Are You Back to School Ready?

As a parent, making sure your child has everything they need to kick off the new school year is important, no doubt about it. But outside of the material things, it’s equally important to make sure their school is providing the best educational opportunities for learning in the 21st century.

This is where advocating for how your child learns, and engaging with their teacher or administration, comes into play. Depending on your child’s age and grade level, you might advocate for different things. For us at 3Doodler, we are big believers in the benefits of fostering a STEM culture both at school and at home, and all that comes with it.

What is STEM and Why is it Important?

STEM is short for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. STEM Education makes learning “real” and gives students opportunities to see the connection between the content they are studying and the application of that content in authentic and relevant ways. STEM teaching encourages a hands-on creative learning environment to help develop their problem-solving skills. While some schools may have a STEM class, we advocate for a culture of STEM learning to be adopted into any class or subject matter.

You probably have also heard of STEAM, which adds “Arts” into the mix. The concept here is that by adding Arts, you are adding creative thinking and design skills to STEM projects so that students can imagine a variety of ways to use STEM skills into adulthood. STEAM uses design methods to approach STEM subjects creatively, and make them real-world relevant to all students, not just those already interested.

So if this kind of learning and teaching sounds interesting to you, or you think could be helpful for your child, send their teachers a quick email to ask how they are embracing STEM learning in the classroom this year, or if nothing else, be sure to ask about it in your next Parent-Teacher Conference.

Can’t forget to Doodle

If you are in the South or West coast, you’ve likely already started school. If you’re on the East coast, you might be preparing for school to start next month. Regardless of which camp you fall into, we thought this would be a great time to bring out some functional Back to School stencil favorites. So if you need pencil caps, cord holders, or a pencil box we’ve got you covered!

In this week’s tutorial, we also have a fun back-to-school project. The days of sending your child to school with a real consumable apple for their teacher might be over, but the tradition can live on! We show you how to Doodle an apple instead with this fun stencil. Your child can use this as a conversation starter to explain how much fun they had Doodling it, and it can also symbolize the fact that you recognize the work your teacher, and the school, is putting into fostering a STEM-based culture.

Special Announcement

Be on the lookout for a special back-to-school sale starting later this week on August 26th and running until September 7th. There will be specials on Start+ and Create+ Learn From Home and a special new add-on bundle will be available.

 

Don’t forget to share your back-to-school Doodles with @3Doodler #3Doodler #WhatWillYouCreate.

Posted in EDU

Fine-Tune Your Doodling Technique

Have you ever seen a Doodle and wondered how someone created it? Today, we help solve that problem by walking through several advanced techniques that’ll take your Doodling to the next level.

What You’ll Need

In this blog, we’ll be focused on techniques using our Create+ and PRO+ 3D printing pens. In addition to one of these pens, you will also want to have our Create+ PLA and Create+ ABS filament on hand. These are two different types of filament for the Create+ and PRO+ pens, and while they may look the same at first glance, they both have very different attributes and can be manipulated in different ways.

PLA

PLA is a plant-based, non-toxic material and is recyclable & compostable. You might even smell something sweet while Doodling, that’s because PLA is a corn-based material that emits a sweet, sugary smell as it heats up. PLA is very versatile and can be used on paper, glass, cloth, and metal surfaces.

PLA is unique because even after it has been extruded you have five to six seconds where you can still manipulate it. Even after it’s cooled, you have other techniques at your disposal that allow the plastic to be reshaped. Using a hairdryer, you can heat up certain parts of your Doodle to soften the filament and reshape it, without affecting your entire creation.

For more complex projects you can even use your oven to heat PLA filament. This technique will cause the entire Doodle to melt together. This technique should only be used when you are okay with melting your entire creation, as you’ll use any of the typically Doodle lines that you see after extrusion. You can also use this technique to change the transparency of the Doodle, like in this video where a telescope lens needs to be heated up to help it come together and become transparent.

ABS

When it comes to drawing in the air, ABS is your filament. ABS cools down faster than PLA allowing you to draw in the air with ease. After extrusion, you have about three seconds before the filament to harden. Once hardened, ABS will easily peel off of paper or stencils, and can bend with ease. Given how quick it cools / hardens, ABS can be easier for beginner Doodlers wishing to draw in the air. Unlike PLA, ABS does not have a sweet smell. ABS also cannot be heated up and manipulated after extrusion, so if you decide to try out any of the above-mentioned heating techniques, make sure you are using PLA!

Nozzle Set

An additional tool you can use to help shape and construct your extruded plastic is our nozzle set. This Set includes a ribbon tip, square tip, triangle tip, a super fine 0.5mm nozzle, and thicker 1mm and 1.5mm nozzles. It also includes a smoothing tool that clips onto the end of each nozzle, allowing you to smooth over or create contours and details on your Doodles. These Doodles below help show some of the different techniques possible with the nozzle set.

Let’s practice!

