Diese Seite wird auf Englisch angezeigt, da Sie in der von Ihnen gewählten Sprache nicht verfügbar ist.

Design Engine Box-1

Design Engine community project

  • Informal learning
  • Technology

In September, the Ultimaker North American Community Team released The Design Engine, a card game to provoke, inspire, and entertain students, educators, 3D designers, artists, and engineers of all experience levels. The game, which can be played as a handy icebreaker or as a challenging activity sparking creativity over a period of time, is meant to be used to generate new projects and fuel a deeper exploration into the use of desktop 3D printers. Since its release, the game has been used in many classrooms and with many students. Now we want to challenge educators and students to help evolve the game.

You've read about the launch of the Design Engine, you've seen and maybe worked on solutions for the eight challenges issued during September and October, and you've heard about the winners of the Design Engine challenge. Now we're opening up the Design Engine to the community. We want to see how you're using or modifying the game with your students, and we want to incorporate your ideas into the next edition.

The Design Engine was specifically created to address educator requests for tools to help students create original works from their own imagination and to help motivate them through the process of mastering desktop 3D printing. While the starter pack includes instructions for several common approaches for how to use the cards in an educational context, the Ultimaker team always anticipated that the uses and “flavors of play” would vary greatly depending on the specific aims of the participants.

style of play
Original "flavors of play"
play as teams


What we love about the game is its flexibility, and how you can use it in very different contexts. For example, in October, the Ultimaker North American community team took the game to the MET for the Teens Take the MET event. We ran quick three-minute icebreaker challenges with the deck and then sent students out on postcard missions, where in addition to assigning a parameter to one of four challenges (Hybridize!, Project Runway, Lamp that, and A legend is born...), we added a MET gallery as the second element to consider:

Icebreaker Worksheet
card lamp
card legend
card runway
ttm 03
ttm 05
ttm 16
ttm 38
ttm 31
ttm 27 allison
Pioneer Allison Milgrom volunteering at MET

Teachers who are using the Design Engine

  • Andrea Relator, a social science teacher at Dominion High School in Sterling, VA, combined the Ultimaker Design Engine with the UN Sustainable Development Goals to help her students create solutions for Puerto Rico disaster relief.

  • Greenwich Academy's Emily Dixon shared that "it was great as a new teacher to have the Ultimaker Design Pack to really jog [my students'] minds into creating wild, out of the box ideas for idea generation. These ideas were then further refined with the design requirements we defined - mainly time and prototyping capabilities."

  • Pioneer Andrew Woodbridge from Grover Cleveland High School uses the cards to open their monthly Maker Share Out where all the students do some design thinking and share out on their projects.

  • Pioneer Brian Wetzel, a Computer Technology Teacher at Centerburg High School in Ohio has used the Design Engine Pack with his students to explore Design Thinking. Brian believes that students often get caught up with having a perfect product instead of focusing on planning and reflecting. While many student projects that came out of the game were printed, he emphasized that "the documentation of the design process was way more important than what came off the 3D printer."

  • Pioneer Matthew Wigdahl says that the 5th graders in room 141 at Oaklawn School "have used the cards as conversation starters for learning Design Thinking and Engineering Design processes. The modifier cards are an easy way to push conversations into more unusual, creative solutions. The variations in context also provide the students unique ways to imaginatively practice empathy."

  • Pioneer Adam Davidson from Durham's Riverside High School says "We love using ours in our maker club. We have a monthly game where we pit teams of students against each other to create the best solutions. We then create a plaque for the winning team out of KingCore HDPE on our ShopBot and post it in our programs trophy case."

How to play now

As of January 1, 2018, you may purchase your own set of the Design Engine from thegamecrafter.com.

Alternatively, you can download a print-and-play version, or play the game online.

Print-and-play version

The challenge

Over the Spring 2018 semester and up until July 1st, we invite students and educators to submit new rules, new challenges, new contributor cards, and new localizations.

