We´ve been invited to give a one-day workshop on 3D-printing during a fair for young people to decide what they will become in life. There were stands from butchers to welders and we occupied the creative technologies booth. During the day we got two groups of around 14 kids in the age between 15 and 17 and together we printed some nice spec-frames, little spare parts to crack shopping carts and other little things. Focus was on the calibration, adjustment and by this, the understanding of the REP/RAP printer. After three hours the kids understood the basics of CNC-operated machines and were able to take some souvenirs home. One key learning we tried to transport was the fact of building things on your own. It´s possible to set up a 3D-printer with the help of internet and friends. We encouraged them to own practice.

The Constitutes little Rep/Rapper

We divided the groups in two and the not printing group was exploring the field of Physical Computing using the Makey Makey and it´s capacitive sensors. Amazing how quick the youths were in adopting and understanding the functionalities. We saw girls making cucumber pianos, boys steering tanks with wooden sticks wrapped in aluminium foil and a nice drum machine glove. Thanks to the Makey Makey platform and it´s open ports for all conductive materials, a lot of basic skills can be tryed out and explored. How is electronic resistance working, what does this  + and – mean. Our aim was to show, that the computer can be more than just the Facebook and Youtube machine and that the internet is full of open source material that can be used for own projects. The results had been very DIY, everything very inventive and creative. After each session we made a little presentation for the participants and the surrounding professions. Proud faces came up, when explaing 3D-printing and the fact that they build the instruments themselves.

Cucumber 303


  • 20.09.2013
  • Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology
  • Bautzen / Germany
  • Annika Unger
  • Anja Lapatsch
  • Reno Roessel
  • Pupils of various schools