching him explain to her the process of the current moving through her body to the paper to the game. She was so excited that she was what was finishing the circuit! I think a lot of people really enjoyed these last two days of design. I know I can't wait to do them again!!!

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