This week kicks off the second annual National White House Manufacturing Week, and as President Obama calls for the creation of a Nation of Makers, companies like Autodesk aren’t shy about doing their part. go. Autodesk, whose 3D design software is used in thousands of schools and maker communities nationwide, has taken a keen interest in 3D printing lately, as they, along with many others, view technology not only as transformative for manufacturing, but also an essential tool for learning.
Today at the White House event, Autodesk officially launched Project Ignite, a free, open learning platform that “builds the skills and confidence of young learners through creative design experiences and practices focused on the latest technological trends such as 3D. printing and electronics.
Project Ignite will focus on the full spectrum of education from K-12 and integrates Autodesk’s custom design software with a host of step-by-step projects, as well as hardware options that individuals and institutions teaching can buy.
“Bringing 3D design and literacy into the classroom is an important step in preparing our next generation to be innovative and creative thinkers,” Jennifer Gentrup, public relations manager at Autodesk. “Project Ignite encompasses all aspects of the design experience and available options include free design software, step-by-step projects, and hardware purchase options including 3D printing and electronics kits.”
Aiming to bring the growing Maker movement into the classroom, Autodesk is able to leverage its comprehensive education experience to drive Project Ignite forward by showcasing a collection of hardware, software, and knowledge -make it to the manufacturing community.
“The Ignite project has been a great addition to the classroom and I love what it does for my students’ enthusiasm, engagement and general interest in 3D printing design and technology” said Kim Coyle, an educator at Plainville Middle School in Plainville, CT, who uses the program in her classroom. “Our goal is to inspire and prepare students to become the next generation of innovators. So we’re expanding Project Ignite to other grade levels and plan to create a makerspace next year to provide an environment that nurtures student curiosity and creativity. ”
Through the web-based platform, educators can configure their courses within the program. Teachers can create an online class profile, invite their students, choose a ready-to-use 3D printing, 3D modeling or electronics project, and manage everything in a simple web interface.
Whether the hardware is used in the classroom through free software, including 123D Circuit and Tinkercad, and optional hardware for purchase, which includes MakerBot 3D Printers and Circuit Scribe pens/modules, or used by parents home for entertaining weekend projects, Project Ignite seeks to transform the educational experience.
In addition to MakerBot, companies such as Pearson, Arduino, Microsoft, and Electoninks Writeables will support the initiative by offering their hardware to schools in bundles, getting educators up and running as soon as possible.
With major corporations supporting this initiative and the rapid acceleration of technologies crucial to the Maker movement, it appears education is undergoing a fundamental shift from listening and observing to doing and creating. If you are an educator or parent interested in this project, you can register for free on the Project Ignite website here. Let’s hear your thoughts on the launch of this project and what it can mean for education in general. Discuss this in the Autodesk Project Ignite forum thread on 3DPB.com.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Stay up to date on all the latest 3D printing industry news and receive information and offers from third-party vendors.