This week is all about engineering as we explore the many contributions this field and the people in it have made to improving our world.
Science, math, and technological literacy help us engage in engineering and solve problems to help those around us. So let’s learn more about these fields and see how we can contribute with 3Doodler tools as an early introduction to 3D printing, creative problem-solving, and breaking down how things work.
Engineer’s Week began in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) to highlight engineers’ critical role in society. The week coincides with President George Washington’s birthday, as he is often described as America’s first engineer. But engineers go much further back in history, and their contributions are vast.
Look around you and imagine for a moment all the things in your life that engineers have played a part in creating. The list is endless. Engineers have contributed many ways to improve lives, from electricity to the telephone, cars, airplanes, and computers.
Meeting an engineer is one way to help demystify the field and learn more about what engineers do. DiscoverE, the organization that sponsors Engineers Week, hosts monthly Chats with Change Makers to speak with a real-life engineer and learn about a new field. Explore past episodes or join the next one live to learn more about technology fields.
Creating the Future
In addition to meeting engineers, young people can explore the various engineering disciplines at school or home with easy-to-follow lessons. This week we’re sharing a few challenging and fun engineering lessons to build and test designs in 3D.
The engineering design process offers a way of thinking that you can apply to solve a problem. Each step provides new information about the situation and encourages you to think critically about how you might solve it. Engineers often repeat the process to come up with the best possible solution. Working as a team, you can share ideas and find new perspectives by involving others.
The Engineer Girl offers a simple way to think about the engineering design process. It’s also a great place to start exploring careers in engineering and learning more about the field.
Design Like an Engineer
Working with friends has never been better as students explore STEM-focused design challenges that span sports, architecture, and design. These 3Doodler lesson plans will inspire critical thinking and opportunities to apply the engineering design process.
Grade K-2: STEM Doodle Hockey
Time to hit the ice! Students will design a template and doodle the best hockey stick in this exciting lesson about design and function. When they’re ready, it will be time to test their hockey sticks out on the ice to see which stick can shoot a puck the farthest and with the most accuracy through a goal. Game on!
With just a few materials, students will be challenged to build the tallest tower. Students will work together and use critical thinking skills to make predictions, record observations, and analyze their structures. It’s a lesson in design thinking they be talking about for weeks to come!
3Doodler is delighted to work with a range of artists this year to invite curiosity and spark the imagination as we design and create in 3D.
Each month, the 3Doodler team shares ideas and tutorials to help kick-start the design process. We were curious to see what our artist community would create with the same inspiration.
Last week, we explored the artistry of ice castles. 3Doodler shared a version that is easy to replicate with our free stencil and tutorial. This week, guest artist Ricardo Martinez (riikc) shared his version of an ice castle. See where he found his inspiration and how the sculpture came together.
Creating with riikc
Ricardo is a sculpture artist, painter, and photographer who explores a variety of materials and techniques in his work. Ricardo has extensive experience creating art with 3D pens and often shares his approach with the 3Doodler community.
Ricardo’s latest installation, Memento Vivere, gained worldwide attention as an interactive multi-disciplinary project using light, technology, and science to express an idea. This larger-than-life exhibit consists of a series of electroluminescent cables arranged in a skull structure that Ricardo designed with a 3D pen. The sectors of the installation light up as people interact with the display.
Ricardo lives in Brussels and travels extensively. He takes inspiration from nature, landscapes, geography, architecture, and much more. We were delighted to connect with him about his experience creating an ice castle in 3D.
3D Design Approach
Ricardo had an idea for this design and took inspiration from fantasy video games he’s played over the years, like Final Fantasy. From his home in Brussels, he looks at a large church with a castle-like appearance and eight pillars. Mixing these concepts, he began to sketch the design on paper.
“It seems like a different part of your brain kicks in and starts working as you start building,” said Ricardo. “The design evolves as you go. The castle resembles the sketch but evolved as I sculpted it in 3D.”
Ricardo used existing shapes to begin the sculpture and found it easy to keep adding material to get the form he wanted for the design. For example, he used a glass cylinder to create the pillars’ base. He could continue this process to get the length he wanted for the towers.
To design the castle, Ricardo used the 3Doodler PRO+ 3D pen and PLA, nylon, wood, and bronze filament.
“I love the smell of the wood while I’m creating. It makes me feel like I’m in a woodshop,” said Ricardo. “For this design, the wood and bronze add texture and stand in contrast to the rest of the design, which is the effect I was hoping to achieve.”
Advice for the Community
Ricardo is an experienced artist who shares his success tips freely to encourage others to pick up a pen, paintbrush, or other tool and begin creating.
“It’s important to share that you don’t need to create shapes out of thin air,” said Ricardo. “I recommend starting by using existing shapes. Then, you can find inspiration and doodle anything with objects around you.”
For new 3D pen artists, Ricardo recommends starting with a speed setting of three and gradually working up to faster settings. In this design, Ricardo found he could work effectively with a speed setting of seven or nine.
“I was impressed with the speed settings on the pen. It’s incredible how adjusting those settings can change things and make the experience much more enjoyable, given how quickly you can cover a large surface,” said Ricardo. “The PRO+ pen is much more comfortable and easier to use over long periods.”
Ricardo notes that the PRO+ makes it easier to swap materials and see what’s happening, which saves a great deal of time. He was especially pleased with how the wood detail came out on the ice castle and enjoyed adding contrast with different materials.
When working in bronze, Ricardo recommends keeping a bit of distance from the tip to the surface as the material smudges easily.