The best contributions will be included in the 2018 Back to School edition which will be released August 15, 2018.

For more information about this project including resources and activities, go to the Design Engine community project page.

Read more education blogs

  • College of the Desert 3D printing club

    Feel the Action: Learn about how a college is changing lives in ways we can touch!

    A 3D printing club emerges at College of the Dessert to help make ideas accessible to all students

    Testing Quadcopter

    How the tools we use influence the designs we make

    Michael Delaney writes about his iterative process of integrating electronics and 3D printing in his programmable quadcopter project.

    Ultimaker Met

    Bringing 3D printing to the Metropolitan Museum of Art

    Part of the mission from Ultimaker North America's Community team is to help educators get up and running with 3D printing and to help them find meaningful ways to integrate the technology into their curriculum while celebrating their successes. When we w

  • Smithsonian Learning Lab

    3D printing as part of the Smithsonian Learning Lab

    Pioneer Christopher Sweeney shares the work he did with 3D printing and the Smithsonian Learning Lab to create collections of educational resources, organized and structured for teaching and learning.

    Harvard calculus courses use 3D printed models to engage students

    Harvard calculus courses use 3D printed models to engage students

    What is the best way to teach concepts like surface area and volume relating to mathematical objects in a three-dimensional world? The curricular design team at Harvard University thinks the...

    Mathematica Tea Light Holder

    3D Design in Mathematica: Tea Light Holders

    If it’s happening in Ultimaker’s world, you can find out about it here. 3D printing stories about inspiring moments, original 3D printed projects and much much more.

  • Code your 3D designs with Tinkercad’s new Codeblocks app

    Code your 3D designs with Tinkercad’s new Codeblocks app

    Tinkercad released Codeblocks last June, and now that it's out of Beta, Pioneer Rob Morrill tells us how he uses it.


    Modifying an STL with Tinkercad

    When Ultimaker Pioneer Alex Larson contacted me about the Ultibot-D project, I was super excited. As a teacher and parent, I am a huge cheerleader for risk. I printed the base models at ⅕ scale and gave it to my students to explore

    Ultimaker at Camp

    Math Camp: Having fun doing stuff

    Pioneer Dr Toni Szymanski writes about summer fun at camp with 4th and 5th graders, math, and 3D printing.

  • 3D printing for glass


    Guest blogger Astrida Valigorsky writes about combining the old and the new at Timothy Belliveau's GlitchCraft class where students combined 3D printing and glass blowing.


    Using Basecamp to manage your classroom/makerspace projects and print queue

    Pioneer Andrew Woodbridge uses Basecamp to organize his students' projects, and he explains how you can too.

    3D printing in math and chemistry

    A unique 3D printing collaboration between mathematics and chemistry faculty

    Passing it on. After integrating 3D printing into her own math courses, Kristen Schreck helps spread 3D printing across disciplines at Saint Xavier University.

  • World monument project

    Living world monuments assignment

    Pioneer Joanne Barrett shares about a middle school project that combines 3D printing, Augmented Reality, History, and Art.

    parts in cura (1)

    My reintroduction to Netfabb

    A recent NetFabb workshop convinced the writer that they can't live without this application. See why it's time to take another look at Netfabb.

    hero wrenchs

    Wrench Engineering

    Inspired by NASA printed in space wrench, Pioneer Rob Morrill gave his fifth graders a design challenge to design their own real-world tool.

  • goblet project

    Integrating 3D printing and The Goblet Project

    Pioneer Chris Hanusa shares one way he integrated 3D printing into his Integral Calculus class

    Finland’s mobile libraries

    3D printers in the public library: Finland ahead of the curve

    US Professor Joshua Pearce, sponsored by Fulbright Finland for Research, shares his first impressions of Finnish libraries.


    Lessons in letting go - releasing student energy speeds creation and use of our art and innovation lab

    Pioneer John Nordell enlisted his students to put the Art and Innovation Lab together. The result was one of the best experiences he has had as an educator.

