We are excited to announce the launch of BlocksCAD for Education!
The Educator account comes with a centralized Teacher Dashboard where you can:
- Create classes
- Manage your student's accounts
- Access and Edit student code
- Download student .stl files for your 3D printer
- See how long students spend on their designs
Educator accounts come with complete access to our digitized introductory activities. These 20+ activities cover topics from the basic (creating and moving shapes) to using variables, loops, and logic in your designs. Each activity comes with:
- Detailed teachers notes
- Instructions for students including how to start, reflection questions, and aspirational models if they finish the early
- Example Solution that the teacher can edit to explore the model
No programming experience? No CAD (computer-aided-design) experience? No problem!
We have resources to help you learn BlocksCAD, including:
- A series of Skills Videos on Youtube covering all basic BlocksCAD features
- An online BlocksCAD Basics course
- Professional development options for schools (both online and in-person)
In BlocksCAD, you write a computer program to describe a solid 3D model. So you can:
- use variables to make a design that can change sizes - like a ring where you can specify the finger radius.
- use loops to make even patterns shapes in a design - like the numbers on a clock or the steps in a staircase.
- use randomness in models - like a forest randomly generated from different types of tree shapes
- use conditional logic to add patterns to your shapes - rotate every other ring in a line to make an interlocking chain.
- use modules to build up your own library of shapes to use in designs.
BlocksCAD is based on the open-source programming language OpenSCAD, a powerful and popular language in the 3D maker community. BlocksCAD's block-based interface makes programming accessible to students as young as 3rd grade (8 years old), but is powerful enough to continue making sophisticated designs through high school.
BlocksCAD is a great tool to build geometrical proficiency and other math skills. Building models is fun, so students are highly motivated to practice these skills as it enables them to make really cool stuff:
- 3D cartesian coordinates
- positive and negative numbers
- solid shapes, like cubes, spheres, and cylinders
- geometrical transformations, like translation, rotation, reflection, and scaling
- set operations, like union, difference, and intersection
- arithmetic, including order of operations
Older or more experienced students can use BlocksCAD to
- use variables to create parameterized models
- plot trigonometric functions
- plot parametric functions
- learn polar coordinates
- and more!