“Working in 3D evolves whatever idea you think you have, and it goes into many different directions that you can’t experience with just 2D drawing. It opens your mind to new possibilities and thinking in ways you’ve never thought before,” said Ricardo.
It’s incredible to see creators at work and watch designs come to life in 3D. Expect more artist and creator collaborations in the months ahead. Share your ideas with us. What would you like to see 3Doodler and our collaborators create? Tag 3Doodler or use #3Doodler #WhatWillYouCreate.
Ice sculptures, castles, and palaces are wonderfully artistic and inspire the imagination just as the temperatures begin to drop.
3Doodler took inspiration from the wintry weather and the long history of icy architecture to create a stunning 3D ice castle. See where we found our inspiration and design an ice castle with our latest stencil!
Ice castles and palaces have popped up in all sorts of cold-weather locations around the world, from Montreal to Switzerland and even St. Paul.
Montreal has a long history of ice castle creations. Before modern technology, people cut ice blocks from the frozen St. Lawrence river. Montreal’s first ice palace was designed for the Winter Carnival of 1884. In addition to the ice palace, the Winter Carnival featured snowshoe races, toboggan slides, and sleigh rides.
Seeking to attract tourists and following Montreals’ lead, organizers in St. Paul, Minnesota, built an ice castle in 1885. In fact, the city has created 37 ice palaces of all different shapes and sizes to date. Today, the ice palaces appear less frequently. In fact, they are often organized to coincide with significant events, like the Super Bowl in 2018. The city of St. Paul features a video explaining how the project came together with a stunning result.
The Jungfraujoch Ice Palace penguin sculptures.
In the 1930s, mountain guides in Switzerland carved corridors and hallways with picks and saws in the center of the Jungfraujoch Ice Palace. Today, artists continue to astound visitors with eagles, bears, and penguins carved in ice. Beautiful as it may be, bundle up if you plan to visit. The temperature is a frosty -3 degrees celsius.
Designing an Ice Castle in 3D
The 3Doodler team took inspiration from traditional ice castles created with blocks of ice and more modern interpretations, like the ice palace from Disney’s Frozen. The 3Doodler ice castle stencil offers a series of easily made shapes. You can create a small or large castle by attaching the pieces together.
In the 3Doodler version, we used four large sides, two medium sides, and two small sides. Attaching these shapes together, we created alternating sides for the ice castle. If you wanted to create a larger castle, you could continue to make the side shapes to build out the castle design. Follow the process step-by-step in the ice castle tutorial.
Stay tuned for more ice-inspired designs by a guest artist. The possibilities are endless. Share your designs with us by tagging #3Doodler #WhatWillYouCreate.
The civil rights movement was a fight for equality for African Americans under the law in the United States. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the movement along with other civil rights activists in the 1950s and 1960s.
Revisit the history of the moment and engage students in an important classroom discussion about the work of Dr. King and other civil rights leaders. As you explore historic events, consider creating the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, which was the site of the Selma-Montgomery March in 1965.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks at the 1955 bus boycott. (National Archives)
Civil Rights Movement
Slavery was abolished at the end of the Civil War, but it didn’t end discrimination against Black people in the United States. The fight for equality would begin in earnest in the mid-20th century and continue for the next two decades.
After reconstruction, the South implemented a series of “Jim Crow” laws to erase gains made after the Civil War. The laws restricted voting rights for African Americans, banned interracial relationships and allowed businesses to separate clientele based on race.
On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white male passenger on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Police arrested Parks, and word of her situation spread quickly, igniting a series of protests. As a result of her act, Parks is known as the “mother of the modern-day civil rights movement.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the March on Washington.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
In response to Parks’ arrest, Black community leaders in Alabama formed the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA). Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the MIA, a role that put him front and center in the fight for civil rights.
Through King’s leadership, the African American community experienced more progress toward racial equality in 13 years than in the past 350 years. Dr. King took inspiration from his faith and the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi to lead a nonviolent resistance that included protests, grassroots organizing, and civil unrest.
King was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957 to provide organizational leadership to the civil rights movement. In 1963, he led a coalition of groups in nonviolent protest in Birmingham, Alabama. The brutality that ensued by the city’s police force led to national outrage. Later that same year, King led the March on Washington, where he gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech to an audience of a quarter-million people.
King became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 at 35. Also, in 1964, due in part to the March on Washington, Congress passed a landmark Civil Rights Act ending legal racial segregation in the U.S. Congress passed the Voting Rights Act a year later, in 1965, a result of the Selma to Montgomery, AL March for Voting Rights.
The Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.
Relive a Moment in History: Selma to Montgomery
In January 1965, Dr. King led a coalition of activist groups to call for voting rights in Selma, Alabama, where despite repeated attempts, only two percent of Black voters were registered. The campaign saw mass arrests but little violence until February. Then, in Marion, Alabama, state troopers joined local police to break up a march. A state trooper shot a protester who later died from his wounds.
In response to the death, activists set out to march from Selma to Montgomery. While Dr. King was in Atlanta, Hosea Willams and John Lewis led the march. The marchers made their way through Selma across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. A blockade of state troopers and law enforcement officers ordered the marchers to disperse. When they refused, the troopers attacked the crowd with clubs and tear gas. Television coverage of the event, “Bloody Sunday,” as it became known, sparked national outrage.
On March 21-25, 1965, Dr. King participated in a federally sanctioned march from Selma to the steps of the capitol in Montgomery, Alabama. President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 with Dr. King and other civil rights leaders on August 6, 1965.
