In September 2017, the Ultimaker North American Community Team released The Design Engine Starter Pack, 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 the game evolve.
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.
Over the Spring 2018 semester and up until July 1st, 2018, we invite students and educators to submit:
Our team of editors will evaluate the submissions, and the best contributions will be included into the 2018 Back to School edition which will be released August 15, 2018.
- 3D emoji
Create a physical object that evokes an emotion.
- A legend is born
Create an object that represents a myth or legend of your own devising.
- A little game of cat-and-mouse
Design a cat toy.
- A little help from a friend
Design an object to help lift a load.
- A second life
Design something that upcycles an existing object.
- Another link in a chain...
Create an object that has a connector on two sides. Duplicate it again and again, linking each together....
- Back to the drawing board
Design a tool that can be used for drawing and sketching.
- Bad habits can be hard to break
Design an object that will change a behavior.
- Brother, can you spare a penny, nickel, dime...
Design something that helps you sort spare change.
- Can I see some ID?
Design an object to prevent misplacing your ID.
- Chair this!
Pick any object that is NOT a chair. Make it into a chair.
- Distress /De-stress
Design a stress-relief device.
- Don't worry, be happy
Design something that makes someone laugh.
Design something that instills fear.
Design an object that expresses the beauty of math.
- Fidget about it
Design a better spinner. You only get one bearing.
- Full of hot air
Design a model that needs a balloon.
- Get cookin'!
Design something for the kitchen.
- Get low
Design something that sinks.
- Get organized!
Design something that organizes other things.
- Go where the GoPro goes
Design a GoPro attachment.
Design a trap.
- Green thumb
Create something that helps you keep a plant happy.
- Happy days!
Design an object that is useful every day of the week.
- Have it both ways
Design an object that has a dual purpose.
- How does your garden grow?
Design a completely original garden helper, that no one has ever seen before.
Pick two objects in the room. Select one feature from each, and design a new project that includes both those elements.
- It's a bird, it's a plane...
Drawing on our quest to soar through the air, design something that can fly.
- It's all in the wrist...
Bracelets, cuffs, wrist-guards, and more! Create a design that can be worn on the wrist.
- It's not what you think....
Redesign an everyday object to accomplish the opposite function.
- Lamp that!
Pick any object that is NOT a lamp. Make it into a lamp.
- Let's play it by ear
Design something to be worn on your ear.
- Level up Design
something that balances.
- Like a rollin' stone
Design an object that rolls.
- Make the ordinary extraordinary
Start with an everyday object and explore!
Create an accurate copy of a real world object.
- Mine! Mine! Mine!
Design a handle that fits your hand perfectly -- and put it on something!
- Monkeying around
Design a tabletop game.
- Move and shake!
Design an articulated object.
- Music to my ears
Create an object that makes sound or music.
- Mysteries of Nature
Design an object inspired by biomimicry.
- No dice!
Design a better die for a game (how about this one!). Create the rules for how to use it!
- Now you're talking
Design a new communications tool, and instructions how to use it.
- On the road again
Design something useful on the road.
Create a 3D map that captures your path to work or school, but the object must be small enough to fit in your pocket.
- Pattern recognition
Design a model that uses the golden ratio.
- Project Runway
Design something that makes the outfit.
- Puppets at play
Design a puppet.
- Put a flower in it
Design a bud vase (the more unexpected the better).
Design both a puzzle and its packaging.
Design an object with a secret.
- Ship in a bottle
Design something that makes someone ask, "How'd that get in there?"
- Show me the money
Design a new monetary system (coins, precious objects).
- Some assembly required
Design a 3D model that can be flat-packed.
Make a personalized bookmark for a special person or a special book.
- This - then - that
Design a crank-driven automaton.
- Time machine
There are many ways to measure the passage of time. Design a timekeeper and the secret of its use.
- We have a winner!
Design a trophy or prize.
- What's your superpower?
Make a ring reflecting for your superpower.
- Whatever floats your boat
Design something that floats.
- Without a shadow of a doubt
Design an object that casts an interesting shadow.
Design a zipper pull.
Contributor cards are lessons, projects or assignments created by educators with links to resources or the original lesson. Here are two examples of contributor cards from the Original Starter Pack:
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.
To see the introduction to this project, go to the Design Engine Community Project.