Central Coast businesses take advantage of revolutionary 3D technology

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3D JewelryA few Friday nights ago, as MakersFactory employees shut off the printers and packed up for the weekend, bottles of wine were opened, cheese was set out, and a small gathering of women opened up their laptops to fire up the 3D modeling program called Blender. Piloting a new offering of ours, we brought in some local female artists/jewelry makers/designers and introduced them to a new form of design–3D modeling! As the wine and champagne flowed, the ladies learned the basics of the open-source 3D software, Blender, and became familiar with the 3D modeling environment. We created complex wire-frame necklace pendants using the “primitive” shapes Blender supplies and rings with customized mountings and settings.
Emails flooded in later that night with dozens of ideas and possible projects that swarmed the heads of the ladies in the middle of the night. In preparation for the next 3D jewelry design class on Thursday, September 25 from 6-9pm, we are gathering info and developing lessons on pendant and base designs. MakersFactory will continue to offer monthly night classes that focus on a particular jewelry design. For those who are new 3D modeling or jewelry-making, the first hour of class will be used to cover Blender basics. But don’t worry if you’re already an seasoned 3D designer, your first hour can be used as design development for additional works of art.
So bring yourself, your laptop, an empty glass, and jewelry ideas to MakersFactory this Thursday night, September 25th, from 6-9pm! Save yourself a spot by registering here.

by Lindsey Serio

Python Turtles in WingIDE

Students started the day by discussing what they learned in Python the previous day. This helped the writer to understand the concepts without being totally lost! Teacher Andy asked what functions campers learned yesterday. Some of the things they learned was how to move the turtle in a circle.


This code dictates that the turtle should move left or right while the number inside the parenthesis (or “paren”) dictating the degree of the turn.

For some reason in Python, zero is the fastest speed. Teacher Andy then went over how to repeat certains sections of commands so that you didn’t have to re-write it for every turtle:

For i in range(4):


Stick Man

The big project for the day was building a stick man based on everything the campers had learned about shapes and coordinates. Some of the younger students were learning advanced fourth grade math! Teacher Andy began the project by sketching out a simple stick figure in paint and asking the campers to describe the image. Here’s what they came up with:

1) A line for the body, drawn up and down, perfectly vertical.
2) 2 diagonal feet, starting at the bottom of the body and going outwards.
3) A circle at the top of the body. The center of the head is perfectly aligned with body vertically.
4) Arms going straight across the body, perfectly horizontally.

The campers talked through the paint image, mapping out coordinates for each point on the stick figure. Here’s what they came up with:

void draw() {

(head) ellipse (100,100,100,100);
(body) line(100,150,100,450);
(left leg) line(100,350,50,450);
(right leg) line(100,350,150,450)
(arms) line(50,250,150,250)


They had to define everything to the computer in order to get the output to be a stick figure. The campers learned that humans are not like machines in that if you told a human to draw a stick figure each figure would be a little bit different and this is what is wonderful about humans. What’s great about computers is that you have the ultimate control in depicting your unique stick figure. Campers wrapped up class by modifying their stick figures to their liking.



Adding Color and Texture to 3D Models

August 14, 2014

by Lindsey Serio In our 3D Animation Camp campers have been learning how to add color and texture to their 3D models. A texture is an image added to the face of a 3D model. It can give life to an object or character by giving them light, color and depth. Check out a video […]

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Coding New Tools in Minecraft!

August 8, 2014

by Lindsey Serio On Wednesday this week campers worked on programming new tools into their Minecraft Game. There are many details involved in programming the tool, from dictating the qualities the tool will have to how to make Minecraft recognize it as a tool. First, under the Materials section of the campers code campers coded […]

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Robotics Camp Uses Color Sensors

August 1, 2014

by Lindsey Serio We have been having epic amounts of fun in our Robotics Camp. We dove into color sensors on Thursday. The students worked in the Lego NXT program to graphically code directions for the robot to take. The program they are working on looks something like this: Students drag block pieces out from […]

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Our Second Jr Minecraft Camp!

July 31, 2014

by Lindsey Serio We were stoked to hold our second Jr Minecraft Camp for campers 6 to 8 years old! A few observations from our Jr Minecraft Camp Davey learned from Teacher Josh that using an anvil to break down resources with also break down your tools. You can find name tags in dungeons. Our volunteer, […]

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An Introduction to Web Design

July 25, 2014

by Lindsey Serio In Fab Lab Camp this week we covered a subject that we haven’t covered in quite a while: Web Design. We gave students a 3 hour introduction to the basics of html completely from scratch (no help from wordpress or anything else, just bare coding) and they caught on super quick! Here’s […]

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Why Coding Matters.

November 2, 2013

by Andy Stoller I don’t think there’s anyone left who honestly thinks that computers are still just a “fad;” Ken Olson, president of the now-defunct company Digital Equipment Corp said, in 1977, “There is no reason anyone in the right state of mind will want a computer in their home.” What Ken lacked in foresight, […]

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Introducing our new Engaging Technology in Education Meetup

October 15, 2013

DETAILS: Day: October 16th is our first Kick-off meeting Place: MakersFactory space in downtown Santa Cruz, 877 Cedar Street, Suite #122 Time: 6:30-8pm Cost: FREE! Includes light supper! Sign-Up: Email krissie@makersfactory.com to reserve your spot today. Space is limited. The Engaging Technology in Education meetup is a forum to bring local Santa Cruz County educators […]

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