Make a bridge through history by recreating the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 3D. It’s an opportunity to learn from events of the past and understand the legacy of Dr. King and other civil rights leaders. The 3Doodler tutorial and stencil provides a straight-forward way to recreate this historic bridge.
Share your experience with us and tag @3Doodler or #3Doodler #WhatWillYouCreate on social.
Boost classroom confidence through a series of STEM lessons that enable students to work in teams and engage in critical thinking skills. Science and math concepts can sometimes be hard to understand. With a unique hands-on approach, students will grasp new ideas in no time!
The 3Doodler lessons span grades K-8 with creative exploration that will have students embracing new ideas. Combine these activities with other resources we’ve rounded up for a completely new approach to tried and true topics.
To survive, plants and animals have different needs, which we can break down in this hands-on lesson. Students will break into groups and explore the needs of plants and animals using the free worksheet. Working together, they will first trace or draw the symbols for the items listed on the sheet. Then, they will doodle their designs using a 3Doodler Start+ 3D printing pen. Once the symbols are ready, students can use a Venn diagram to compare the needs of the animals with the needs of plants. Students could deepen their understanding by studying the needs of animals from different habitats.
Consider closing this lesson with a video and resources from Plum Landing by PBS to see how plants and animals thrive in a city. This colorful and creative lesson will invite playful exploration of what animals and plants need to survive!
With the change of seasons, there’s no better time to observe the science around us. A quick look up at the sky reveals many scientific observations, and for this lesson, we will be looking at different cloud types with a fun twist. By working in small groups, students will be asked to learn about four different types of clouds, study their shape, and research the weather conditions associated with each cloud. Once the research is complete, the students will create cloud doodles and then repurpose them as everyday objects, animals, or people — a poodle, a boat, or car fumes.
Extend learning with a lesson on how clouds affect climate from NASA. Students will appreciate the vital role clouds play in the water cycle and reflect on their understanding. What do you see when you look at the clouds?
Bridges have played an essential role throughout history in providing access to routes to transport people and goods. Over time, the design of bridges has evolved from a simple slab to modern structural marvels. In this lesson, students will work in small groups to explore different bridge shapes and their structural elements.
Challenge students to create a bridge that spans 20 centimeters and test its weight-bearing ability with a small car or other materials. Gradually increase the weight to see which group built the strongest bridge. It’s a fantastic way to combine multiple subject areas, from history, architecture, and design to science, math, and engineering. Encourage the teams to reflect on what worked well, what didn’t, and how they could have improved their design.
Consider kicking this lesson off with a bit of history. The oldest surviving bridge in the United States is the Frankford Avenue Bridge in Philadelphia, built in 1867. It played an important role in linking Philadelphia to cities in the north, namely Trenton, New York, and Boston. Speaking of New York, the iconic Brooklyn Bridge was completed in 1883 and was the longest suspension bridge of its time. Much more to learn about the role bridges have played throughout history!
What is the best way to learn the physics behind bridges? By building one.
To build a functional bridge, it’s important to have an understanding in the basics of physics, Newton’s Laws, the properties of matter, and other factors that inform us of our physical world, but it can be challenging to see how they all work together at the same time. The best way to learn about bridges is to build a model of one – a perfect project based learning (PBL) activity. That’s just what students do in Glenn Couture’s high school classes. Explore Glenn’s PBL tips and access a roundup of 3Doodler K-12 lessons to bring PBL to your learning environment.
PBL to Engage Students
Glenn Couture teaches honors and AP physics at a high school in Norwalk, Connecticut. During the school year he guides students through a wide range of topics, including kinematics, the relationship between work, power and energy, waveforms, thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, electricity, and light.
Couture guides students to make models using 3Doodler pens
A key part of teaching these topics is taking abstract descriptions of how physics work and letting students explore them hands-on through PBL. Couture caps off many of his curricular units with projects that enable students to apply what they’ve learned to a real-world problem. Students demonstrate their understanding of complex topics by creating their own 3D models. This application of difficult concepts ensures students build confidence, express creativity, and offers tools for visual learners.
3D Application in Chemistry Class
Couture used 3Doodler pens in a unique chemistry project to build models of a side-face molecule placement crystal.
A Doodled visualization of molecules in a crystal lattice
“In chemistry, solids form crystals,” he explained while showing off the cube, a helpful tool for visualizing the relationship between molecules in a crystal lattice.
With 3Doodler students have the advantage of creating a 3D model by hand, which they then use to study the stability of various crystal types.
“I sometimes find that students have difficulty taking a concept from 2D to 3D and vice versa,” Couture added. He feels that 3Doodler pens are the ideal tools to bridge that gap.
Jumpstart PBL with 3Doodler K-12 Lessons.
Doodle Wheelers (Force and Motion)
Recommended grades: K-2 Learn about: Simple machines, force and motion Overview: In this activity, students explore the size of wheels and their effects on force and motion. Students will design and create one small-wheeled racer and one large-wheeled racer using clothespins and a 3Doodler pen.
Recommended grades: 3-5 Learn about: Structure of Earth and other planets Overview: Students will create 3D models of cross-sections of planets and compare and contrast the structures and layers of them. Students will record their observations of the differences of cross-sections of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
Recommended grades: 6-8 Learn about: Physics, STEM Overview: In this activity, students will work to design a bridge and test its ability to bear weight when spanning a gap of 20 cm using a 3Doodler and no other materials.
