The 3D Printer Dance
Add some fun to your next 3D printing demo with the 3D Printer dance. I created the 3D Printer dance to add a kinesthetic element to a 3D printer demo for an elementary STEM camp. The dance helps reinforce principles of 3D printing. The 3D Printer dance can be done anywhere but is especially nice on floors with 12″ tiles.
Dancers face the 3D printer. I had students face an image of a cube in Tinkercad.com projected on an interactive whiteboard.
Tell the dancers to stand on the spot where four tiles meet. Tell them this is the ORIGIN. This is the 0 point or the 0,0 point or the 0,0,0 point if you want to be picky. Their feet are the nozzle of the 3D printer EXTRUDER. They are going to do the 3D Printer dance to create a cube.
Tell the dancers to put their right arm out and point at the right hand wall. Tell them to say X- AXIS as they point at the right hand wall.
Tell the dancers to put their left arm out and point at the wall in front of them. Tell them to say Y-AXIS as they point at the front wall.
Ask the dancers what angle their arms are making. 90 DEGREES.
Tell the dancers to move up and down. Tell them to say Z-AXIS.
Tell the dancers that each square on the floor/each step is one.
Now you are ready to start the dance.
Point right and tell the dancers to go to X = 2. Step right twice and count one, two.
Point forward and tell the dancers to go to Y=2. Step forward twice and count one, two.
Point left and tell the dancers to go to X=0. Step left twice and count one, two.
Point backwards and tell the dancers to go Y=0. Step backwards twice and count one, two.
Stop and look down. Ask the dancers what shape the just made. SQUARE.
Tell them the square is the first SLICE.
Tell them they need to go up a LAYER to Z=1. Tell the dancers to jump up to Z=1. Jump up.
Now tell anyone that isn’t dancing that you need some music and ask them to beat box for you.
Repeat the above steps to make another square and jump up to Z=2.
Stop and turn around. Apologize to the dancers because you forgot to tell them to turn their extruder motor on.
Tell the dancers to put their arms in front of them with their elbows at 90 degrees. Tell the dancer to rotate their forearms around each other. Tell them they to make a whirring sound while their extruder motor is running. Tell them the extruder pushes the FILAMENT into the HOT END and out the NOZZLE at their feet.
Repeat all the dance steps again with the extruder running and the audience beat boxing.
Ask the dancers what shape they just made. CUBE.
Congratulate the dancers on doing the 3D Printer Dance and printing a cube.
You can then talk more in depth about 3D printing including slicing a 3D model and the X,Y,Z and E commands in g-code.
The 3D Printer dance is a great way to add excitement and energy to a 3D printing demo. Imagine sending a video of the 3D Printer Dance in with a grant application or doing a live performance for a PTA meeting.