Getting our kids into STEM has always been a priority for our family. What better tool to jumpstart their love for engineering than SOLIDWORKS? When our trip to several stores to buy the latest toy craze left us empty-handed, I was able to turn it into a “teachable moment.” I was able to teach them about patience and more importantly, if you can’t buy something… design and build it!
Using basic design processes, we “napkin sketched” out a few ideas for their own Fidget Spinners. Using SOLIDWORKS, I was able to visually show them the concepts of moment of inertia and center of mass.
Once we finalized our design, they asked how we were going to get one (or two). That’s where I was able to introduce them to the world of 3D printing. They knew that CADimensions sold 3D Printers, and that it could make cool “things,” but up until that moment, they didn’t connect that we could print something that was useful to them!
Some quick disassembling of my old rollerblades for the bearings and a couple of hours of print time later, viola – custom fidget spinners!
Check out this video for a more detailed explanation of my process:
The down-side? Now they want to design EVERYTHING in SOLIDWORKS. I also made the mistake of showing them SOLIDWORKS SIMULATION. I have effectively lost any free-time I had at home and now teach them SOLIDWORKS every day! I guess that’s not that big of a down side. As I mentioned before, I will always jump at an opportunity to get kids interested in engineering and science, they are the future.
As always, thanks for reading, and Happy Engineering!