Recommended grades: 9-12 Learn about: Rutherford atom model Overview: In this activity, students will work to create a Rutherford model of an atom in 3D with the 3Doodler pen. Students will study their models and identify the part of an atom. They will share their work and to demonstrate their comprehension of atom structure.
Are you inspired by Glenn Couture’s use of PBL to enhance learning and comprehension? How do you incorporate PBL in your lesson plans? Our community of parents and teachers want to know. Share your thoughts with us on social media, and be sure to tag us!
What is the best way to learn the physics behind bridges? By building one.
To build a functional bridge, it’s important to have a strong backing in the basics of physics, Newton’s Laws, the properties of matter, and other rules and facts that describe our world—but it can be hard to see how they all work together at the same time. The best way to learn about bridges is to build them. And that’s just what they do in Glenn Couture’s class.
Getting the Drop on Science
Couture teaches Honors and AP physics at a high school in Norwalk, Connecticut. During the school year he guides students through a wide range of topics that make up physics. These include kinematics, the relationship between work, power and energy, waveforms, thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, electricity and light.
Glenn Couture creates physics models using the 3Doodler Create.
A key part of teaching these topics is taking abstract descriptions of how physics work, and letting students experience them first hand.
"Small changes to the project can prove to be outsized challenges that send students back to the drawing board." Share
Getting through those disparate topics can take a good chunk of time, but Couture caps off many of the units with physical projects. These let students apply what they’ve learned in class to a real-world problem, demonstrating that they haven’t just learned information, but they have an understanding of how to use it.
We gave Couture a 3Doodler Create and asked him to come up with exciting ways he could incorporate it into his lesson plans. One of the first things he looked at was the classic “egg drop” experiment.
“In the current rendition of the egg drop, the students are only allowed to use plastic drinking straws, any sort as long as there’s no paper on them, masking tape, and one raw, uncooked, uncoated, unpainted egg. The idea is to have the egg land without breaking,” Couture said.
When it comes to the actual design of the project, he has only one limitation: “It has to fit through the door of the classroom. I’ve had students come close with that depending on how many straws they’re using.” The eggs and their straw enclosures are then brought to the school’s roof and dropped 55 feet to the ground. Only those students who have eggs survive the fall receive an A.
A prototype of a Doodled egg cage.
Couture wants to attempt a variation on that project using the 3Doodler, with some new constraints. “This could be done on a smaller scale, directly in the classroom,” Couture said while examining a prototype 3Doodler egg cage. “I don’t think that it could work the full distance of 55 feet, but 16 or 18 feet would work.”
He envisions a second round of testing, while providing only a limited number of rods to students. This would add a component of “cost effectiveness” to the project. In the real world, engineers often have limited materials to work with, and need to find ways to balance competing goals.
“We had a chance to visit with the packaging engineers at a [cookie manufacturer] where they have to package things to be in trucks and things like that. So there’s that application of what they learn in the egg-drop, where they keep a product from breaking up, but we can also go bigger and look at the failed Mars Climate Orbiter of the 90’s where the probe was lost because of an error translating metric and imperial units.” Small changes to the project can prove to be outsized challenges that send students back to the drawing board.
Model Atomic Behavior
Other projects that Couture was able to develop during his time with the 3Doodler include more illustrative of processes in physics. He built a prototype model of a side-face molecule placement crystal.
A Doodled visualization of molecules in a crystal lattice.
“In chemistry, solids form crystals,” he explained while showing off the cube, a helpful tool for visualizing the relationship between molecules in a crystal lattice.
"I sometimes find that students have difficulty taking a concept from 2D to 3D and vice versa." Share
The 3Doodler offers an advantage for these models by producing long lasting models which illustrate the stability of various crystal types. Couture said that he would like to let groups of students work on different crystals and build up a collection of varieties over time.
“I sometimes find that students have difficulty taking a concept from 2D to 3D and vice versa,” Couture added. He feels that the 3Doodler is a unique opportunity to bridge that gap, as well as more literal ones.
Another physical project that Couture’s students engage in is called “Quakertown.” Students create buildings out of folded paper that must withstand both the addition of weights and a mechanically shaken table to simulate both static and dynamic loads.
A Doodled Parker Truss bridge.
Students in his classes could one day create bridges using the 3Doodler to understand the how these complex structures operate, and compare the strengths and weaknesses of different designs.
"On the page, it’s easy to understand the X axis and the Y axis, but having it in 3D really helps you grasp the Z axis." Share
Couture put together a Parker Truss bridge, using a template from online. He chose the design because its gentle curve would be hard to replicate using other craft methods. However, Couture felt the 3Doodler was easily up to the task, especially after he had cut his teeth putting together other projects.
Teaching in 3 Dimensions
The last of the four samples he produced was a model of the orbitals which describe where electrons orbiting the nucleus of an atom might be found.
A Doodled orbital model.
“On the page, it’s easy to understand the X axis and the Y axis,” Couture explained as he put the finishing touches on the model, “but having it in 3D really helps you grasp the Z axis.”
After spending some time exploring the possibilities of the 3Doodler, Couture describes himself as interested in finding even more uses for the tool. It opens up unique opportunities to explore the world of physics. And those opportunities extend beyond his own classroom.
“My wife teaches seventh and eighth grade science, and she’s interested in it too. They do a bridge project using toothpicks and glue. The problem with that is it takes so long for the glue to set but this is practically instant.”
