2020 Summer Faculty Fellowship in Teaching – 1/2 award

Proposal title: “Developing Teaching Resources for 3D Printing”


1) Develop strategies for teaching 3D printing and digital model making with limited resources.

2) Design 3D printing projects using approachable techniques and software.

3) Demonstrate how 3D printing can be integrated with a traditional wet clay art making process.

Our students need to be familiar with advancements in 3D printing technologies and how they relate to contemporary art making in the Ceramics field if they are going to be competitive at the next level. Graduate programs are beginning to expect some experience in this area of the field.

“I think if I could have had some basic 3d printing skills in my undergraduate program, I could have accessed more focused 3d printing courses in graduate school. A basic understanding of the software and processes involved in 3d printing would have helped me be a more well rounded artist both conceptually and technically.”

Sam Chumley

IU Southeast BFA, Class of 2017

“When reviewing graduate and/or post baccalaureate applications, a substantial consideration is given to the student with digital rendering and printing skill sets over an equally qualified applicant with no digital experience.”

Matt Mitros

Assistant Professor in Ceramics, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Additionally, many students are expecting that ceramic programs have some level of digital 3D modeling and 3D printing as part of their program. When we interview candidates for our Post Baccalaureate opportunity in the Ceramics Area at IU Southeast, this is one of the most common questions I get from the prospective students.

“As a program, it is essential that LSU offers digital tools for our students. While the applications of how to use a 3D clay printer are still in the creative development stages, having 3D clay printers is indispensable to the program.”

Andy Shaw

Associate Professor in Ceramics, LSU

Problem: For a small program with limited resources, we don’t have the luxury of outfitting studios with high tech 3D printers and software, and certainly not a scale sustainable for large groups of students.

Solution: Research and present options for the students to learn this technology on a budget. For the projects I developed for this teaching fellowship, I used only free software and two budget-friendly 3D printers purchased through the Dirt Bags Art Club. One printer was $199 and the second was $399.

I developed four projects that will give the student a strong introduction to 3D printing and how the process can be integrated into a standard ceramic art practice. In a typical ceramic course, students complete between 3-5 projects during the semester, so I’m confident this would equate to a full course if implemented as a complete course.

The following 4 projects are augmented by 15 tutorial videos I made. All of the tutorials and content for the projects are posted here on Claybucket, accessible for students and faculty alike.

Tinkercad tutorial: On this page, I have a video tutorial I made on how to use the 3D modeling software, Tinkercad.

Project #1: 3D printed 6-sided stamp. For the project, the student gets an introduction to the basic fundamentals of using Tinkercad, a free 3D modeling software, learns how to prepare a simple digital model in Cura to generate the GCODE that is read by the 3D printer.

Project #2: 3D printed texture roller. In this project, the student learns more complicated techniques in Tinkercad, such as duplicating and replicating shapes, stacking shapes and combining them into a one cohesive digital model, and scaling and sizing a digital model for real world applications. They learn a range of techniques for applying the 3D printed object to their clay practice.

Project #3: 3D printed extruder die. In this project, the student learns how to use the “shape generator” tools in Tinkercad. They learn how to use negative shapes to bevel positive shapes. Additional experience is gained through sizing and scaling for the clay extruder. Once the extruder die is 3D printed, the student learns a range of techniques for incorporating their own unique extrusions into their artwork.

Project #4: 3D printed and slip cast porcelain cups. In this project, the student learns how to use PotterDraw to create unique digital vessels. They learn how to export those digital vessels into STL files, edit those files in Tinkercad, prepare them for printing in Cura. Once their model is 3D printed, they learn how to make a plaster mold of a 3D printed object. Then they learn how to slip cast porcelain objects from their plaster mold of their 3D model.

SAMPLE GRADING RUBRIC (for a 100 point scale)

1) Quality of the digital model: (20 points) — The digital model should not have holes or imperfections in the surface. It should be well suited for the 3D printer and not have extraneous undercuts or other features that would make it impractical to 3D print.

2) Quality of the 3D print: (20 points) –The 3D print should be well printed with no holes, gaps, or voids in the surface. The slicing software settings should be well suited to the 3D printer so that the resulting print is of high quality. The print should spin freely on the dowel insert.

3) Detail and finishing in application to clay: (20 points) –The textures created on the clay from the texture roller should be well defined and aligned with your expectations. The texture roller rolls freely across the surface of the clay and does not drag or otherwise fail to perform as a roller.

4) Creativity in application of the 3D print to clay: (20 points) –The student has used the texture roller creatively to make surfaces on their clay objects that extend their visual capacity and enhance their goals with the object.

5) Ambition and participation in learning: (20 points) –The student has has pushed themselves to be creative and ambitious in the project. They have incorporated suggestions made by others, and helped others during the project. The student has actively contributed to class discussions and provided feedback for others.

18-20 – The objective was clearly and convincingly met.
14-17 – Most of the objective was met, however there were some small areas that were not met.
10-13 – Parts of the objective were met, but there were significant areas that needed improvement
6-9 – The objective was approximately 50% met.
2-5 – Some of the objective was met, however, most of the objective was not met.
0-1 – The objective was not met at all.