IO Blocks Makerspace Community
An introduction to 3D design and creativity in library and school Makerspaces with Guidecraft IO Blocks
We are proud to introduce IO Blocks Makerspace as an online resource for teachers, educators, and students interested in combining technology and design with the limitless exploration of IO Blocks! During product development we noticed a very important detail about our IO Blocks – they’re the perfect toy for integrating 3D printing into a child’s curriculum. Now with IO Blocks Makerspace, you can draft, design, and use your own custom IO Blocks in conjunction with the originals to create unique IO Blocks builds. Try out our Robot Lesson and Insect Lesson, or add your own lesson plans, unique shape files, and final builds to the IO Blocks Community and enjoy printing and playing with pieces shared by other community members. We would love to see your lesson plans, too!
Tag us!: @Guidecraft_offical #IOBlocksMakerspace
Round One of Insect Lesson
Let’s Get Started!
Download Shape Files
Download our IO Blocks shape files to your computer and go to your computer-aided design (CAD) program (we recommend Tinkercad – a free website for CAD design). Create a new design and click on the ‘Import’ button. Select an IO Blocks shape file from your computer and import them to your design program. You now have official IO Blocks pieces to tinker with and use while designing new IO Blocks pieces.
To design your own IO Blocks, follow the instructions of your shape file program to create and edit your building pieces. All IO Blocks pieces are based on a ½ inch cube with rounded corners, so keep that in mind while designing your IO Blocks pieces. You can use the IO Blocks shape files as a starting point to help you design pieces that will fit with the rest of your IO Blocks. If you are using Tinkercad, view their tutorials here.
To print your customized IO Blocks, you will first need a 3D printer. If you don’t have a 3D printer, we recommend the Da Vinci line for a beginner printer. Follow the instructions of your 3D printer to make your unique IO Blocks Pieces. We encourage you to experiment with your shape file designs and don’t be afraid to see how your printer responds to a variety of designs.
Let’s add more crazy and unique insects to the world of bugs. With so many interesting insects in the world, you can turn a real-life insect into an IO insect!
Recommended Grade: 2nd
How can you build a robot to help you finish your chores? Solve this problem by creating a custom part for your robot to help them finish their chore!
Recommended Grade: 4th
In this lesson you will design and build a bridge using IO Blocks. Then you will improve your bridge by designing and 3D printing new custom IO parts!
Recommended Grade: 5th
Meet the Team!
Daniel and Patrick are both High School Juniors who completed a one-month internship with Guidecraft to create the IO Blocks Makerspace Community. With the help of the Guidecraft team, Daniel and Patrick created two unique lesson plans for integrating 3D printing with Guidecraft’s original friction fit building system, IO Blocks. Together, they worked on website design, lesson plans and of course, 3D printing. As they field-tested the process from research to lesson plan to finished 3D mold, their goal was to create fun, relatable challenges that could excite students and spark an interest in design, architecture, and STEM-related fields.