New STEM fields are emerging all the time, and rising to those challenges will require a mixture of hands-on experience, creativity, and intuitive knowledge. Couture’s time with the 3Doodler has shown just a few ways that it can help provide just that.
Looking for more ways to bring 3Doodler into your classroom?
Check out our dedicated EDU section for classroom tips, lesson plans, and exclusive EDU bundles for educators.
Decorate your home, cater a party, or recreate architectural masterpieces in meticulous detail.
Introducing six new project kits for 3Doodler Create. With a wide range of activities to choose from, these kits have everything you need to create, including detailed stencils, step-by-step instructions, and specially selected plastic.
Doodled Designs: Tiffany Candle Holders
Louis Comfort Tiffany first pioneered his Art Nouveau Tiffany Lamp glass designs in 1878, taking inspiration from Roman and Syrian medieval glass techniques to create a new type of glass known for its brilliant colors.
Now you can recreate the detail and magic of Tiffany’s glass with a kit inspired by his designs.
The Tiffany Candle Holder brings the Art Nouveau style to three original nature scenes. The square Hummingbird Field, the round Koi Pond, and the Fall Butterfly with a multi-level edge and 3D butterfly attachment.
Lifelike Doodling: Flower Bouquet
Bring the fine art of flower arrangement into your home with a bouquet that will never wilt.
Create endless array of possibilities by balancing large blooms like Gerbera Daisies, Roses, and Sunflowers with the delicate accents of Baby’s Breath, Queen Anne’s Lace, and Ferns.
An entire garden is at your fingertips to create a unique arrangement for every room.
Festive Functions: Party Decor
Looking to throw a picture-perfect party that shows off your creative side?
Whether you’re hosting a fun birthday bash, cozy holiday celebration, or upscale dinner party, this collection of party accessories lets you customize your decor to suit your event.
With baubles, napkin rings, place cards, cupcake toppers and more, you can be sure to throw a party to remember.
Cultural Icons: Tuk Tuk
Recreate a staple of Southeast Asian street life, and take on the Tuk Tuk.
Imagine yourself barreling down the streets of Bangkok or ambling through the ruins of Angkor Wat in the back of these iconic motorized vehicles.
Moving parts and minute details in the project kit stencils let you bring a piece of modern history to life.
Amazing Architecture: Fallingwater
Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater
Celebrate Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th birthday with a carefully crafted recreation of one of his most famous buildings.
Fallingwater showcases Wright’s ideals of creating harmony between architecture and nature.
In collaboration with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, the Licensed Project Kit includes detailed stencils created from the original Fallingwater floor plans, so anyone can create Wright’s masterpiece in miniature scale.
Modernist Masterpieces: Farnsworth House
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House
Apply your modeling skills to the modernist movement, with this recreation of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s most iconic structure.
The simple geometric construction of The Farnsworth House makes modeling it an exercise in precision, as the smallest details and lines can affect the end result.
Honor this National Historic Landmark with this Licenced Project Kit, created in collaboration with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
All six of these new 3Doodler Create Project Kits are available now, exclusively from our online store. What will you create?
At a dinner party in 1945, famed architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was approached with an offer.
Prominent Chicago nephrologist Dr. Edith Farnsworth wanted Mies to create a weekend getaway along the Fox River in Plano, Illinois. The offer was for Mies to design the house as if it were for himself.
The result was the culmination of the unique take on modernist architecture for which Mies became an icon. With the launch of a new 3Doodler Create themed kit for the Farnsworth House, we take a look at the inspiration and architectural movement behind this stunning example of modernism.
A Higher Unity
While many modernist architects believed architecture should be used to socially engineer human behavior and guide occupants to higher ideals, Mies used his buildings differently.
Farnsworth House by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
His architecture still represented his ideals and aspirations, but instead of constructing in a way to carefully engineer a result, Mies instead focused on freedom of movement and use. With a minimal framework and expressed structural columns, his buildings offered and open space in which inhabitants could express their own spirit—something he saw as crucial to elevating the harmony between architecture and humanity.
"In its simplest form architecture is rooted in entirely functional considerations, but it can reach up through all degrees of value to the highest sphere of spiritual existence into the realm of pure art."-Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Share
Mies often reflects the industrial culture he saw as growing in the United States within his own architectural aesthetic, and uses this to offer occupants a flexible and unobstructed space.
His ultimate purpose was to join together natural elements with culture and construction. “We should attempt to bring nature, houses, and the human being to a higher unity,” Mies once said, and he reflected this ideal through designs featuring glass walls and few solid exterior walls.
Part of a Larger Whole
Constructed in a pastoral setting, the Farnsworth House is a clear culmination of the modernist ideals Mies sought to bring together in his designs.
"If you view nature through the glass walls of the Farnsworth House, it gains a more profound significance than if viewed from the outside. That way more is said about nature—it becomes part of a larger whole."-Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Share
The singular geometric form of the house is simple in the extreme, constructed of steel and glass with a minimal form. The one-room rectangular structure sits parallel to the Fox River, with a perpendicular cross axis directly facing the river and nature.
Elevated 5 feet and 3 inches above the ground, and with floor-to-ceiling glass as the outer walls, the Farnsworth House appears to be floating within the natural landscape around it.
The glass walls encircle an open floor plan with a core wooden block containing the toilet and kitchen—a wooden room nesting inside the larger glass rectangle. Each area of the living space—areas for sleeping, eating, sitting, and cooking—is suggested by the arrangement, but ultimately the inhabitant is free to decide the use of space as they desire.
