Using Digital Fabrication in Your Classroom: Hands-On Projects and Teacher Guides

The Fun Approach to Igniting Students' Minds about Problem-Solving, Science, Math, Engineering and Technology

TJ Christiansen

About TJ:

Before joining ShopBot in 2011, TJ Christiansen taught High School woodworking and welding classes for five years at Ludington High School in northern Michigan. "I grew up building cottages with my father and was also very inspired by my building trades instructor Mr. Certa. These two gave me the big inspiration to keep working with wood and to teach." He started his business Tanglewood Carvings in 2005, designing and building one-of-a-kind furniture and sculpture.

TJ started at ShopBot on the production team. New to CNC equipment, TJ took to the technology instantly and is a huge fan of its potential in classrooms. This has led TJ to design and build projects that teachers, students -- or anyone else with the interest -- can make themselves with inexpensive supplies. TJ is now in charge of the company's training programs and technical video production.

With your guide: TJ Christiansen of ShopBot Tools, Inc.

Enjoy these projects and teaching outlines. We'll be adding more and more all the time. Questions? Send us a note here. It may take a couple of days for us to get back to you - so be patient. Happy making!

Arch Bridge

Arch Bridge

Overview: This bridge is a completely self-supporting bridge that holds together without any use of screws or fasteners. This concept dates back to the 1400’s and is a great way to teach history with engineering in mind. The more weight added to the bridge the stronger it becomes, but take away the weight and pull out just one piece and the entire bridge will crumble.

Materials: 3/4” plywood

Minimum Cutting Area: 48” x 48”

Bit Size: 1/4”

Finishing: Either a clear coat or a painted surface makes this project look great.

Project Files:
Arch Bridge Tutorial [Download pdf]
Arch Bridge Teacher Guide [Download pdf]
Arch Bridge Project Files [Download zipped files]

ShopBot Teaching Unit by Jay Wiese

Jay has made his ShopBot Teaching Units available for use by other teachers.

For use with Part Wizard 3 [Download Weise Lessons Plans -zip file 1MB]
Includes Teacher Instructions, Toolpathing a car with Mill Wizard (car.sbp and car.stl files also), Creating and Machining a Clock, Designing and Machining a Plaque

For use with Vector CAD/CAM There are 10 files that make up the complete unit. Thanks, Jay [ Download zip file now ]

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