Thursday, September 1, 2016

Integrating the 3D Printer Into Program Giveaways & Marketing Promotions

Need to make an award?  Now that we have a 3D printer readily available, there are so many opportunities for customized giveaways/prizes that we would normally have to go out and purchase through companies like Oriental Trading.

For our first egg drop last summer, we 3D printed medals that we designed in Tinkercad for the winners. Egg drops are really fun and low stress program since all you provide is the eggs and a tarp. We dropped contraptions kids made from home out the 2nd story window to see if their egg inside survived. Since that went over so well, next spring we made a Peep Award for our Book themed Peep Dioramas. This was another stress free program as kids worked together at home to design the Peep dioramas and brought them in for judging and viewing. These shapes were very easy to combine in Tinkercad. I think in hindsight it would be nice to put lettering on it to say Duxbury Free Library and the year.


During the annual summer Lego Contest 2 years running, we 3D printed award trophies (81 mm tall) to put beside the creations. This one was a combination of shapes in Tinkercad as well as uploading a pre-made Lego block that someone else had designed. This is also another program that requires little prep work as kids make their Legos from home based on a theme and submit them for viewing on a specific week.




We are currently printing team medallions to hand out to those who show that they caught a Pokemon  at the library through the Go app. I'm still obsessed with the game by the way (LEVEL 24! Go Team Valor). These files were found pre-made and printed in bulk depending on the team. 4 printed in about 4 hours (about 47 mm x 53 mm) and I have been printing every morning for the past month (when I remember) in preparation. Files can be found here if you'd like to make them. Not to mention the entire catalog of possible 3D printed Pokemon themselves that I haven't even begun to dive into.

What's great about the 3D printer, among other things, is you can make things the day of. So if 10 extra people sign up last minute for the egg drop, no problem! We can just quickly print more awards without anyone having to do a last minute run to iParty or paying extra for shipping through Oriental Trading.  In addition, they will never be out of stock or discontinued. Once you have designed them the first time, which could be as time consuming as you want it to be, you can just change the year and reprint.  Usually the Tinkercad community has a wealth of pre-made shareable items that you can use as a base like I did with the Lego award. Here is the link to my shareable files. 


Addendum 9/7: Here is another idea I found posted on Facebook this week. Reader's advisory for all ages changes from a sticker/bookmark to an eye catching 3D printed thumbs up

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