An Icon of Modernism
To honor this National Historic Landmark and icon of modernist architecture, 3Doodler is pleased to present a unique Farnsworth House theme kit for 3Doodler Create.
The 3Doodler Farnsworth House Kit
In collaboration with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Licensed Project Kit includes detailed stencils created from the original Farnsworth floor plans, so anyone can create this modernist masterpiece in miniature scale. The kit also includes a visual step-by-step guide and four packs of ABS plastic to replicate the original structure. Learn more about the the making of this kit here.
The Farnsworth House Kit will be available alongside Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater Kit. Sign up for notifications on the release of these new kits:
The father of organic architecture turns 150 years old in June. The impact of interior designer, architect, writer, and educator, Frank Lloyd Wright can still be seen today.
Having designed over 1,000 structures in his lifetime, the work of Frank Lloyd Wright has made a lasting impact on architecture and design. In celebration of his 150th birthday, we are pleased to present a new 3Doodler Create Project Kit for Wright’s signature example of organic architecture, Fallingwater.
Celebrating 150 Years
With 532 completed structures over the span of a 70-year career, Frank Lloyd Wright has become an icon of American architecture. Twelve of his buildings are listed amongst Architectural Record’s hundred most important buildings of the century.
"We are all here to develop a life more beautiful, more concordant, more fully expressive of our own sense of pride and joy than ever before in the world."-Frank Lloyd Wright Share
Wright firmly believed that architecture was “the mother of all the arts,” and approached each design with this intensity of conviction. His aim to was to reflect the landscape, people, culture, and feel of America within his own designs and architecture.
With dramatic new shapes and designs, Wright developed what he called “organic architecture”, representing what he saw as the harmonious connection of the citizens of the United States with both each other, and to the land they call home. As such, his homes center around shared spaces such as the dining table, music rooms, and terraces to encourage a sense of community and closeness to both family and nature.
None of Wright’s structures reflects the harmony between architecture and nature better than Fallingwater.
"The making of a good building, the harmonious building, one adapted to its purposes and to life, [is] a blessing to life and a gracious element added to life, is a great moral performance."-Frank Lloyd Wright Share
Constructed between 1936 and 1939, the residence was designed for the Kaufmann family in southwest Pennsylvania. Stretching over a 30-foot waterfall, the house is a shining example of Wright’s commitment to a unique architectural design that integrates family life with natural surroundings.
While the Kaufmanns had requested a house with a view of the waterfall, Wright wanted them to instead live with the water itself, and to make the falls an integral part of their everyday life. His organic design was detailed down to the colors, with only two distinct colors used in the final building, both tied closely to the materials used—the light ochre of the concrete, and Wright’s own signature Cherokee red on the steel.
Since Fallingwater first opened its doors to the public in 1964, over 4.5 million visitors have come to see Wright’s architectural masterpiece first-hand.
Recreating a Piece of History
To honor this National Historic Landmark and icon of organic architecture, 3Doodler is pleased to present a unique Fallingwater theme kit for 3Doodler Create.
In collaboration with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, the Licensed Project Kit includes detailed stencils created from the original Fallingwater floor plans, so anyone can create Wright’s masterpiece in miniature scale. The kit also includes a visual step-by-step guide and four packs of ABS plastic to replicate the exact colors of the original structure. Learn more about the the making of this kit here.
Celebrate Frank Lloyd Wright’s 150th Birthday by recreating one of the most powerful pieces of American architecture. Sign up for notifications on the release of this new kit at the3Doodler.com.
Creating scale models is all about detail. To create stunning replicas that remain true to the original takes careful planning and precise execution.
Cornelia Kuglmeier knows just how detailed a Doodled model can be. An artist and teacher with a passion for architecture, Cornelia has successfully recreated several detailed models of world-famous buildings. In addition to creating a scale replica of the Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona, she’s also worked on miniature versions of iconic Modernist architectural masterpieces like the Farnsworth House and Fallingwater.
Cornelia says that when using the 3Doodler to create scale models, all it takes to get started is an idea, a steady hand, and a lot of patience.
Not Every Building Has Four Plain Walls
“You can choose any type of building you like,” Cornelia says, “or invent a new one!” Style, period, or complexity of the structure aren’t as important as your personal interest and passion.
If creating a unique building of your own design, Cornelia recommends making a draft of the building using 3D software first. “Make sure you have all the walls, the roof and the floor,” she says. “Show every side to have a good idea on what it will look like when it’s finished.”
When creating a replica of an existing building, it may be easier to know how the finished piece should look—but this also means execution must be precise. Cornelia says when making models of famous buildings, she always begins by finding a floor plan. “This is crucial!” she says. The floor plan allows for better construction, even if your main concern is how the outside of the building will look.
"You need a stencil for every side of every element of your building. Walk around it in your imagination and count corners and spaces for every floor. " Share
In addition, Cornelia says it’s important to find photos, plans or drawings for every side of the structure. “I also hunt for detailed pictures that show decoration or any other special things,” Cornelia reveals, as often these small additions can provide the key to capturing the essence of the architecture.
Detail may also determine the size of the model. “The more detail you want to show, the bigger your Doodled building will be,” Cornelia explains. “If necessary, simplify forms or leave out details that are less important.”
With floor plans, reference photos, and a concept of size and scale, you can begin to create your stencils. “You need a stencil for every side of every element of your building,” Cornelia says. “Walk around it in your imagination and count corners and spaces for every floor. Not every building has just four plain walls.”
