3D modeling is where art and STEM meet. It’s a place where students can nurture their love of technology while exploring their artistic flare. Carefully crafted courses use 3D software to design a virtual printed image using the latest 3D technology. Not only do students learn 3D modeling, but they also leave with a physical example of their work.

What Is 3D Modeling and Printing?

3D Printing place

3D modeling uses computer graphics to produce three-dimensional images of objects. Designers establish multiple points or vertices on a computer screen to form a mesh. The points of the mesh are manipulated to create shapes. The points are mapped to a 3D grid and joined to make objects.

3D printing lets engineers create physical objects from 3D models using computer-controlled printers. 3D printers are specifically designed to produce multi-layered objects in an enclosed chamber to protect users from touching hot surfaces. Models are built layer by layer using a range of materials such as plastic, ceramic, and metal.

What Are the Types of 3D Models?

3D models come in three forms — solid, wireframe, and surface.

Solid Modeling

Solid modeling uses multiple shapes as building blocks to create images. Basic shapes such as spheres, prisms, and cubes are used to construct images. It does not require the computational power of surface modeling, and the software is straightforward to use.

Wireframe Modeling

Wireframe models may be a better option if the surface is curved or complex. Wireframes use at least three vertices per geometric face, and vertices can be shared. Many wireframe programs use triangles as their base shape, building images through layering. Wireframe modeling requires more sophisticated software, which increases the learning curve.

Surface Modeling

Many professionals use surface modeling to integrate various elements and smoothly contoured surfaces seamlessly. It is a technique rather than a distinct software package. It relies heavily on computational power to generate the fluid curves.

Why Learn 3D Modeling and 3D Printing?

3D modeling and printing introduce students to a skill that can become a viable career. The entertainment industry recruits people who excel at 3D modeling for work on animated movies and live-action films. Many video games use 3D models in their development of visual assets.

More traditional occupations, such as architecture and engineering, use 3D software to design buildings and products to scale. With the continued focus on sustainability, engineers, and architects will test the limits of 3D design as they create environmentally friendly products and buildings.

What Skills Do Students Acquire?

Benefits of 3D Printing

Learning 3D modeling and printing also helps children with the following:

  •  Develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills
  •  Encourage creative thinking
  •  Explore engineer design principles

The overall experience lets students experience the creative process from design to 3D objects.

The Emagination Difference

Emagination summer camps are for children from 8 through 17 who are interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Each camp lasts two weeks, with an overnight option that begins on the Sunday before the start of camp. Overnight campers spend staff-supervised evenings hanging out in game rooms, enjoying WiFi in air-conditioned rooms, or meeting new friends in lounge areas.

Day campers may choose an extended day option that runs from 7:30 am until 7:30 pm. Otherwise, their camp begins at 8:30 am and ends at 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Camps are offered in six locations.

Learning 3D Modeling and Printing

Emagination’s 3D Modeling and Printing camp introduces students to the basics of 3D model design and exposes them to the intricacies of 3D printing. Specific topics include:

  •  How to Design 3D Models. Students learn the different types of 3D models.
  •  Mechanical Design Principles. Participants explore mechanical design principles for movement and construction.
  •  Improved Spatial Reasoning. Children experience different methods of spatial reasoning to make it easier to visualize the final product.
  •  Product Development. Campers learn the standard steps in product development, such as concept, prototype, and beta testing.

At the end of their camp, each student will take home a 3D-printed model of their design.

Exploring Other Options

Emagination also offers summer camps in the following areas of concentration:

  •  Engineering has four courses ranging from logical thinking to robotics.
  •  Design Art and Media includes six classes covering animation and design.
  •  Coding provides four courses introducing languages such as Java and C#.
  •  Game Design encompasses seven courses using frameworks such as Minecraft and Dungeons & Dragons

Depending on student interest, they can create a personalized schedule drawing from all concentration areas. Campers spend six hours in an instructional setting. Each class is divided into two 3-hour sessions with a 45-minute break.

Finding a Location

STEM camps are located on educational campuses in the following six states:

  •  Connecticut at Fairfield University
  •  Pennsylvania at Rosemont College
  •  Virginia at Marymount University
  •  Massachusetts at Bentley University
  •  Georgia at Mercer University’s Atlanta Campus
  •  Illinois at Lake Forest Academy

Role of 3D Printing

Classes and labs use campus facilities, and overnight campers stay in on-campus housing.

Enjoying Camp Life

Although Emagination STEM camps do not take place away from civilization, they retain outdoor activities. During breaks, students can choose activities such as dodgeball or slip-and-slide. On rainy days, board games are available. All campers are encouraged to interact with like-minded students.

Participants can choose to spend some, but not all, of their free time in labs. Our camps incorporate social interaction so children learn life skills that foster collaboration and communication. These soft skills are essential in occupations such as web developers, art directors, and architects.

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