Thanks to a partnership between MakerBot and ThinkFun, Maker Studio Construction Sets are available for free at MakerBot Thingiverse, a design community for discovering, making, and sharing 3-D printable things. Maker Studio Construction Sets allow ordinary household items to be transformed into engineering-inspired machines, sparking users’ imaginations and interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) subjects.
The new sets are part of MakerBot’s broader initiative to provide educators and students with the resources and tools needed to embrace 3-D printing. The digital designs for the Maker Studio Construction Sets can be downloaded for free at thingiverse.com/thinkfun.
Recommended for children ages 7 and up with a budding interest in engineering, the sets feature 3-D printable parts—including connectors, wheels, rods, hubcaps, spools, and hole punches—that can be downloaded individually and used to transform household items, such as cereal boxes or soda cans, into kinetic machines.
ThinkFun and MakerBot hope to inspire more students to develop an interest in STEM. According to the Department of Education, by the time students are seniors in high school, only 16 percent are interested in pursuing STEM careers.
As part of their partnership, ThinkFun and MakerBot have also launched the Kids Make It Challenge for children around the world to share creations and compete for ThinkFun and MakerBot-branded prizes, as well as the title of Master Maker. To enter, kids or parents simply post a photo or video of their Maker Studio creation on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #KidsMakeIt. Entries will be accepted until July 14, and the winner will be announced on July 28 on the MakerBot blog. Official contest rules are on the #KidsMakeIt Challenge Page.