Plain Edges and Clean Corners
When recreating any piece of architecture, an awareness of materials can be just as important as understanding the structure. “Dots, short strokes, thin, medium or thick plain lines, checkered spaces, zig-zag or chevron patterns—all result in different surfaces which can mimic different materials,” Cornelia explains.
Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater
When creating a scale replica of Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous Fallingwater, Cornelia had to test a variety of techniques in order to achieve all the different textures which came from various construction materials and the natural environment around the house. The trick when creating a model is to experiment and test what your 3Doodler can do. “Choose what looks most similar to what you want to build.”
But precision is key when it comes to model building. “Plain edges and clean corners are essential to create fine rectangular buildings,” Cornelia says. “It helps to draw the outlines first and then fill in the spaces.”
For curved areas, Cornelia recommends finding something to use as a mould rather than attempting to Doodle free-hand. “Think about hot-airing a flat Doodled piece around a bottle, vase, or whatever you have that suits the size you need,” she says.
Time and Patience
When constructing your model, relying on a scaled version of the original floor plan can help ensure the form and shape are correct. Cornelia recommends working from bottom to top, and inside to outside, which is what she did when creating her scale model of the Farnsworth House, designed and constructed by Modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
“Try as much as possible to Doodle your pieces together at invisible spaces,” Cornelia says, “from the inside, from underneath, and so on.”
Farnsworth House by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Cornelia says not to be afraid to use outside materials to clean up stray strands, like scissors, knives or other blades. When building any structure, having edges fit together is key to recreating an accurate portrayal of the final building.
But most important of all, says Cornelia, is time and patience. Precision is vital, and mistakes do happen. Enjoy the process, and keep the final result in sight.
If you’re looking to try your hand at creating scale models, 3Doodler will be releasing both of these amazing buildings as 3Doodler Create Project Kits in collaboration with National Trust for Historic Preservation and Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, so that anyone can re-create these eye-catching structures themselves.
Breathing life into an otherwise static scene is a challenge faced by every designer, architect or engineer in their daily work. “How can I convince my client that this town layout, building, museum or gallery will be enjoyed by real people going about their everyday business? And how can I bring hallways, auditoriums, and city streets to life with little more than an uninhabited scale model?”
To answer this question, Nikka Francisco, undergraduate at the Savannah College of Art and Design and 3Doodler design intern, takes us on a tour of a gallery teeming with Doodled life.
The gallery was created as a part of a course in 3D Design Form & Space, essentially a foundation course in how to think in 3D. The aim of the course is to think in different ways about installations and sculpture, creating models for presentation to others. Students have struggled to show how their ideas would work in reality, which prompted me to think a little differently, adorning the walls with the works of American Artist Alex Grey, and filling the gallery with a series of unique Doodled people.
Most of the time people purchase small sculpted models, but I wanted to make this my own personal work, even the people inside the gallery. The other problem with pre-made sculptures is that you can’t really change them – they are fixed and they aren’t designed for your specific space or experience.
Using the 3Doodler, things happen that you don’t always expect. You can’t always control the way the plastic flows, but that lack of predictability can often be more realistic. In some parts of the gallery it looks like the people are actually in motion, reacting to things, and it gave a better sense of relationship between the person and the artwork they were looking at.
All the right moves and all the right places
I didn’t plan out who would go where at the start. Instead I Doodled a small army of people and then placed them in different parts of the museum, in positions that fit best, moving them around until it felt right. On placing the people inside, it started to feel like an actual gallery, and that the space itself was possible.
You have the two people in the lift peering out through the glass; your typical gallery poses – some people striding by, while others sit and stare at a painting for hours; and then those taking a time out out in the Cafe. Most of the people actually look like they’re dancing!
When I presented the work the reaction was surprise, but positive surprise.
We have seen members from our creative Community do incredible things, from art to fashion to full-size cars. Cornelia Kuglmeier has been a dedicated member of our 3Doodler Community from the very beginning, and last year took on a project that required the precision, attention to detail, and artistic ability that only she could bring.
The Sagrada Challenge
“I like big challenges,” says Cornelia Kuglmeier. A school teacher from Germany, Cornelia has worked with 3Doodler on incredible artistic pieces in the past. But earlier this year, Cornelia completed her largest and most detailed project to date: a scale model of the Sagrada Familia.
Laying out the facade
Designed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926), the Sagrada broke ground in Barcelona in 1882 and remains unfinished to this day. In addition to the immense complexity of the building, the completion of the Sagrada was made even more difficult with Gaudi’s sudden death, after which his notes were lost for many years and then later partially destroyed by anarchists in 1936.
"I’m a big planner. I just don’t Doodle without a clue on how to begin and how to move on from each point" Share
To recreate the Sagrada, Cornelia researched Gaudi’s design plans extensively as preparation for creating her model with the 3Doodler.
“I’m a big planner. I just don’t Doodle without a clue on how to begin and how to move on from each point,” Cornelia says. “So I first did some very long and some very detailed research. Then I made myself stencils where I counted on heights and relations on the different parts, and even drew in some decorations to see how much space it would take.”
“Gaudi had a very unique idea of building and architecture,” Cornelia explains. “You basically have the outer structure of a Gothic church in the Sagrada Familia, but the sustaining structure on the inside is completely different from what we know of the Gothic epoch.”
