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New Easel Feature: Carving Time Estimation



Our amazing development team has created a new time estimation feature in Easel. Because in this busy world, we know your time is precious. And faster carves means more carves!

While designing in Easel, you can now get an estimate of your total carving time. The “Show Toolpaths” button previously found in the top right corner of the 3D design pane has been replaced by a “Simulate” button. When “Simulate” is clicked, Easel calculates and displays the estimated time and toolpath visualization.

Taking the time to adjust small settings can add up to a big impact. In the below project example, simply switching your bit from 1/8" to 1/4" saves over 30 minutes of carve time. Adjusting other settings like material thickness and cut depth also make a difference.



CAM programs, due to all of the different possible machine setups, aren’t known for giving the most accurate machining time estimates. With this new feature, we’ve worked hard behind the scenes to have Easel deliver an estimate that’s now reliable enough for us to share.


The above graph shows the results of experimenting with a couple different methods for estimating time, and comparing those with the actual carve time. We almost always underestimated the total, but for 95% of makers the estimate was within a few minutes.

Give it a try for yourself today and let us know your feedback. If you have any questions while designing, check out this helpful article from our awesome support team!

Carvey got TESTED


Norm Chan reviewed Carvey on TESTED. Check out the video below!

 

Educator Spotlight: Greg Kent on Design Thinking

I’m Greg Kent, Technology Coordinator and an Enrichment Teachers at Kailua Elementary School, on the Island of Oahu.




Teaching a tool or teaching a design process?

I follow and teach the Design Thinking process. Design Thinking is so vital because it fosters communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking, the vital skills you need to be successful in life. There was a great presentation done this year at Punahou school by their high school students for our First Lego League team. The students walked the whole team through Design Thinking by using the process to solve a problem with us. That was a moment of clarity for me. It is like the scientific method for makers! I felt like it gave me a simple, powerful, repeatable process that Kailua Elementary students and teachers could follow and be successful.

Design Thinking means getting to know someone (Empathize), and figuring out what their “pain point” or challenge is (Define). After determining these, we brainstorm like crazy to come up with as many solutions we can (Ideate).  Then we draw our designs on paper, make models out of cardboard and other materials, and finally create a working prototype (Prototype). Next we test out the model, get and give feedback, and share our experiences (Test). This cycle can continue over and over again until the team is satisfied with the results.  Recently, I found  AJ Juliani’s “Launch” framework and want to explore that more this summer during our robotics camp.


Do you teach how to operate the tool?

This year we focused on students using Easel, Inventables' simple and powerful 3D carving program. I think it's incredibly important for students to digitally ideate and prototype in addition to making low-fi models. When students have choice and control they want to master the tools available. The first question I would hear in the morning is, “Did you look at the design I posted yet?” We need to understand that being creative and solving problems takes time and effort. The agency for the students is in their ability to create the content they want anywhere and anytime, and take it as far as they want.



I walk students through the steps of what is happening when I'm setting up the X-Carve. Honestly, I feel like they can learn to tighten a router collet later. Personally, I want to have a workflow that is efficient and safe. I have been learning and adjusting the hardware setup to make sure we are safe, and that their experience is consistent. I want students to have as much control as possible, but it has to be gradual and sustainable. I want them to be resilient when things don’t go as expected, but I do want them to have a positive outlook and expect things to go right.


Do you start with something like the tiles Jeff Solin did with his class?

Yes! At first we explored Easel and the project section of the Inventables website. I didn’t really tell students what I wanted because I didn’t know. We talked about making signs and the students found the tile project. We substituted ¼" plywood for the project. I told them they could make anything they wanted. Some students chose icons inside of Easel but others went online to find certain characters they wanted to incorporate into the design. One of my students imported a dragon she had created and brought it home to paint.

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Do you allow the kids to design something that can be sold?

We have not stepped into that arena yet. I think if we do, it would be for a class fundraiser or for our 3rd grade mini-society unit.

Do you give them a budget?

No, but I am pretty verbal about costs and about students being stewards of whatever resources we receive. For this year’s main project, students made most of their projects from ½" plywood. Kailua Elementary is not a rich school but our administration is very understanding and supportive of STEM and our growing maker space. We have been using a lot of recycled materials for other projects but I need to do a better job of connecting with our community to see if anyone has materials/resources to share!

Not sure what your maker lab should look like? Check out Greg's classroom lab!


Maker Faire is Almost Here!


Come join us for a night of pizza, drinks & 3D carving!

Inventables is hosting a Maker Faire get-together at Windy City Pizza and BBQ in San Mateo, CA on Saturday, May 21st. If you'll be in the area, stop by to learn more about Easel, X-Carve and Carvey. You’ll meet some great people, eat delicious pizza and, enjoy drinks compliments of Inventables.

RSVP Here!




Inventables CEO, Zach Kaplan, will share how you can get a free 3D carver for your school at Maker Faire Bay Area

Come see our founder and CEO, Zach, at Maker Faire Bay Area 2016.  He will be giving a talk on the Maker Pro stage. He will be sharing our mission to put a 3D carver in every U.S. school by the end of the decade. You’ll learn how your school or a school you support can get a free 3D carving machine. Don't miss out on this awesome event! Click below to get your tickets before they're all gone.

Buy your tickets today!




Carvey in the classroom

We recently launched a new materials bundle that is perfect for any school curriculum! On our site you can now buy a pack of 60 two-color HDPE tiles for only $100. Students are able to carve the tiles, offering them an endless number of possibilities,for their creativity to flow! Check out the above tile wall at our HQ for some added inspiration.

Visit our materials page for details!