Can you make a 3D minion? You would be surprised by how easy it is! During our four-day school holiday code camp on the Gold Coast, one of the activities that we did was modelling a printable 3D minion. We made it using Microsoft 3D Builder — a program that comes with Windows 10. Really, anyone can model a minion!

For the first two days of the program, students built an asteroids game in Scratch — an online tool that allows kids to learn how to code by building games and making animations.

Once we finished the asteroids project, one of the kids suggested that we do some 3D modelling. Everyone agreed that that would be a great idea, and lots of fun. So — come day 3, we began to model a minion!

We started with just the basics; modelling the body of the minion.

Modelling the pants was the next step.

“How did you do that?” They asked.

“Well,” I said, “you’ll notice that the pants look a little bit like a squashed cylinder with a semi-sphere on the bottom.”

The students had a go at aligning and sizing the shapes and connecting them together.

“But they still don’t look like pants!” They exclaimed. “How do you take the side bits off?”

“Let’s create a square and stretch it out. Now let’s put it on the side of the pants.” I said. “Then we can remove the parts where they insect with the pants.”

“Oh, so I can make any shape by resizing and removing intersecting shapes?” Someone asked me.

“Yep, pretty much!” I said. “There are endless possibilities if you use this simple technique. We can make the pants slightly larger than the minion when we put the minion it the middle. This way, it looks like the minion is wearing the pants.”

 

Why 3D modelling?

Learning fundamental design techniques, like the ones we learn from 3D modelling, apply to many aspects of STEM disciplines. They teach children problem solving techniques, spacial awareness, and make use of both creative and logic parts of the brain.

Coding Kids is all about equipping the next generation with the skills to become contributors to the digital world. Having spatial awareness and understanding how 3D modelling works are becoming dominant skills in our STEM driven society. We live in a world where drones can deliver pizza, doctors can print low cost prosthetic parts, and a virtual reality boom is exploring new opportunities and applications of digital technologies. Almost every industry uses 3D technology in some way: we see it all kinds of places, from prototyping parts production and product visualisation to the production of 3D entertainment. Clearly, 3D technologies are solving real world problems and have a major role in the growth of the economy.

 

What is a code camp?

Coding Kids code camps are engaging programs designed to stimulate the interest of children in STEM-related disciplines. Children work together with other students to create a variety of digital projects and games. These projects encourage them to think about how technology and computers can solve problems and achieve a desired outcome.

Mr J. at our Gold Coast Holiday Code Camp in Palm Beach.
Mr J. at our Gold Coast Holiday Code Camp in Palm Beach.

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By Levi Olorenshaw