Gaudi's hanging chain model
To add to the complexity, nearly every aspect of Gaudi’s architectural design was new and unheard of. “He designed the curved towers by building what he called a ‘hanging model’,” Cornelia says, describing how Gaudi hung ropes weighed down with sand bags to create curved lines for the shapes of the towers. “Their shape, modelled on parabolas, was Gaudì’s way of creating self-supporting structures that would overcome the faults of Gothic architecture.”
Innovative aesthetic twists also provided special challenges to the original builders. “The most difficult part of construction on the real Sagrada was the sustaining structure in the naves holding the roofs and towers,” she says. “Gaudi wanted the pillars inside the church to be shaped like trees with branches, supporting the arches and symbolizing the leafy roof of a forest. Such a system of pillars and arches had never been built before.”
Gaudi’s genius and innovation meant a slow construction process. “I think one of the reasons it is not finished now is because the technique was very different and they had to go step by step to invent it,” Cornelia says. “And it’s huge. It’s meant to be the tallest Christian church when it’s finished.”
"It was obvious back then that Gaudi would not live to see his project finished" Share
But Gaudi was never in a rush to see the Sagrada Familia completed. “It was obvious back then that he would not live to see his project finished,” explains Cornelia. “But when they told him that, and asked if he wanted to simplify some things or stick to knowledge they had already about architecture, he said he wouldn’t change anything because his client had all the time to wait, and wasn’t in a hurry. He meant God of course.”
144 Years in the Making
While the Sagrada Familia is planned to be completed in 2026 (144 years after it first broke ground), Cornelia’s Doodled model took only four months – although with its own unique challenges.
The first major challenge was researching the plans of Gaudi’s original design so the model could stay as close to his vision as possible. “The original ground plot and floor plan was essential,” she says. “Without it, assembling and planning would not have been possible. The main structure is a so-called “latin cross”, the church itself is some sort of modified Gothic style. As those are very strictly planned, the original ground plot studies were very helpful.”
But other parts of the design plans were more difficult to research.
Constructing the Facades
The finished Sagrada will have three detailed façades depicting different chapters from the life of Christ. Cornelia wanted to include as much detail on each façade as possible. “This was complicated though, as only one façade is fully built, the Nativity Façade,” she says. “I could not find a photo of the fully built Passion Façade, so I had to stick to models, which are sometimes slightly simplified.”
"The figures were so tiny. I had to simplify some areas, and reduce others. Some things I had to invent" Share
“The Glory Façade was completely built after model views. What made my work so difficult was that there are actually at least two models; one very colourful, highly decorated model, supposed to be made by Gaudi himself, but only available in very small picture sizes; and one white, rather even and slick 3D-printed model.”
assiduous attention to detail
Staying True to Gaudi’s Vision
Cornelia decided to rely as much as possible on Gaudi’s own model. “I chose to use green for the turrets in the Glory Façade instead of brown, as the model made by Gaudí himself showed the turrets in green,” she says. “I tried very hard to give every façade as much decoration as possible to give it its typical look; I also tried to put as much decoration as possible onto the towers, but this was limited with both, as the figures were so tiny. All in all I had to simplify some areas, and reduce others. Some things I had to invent, like the decoration of the apse – it’s not built yet, and there was no picture to be found that depicted it big enough.”
1,050 Strands, and Countless Hours
Working up to 10 hours a day, and eventually using 1,050 strands of plastic, Cornelia’s Sagrada Familia model began to take shape.
“I didn’t count how many times I wanted to throw it against a wall,” Cornelia admits. Even when working with stencils and detailed research, mistakes can still happen, and with a project as precise as the Sagrada Familia, even a millimetre difference could throw off proportions and make assembly difficult.
“I Doodled all the parts first, put together the towers, the facades and the church naves and then started assembling from the middle – Christ’s tower – in each direction,” Cornelia says. “Having them all at the right height, sitting straight and at the right angles was very difficult; besides, as organic forms meet geometric forms, putting the pieces together was not always easy, or the form itself grew so edgy that my hand with the pen almost didn’t fit in.”
"It wouldn’t have that impact if it was just plain" Share
And sometimes Cornelia had to get creative to make sure the church came together properly. when assembling the towers, she found space too tight to Doodle from the outside, and the structure was too delicate to lay it on its side without risking damage. “So when I had to assemble this part, I gently pushed it half over the edge of my table – just enough so it wouldn’t fall down – and I kneeled under it and Doodled the whole thing upside down, like Michelangelo painting his Sistine Chapel,” she says. “It didn’t take me as long as Michelangelo though, and I didn’t go blind,” she adds, laughing.
The Devil is in the Detail
For Cornelia, the most important part of her Doodled model was making sure to include as much decorative detail as she could, even when it came to creating the angels on the facade. “It wouldn’t have that impact if it was just plain or only had bits and blobs,” she says. “That was the most delicate work. I was sitting there and forming the hot plastic with pincers to make them even thinner or make some sort of gap between the head and body to keep them as small as possible but visible.”
“I also oven-baked the windows, trying to give them their real colors, making them smooth and shiny in contrast to the brown and rough appearance of the church’s walls,” she says.
"I wanted to finish it. I saw it growing, and it was not in vain" Share
Despite the frustration and hours of dedication to both research and construction, Cornelia says that once the pieces began to come together she felt the whole ordeal was worth it. “I wanted to finish it. It was a big challenge, and I like big challenges,” she says. “I saw it growing, and it was not in vain.”
The Finished Sagrada Familia 3Doodle
To learn more about Cornelia, check out her profile at 3DoodlerPRO.com. For more images head to this fantastic piece on designboom.
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