In order to become a pro Doodler like @Connie__doodles, @riikc.art, and @artistrachelg – you’ll need practice. So we thought, what better way to work on your Doodling techniques than by creating some miniature food replicas. Similar to cooking or baking, the more you practice the better you become. So let’s put those fine motor skills to the test and Doodle some food! Use this stencil to turn these pretzels and then Doodle some pretzels.

Whenever you’re up for a challenge, check out this week’s tutorial. We walk you through how to Doodle up a delicious mini 3D burger. Get practicing and showcase your amazing dinner Doodles. Additionally, we have a great collection of fun and advanced techniques on our website so you can take any Doodle to the next level.

Don’t forget to share your miniature dinners with @3Doodler #3Doodler #WhatWillYouCreate.

 

From the Shadows, to the Mainstage

Shadow puppetry is an art that collapses the world from three dimensions to two. Here at 3Doodler, we specialize in transforming 2D ideas into 3D creations. So, however ironic as it may seem, let’s make some 3D creations to put on a 2D show! In this blog, we’ll explore building, planning, and putting on a shadow puppet show.

Where does shadow puppetry come from?

One of the oldest art forms still in use, shadow puppetry originated in Central Asia-China or in India in the 1st millennium BCE. Shadow theater means different things to different cultures. Think about shadow puppets as the first cartoons. Because of the tools involved in creating the stories, it is easy to create cartoon-like shenanigans with the puppets by making them grow bigger and smaller and vanish into thin air. Because of this ability to mimic special effects, the shadow theater unlocks a whole new dimension of storytelling.

Because shadow puppets have been found in so many different cultures, they have taken many different forms. Below are examples of Chinese and Indian Shadow puppets, the two most popular types.

 

Ravan Chhaya Natya Sansad (India) Shadow Puppets

Chinese Shadow Puppets

 

Set up a Shadow Puppet Theater

The shadow theater is a unique one as the stage is almost as important as the puppets. Because the puppet’s visibility is connected to how big the stage is, make sure your stage will be big enough for your puppets. This short video breaks down how to set up your theater and all the parts required.

Let’s make our own shadow puppets

Shadow puppets are commonly constructed from wood, plastic, or cardboard depending on the designer. In some special circumstances, the puppets are made from stretched leather. We have put together a FREE stencil to help you create your own puppets and this week’s tutorial will help walk you through how to put everything together.

After you have Doodled your puppets and the theater is set up it’s time to put on a show! Remember the world of puppetry allows you to do some fun and different things so think outside the box when it’s showtime!

Don’t forget to share your shadow puppets after you Doodle them with @3Doodler #3Doodler #WhatWillYouCreate.

Coloring Outside the Lines

With many kids out of school for summer break, we figured what better time to dust off your old coloring books. Coloring is an opportunity for quality family time spent doing something that both relieves stress and primes the brain for even deeper learning and critical thinking.

Once seen as a childish pastime, coloring books have been revitalized and now are a go-to activity for small children and grown adults alike. The first coloring book, The Little Folks’ Painting Book, was published back in the 1880s by the McLoughlin Brothers and remained in publication until 1920. Coloring books were initially designed with the intention for them to be painted in, making the pages thicker than the books we have today. But in 2021, Doodling in 3D is so much more fun than mainstream crayons or watercolors.  Check it out for yourself with this week’s tutorial to learn how you can take the fun of coloring to a whole new level.

Why Should You Color?

Coloring books provide both kids and adults with a fun and creative outlet, and can also serve as a stress-relieving activity, and education tool for all.

The art of coloring is important for children because it can help improve fine motor skills. Coloring also trains the brain to focus. For parents and educators, activities like this require limited setup and breakdown time and are well-suited for travel. This makes coloring a great choice for entertaining children without a screen.

Coloring books are a great tool for adults because it’s the perfect way to relax. Coloring and drawing allow the brain to focus on the present, which can calm the nervous system, which leads to relaxation.

Doodle and Color

A 3Doodler 3D pen and a coloring book are a match made in heaven for any beginning Doodler. A coloring book arms you with plenty of templates so that all you have to do is pick your filament colors and then play around with your technique until you find your groove! Once you have mastered simple tracing then it’s time to take your Doodles to the next level by turning flat Doodles into 3D creations.

Try Doodling a tree with a cylindrical trunk so it stands on its own. Or when Doodling people add thickness to their legs so they stand up upright. There are lots of different ways to bring your Doodles to life so experiment and play around with different methods.  We talk more about bringing 2D drawings to life in 3D in this blog. A project like this is perfect for any Doodler at any skill level. So no matter what pen you have, give it a try!

These are great examples of bringing the 2D drawings to life with a 3D pen. 

Turn Any Book Into a Stencil 

To give you even more options when it comes to using coloring books with your 3Doodler – we put together this step-by-step guide just for you. In this tutorial, we show you how literally any book can be converted into a coloring book.

Whether you prefer coloring books or picture books, or both, all books will get some love on August 9th on National Book Lovers Day. A day for everyone who loves to read, National Book Lovers Day encourages you to find your favorite reading place, a good book, and read the day away.

Don’t forget to share your favorite Doodled coloring projects with @3Doodler #3Doodler #WhatWillYouCreate.

 

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