  • toni teaching fusion

    Teacher training for 3D printing

    Pioneer Dr. Toni Szymanski thought that 3D printing could engage students in math classes. To test this out, she had to learn all about 3D printing first.

    ceramic stamps

    Digital fabrication informs ceramics decorative process

    Pioneer Young Kim blends his classical arts background with digital fabrication to create a ceramic project that incorporates 3D printing.


    Modeling rocks at iCREATE

    iCREATE's Tiffany Huang shared an iCREATE success story about Jackie Zheng.

  • Empathy map

    Elementary-College Engineering Design partnership

    Pioneer Matthew Wigdahl writes about how his fifth graders and local undergraduate engineering students learn from each other.


    Introducing Ultimaker’s Core Lessons Set for STEAM Educators

    Designed by the Ultimaker North America Community Team, our new Core Lessons: STEAM Set is a resource for educators who need inspiration and ideas when they bring 3D printing into their classrooms.


    Empower one MakerGirl, empower the world

    how the group traveled 10,000 miles around the country to help bring 3D printing workshops to over 1,000 young girls. In this week's post we catch up with the organization that is still working to create a new generation of confident, creative women leade

  • Georgia Connections Academy

    Building a mobile maker space: part 2—up and rolling

    So what exactly does a Mobile MakerSpace look like? That's the question I had to ask myself once I began the project of bringing 3D printing technology to virtual students. When we started this project, we knew we needed something that would be easy to

    Building a mobile makerspace: part 1— getting started

    Building a mobile makerspace: part 1— getting started

    Pioneer Wendy Aracich is putting together and implementing a mobile MakerSpace for her virtual school of 4000 students spread across the state of Georgia.


    Tactile Problem/Solution Bank Community Project

    3D modeling and printing should be accessible of every educator so that they may offer their students tactile means to understand spatial concepts.

  • Design Engine Box

    Design Engine community project

    We want to challenge educators and students to help evolve the Design Engine game. We want to see how you're using or modifying the game with your students, and we want to incorporate your ideas into the next edition.

    coca cola upcycle

    Upcycling community project

    Upcycling challenges students and educators to use their creativity and 3D printing skills to breathe new life into a few familiar objects.


    Construct3D to Kamehameha Ed Tech Conference

    Last year Pioneer Greg Kent traveled from Hawaii to North Carolina to attend Construct3D 2017. We thought we'd share his reflections with you now since we recently announced Construct3D 2018

  • Plastic Ocean by Kevin Krejci

    Ocean Plastic Community Project

    The Ultimaker Community Team will be launching a series of interdisciplinary projects over the next few months that challenge students to research, explore, design, and 3D print. Ocean Plastic is the first project of this series.


    3D printed fractals at JMU 3SPACE

    Pioneer Professor Laura Taalman, (a.k.a. mathgrrl), reviews a multi-week study of fractals by general education math students in the JMU 3D printing classroom.


    Using drones and 3D printing to develop design thinking during a summer robotics camp

    Pioneer Yuriy Drubinskiy writes about his experience leading a summer program and how creating drones with 3D printing brings form, structure, and design together.

  • The Starter Pack launch event at Digital Harbor Foundation

    Introducing the Ultimaker Design Engine Starter Pack

    Presenting the Ultimaker Design Engine Starter Pack: a game created to provoke, inspire, and entertain students, educators, 3D designers, artists, and engineers of all experience levels!

    first puzzle cube and package to be made on a 3D printer entirely out of PLA

    Davidson Desktop Doohickeys: Puzzle cubes

    Pioneer Adam Davidson writes about a project in his curriculum that is a rite of passage for his high school's engineering program students. He explains at how it started and what caused it to change

    soft robot mold

    3D printing with UMaine Bioengineering students

    If it’s happening in Ultimaker’s world, you can find out about it here. 3D printing stories about inspiring moments, original 3D printed projects and much much more.