"I'm excited to see FabLab
ModelMaker working with the Silhoutte
and the CraftROBO fabricators" P.S. 
3D Shapes
Shapes
are everywhere in the real world, many structures both natural and manmade
comprise sets of 3D shapes. Take a look around and recognise how
many cuboids, spheres, pyramids, prisms there are in the objects you see, touch
and use everyday.
On close inspection you might notice that your computer is made up of different
sized cuboids and prisms. How about the table or chair you are sitting on, the
door to the room, the filing cabinet? Geometry is all around us in
nature and in all the things we make and use.


Download FabLab ModelMaker
for free
and try it on
your PC or Mac. 
"Model Maker is awesome, I really
like the way that you can combine different
shapes. Nice work! 

3D Shapes Made in FabLab ModelMaker
These images were made in FabLab ModelMaker using
cuboids, cylinders, cones, a pyramid, prisms, sphere and a wedge shape. The 3D
shapes can all be manipulated by scaling and rotating and shapes can be joined
together to make more complex models. All the shapes can be printed and sent to
the Silhouette fabricator to trimmed
prior to manufacture. FabLab ModelMaker can also work alongside the
Fab@School 3D printer to manfacture solid models
out of silicone, plaster, plastic and even cheese or chocolate!
Watch FabLab ModelMaker printing a 3D Rotunda using the Fab@School

Names of 3D Shapes
These shapes are the building blocks for designing 3D models on the computer.
Draw shapes using the mouse in one simple operation, or drag them on to the
screen from a library of premade shapes.
All the 3D shapes can be edited by scaling and stretching, moving
and rotating and adding colours or images to individual faces.

Cuboid 
Cylinder 
Cone 
Frustum of Cone 
Regular Prism 
Irregular Prism 
Pyramid 
Sphere 
Solid of Rotation 
Transition Piece 
Torus 
Frustum of Pyramid 
Wedge Shape 
Tetrahedron 
Hexahedron 
Octahedron 
Dodecahedron 
Icosahedron 



A Cube Shape
While tabs easy 3D modeling software has a wide range of 3D
shapes it is amazing what one can learn from a just one 3D cube. Here is a simple but
fascinating exercise that will get a class of children thinking beyond what they
see, as they start to appreciate that there is much more to this 3D cube than
meets the eye.
Use a real 3D model of a cube, hold it up in front of class, examine it, pass it
around and brainstorm. There are so many concepts involved in a cube, and you
can probably learn more from taking time to examine this simple cube shape than
from designing any more complex 3D shapes on the computer.
Brainstorm discussion:
What is a cube? Encourage the children to think of some of the following
parameters:
Corners Points : Dimensions : Area : Length : Diagonals : Lines : Faces : Height
: Polygon : Width : Sides : Volume Vertices : Depth : Right angles : Symmetry
: Perimeter : NETS : Coordinates : Weight : Material :
Discuss this simple experiment: Compare a cube 5cm high to a cone with 5cm
height, if both these 3D shapes were filled with rice which one will be the heaviest?
Make a cube with 2cm sides, and another with 4cm sides, discuss the relative
volume of each cube. Just because the dimensions of one cube are twice that
of the other cube doesn’t necessarily mean that it has twice the volume!
So Many Skills from One Cube!
A 3D design project does not have to be complicated
and using lots of 3D shapes to be of value! Here is a simple idea for a
project using just one 3D shape, a cube, and a project that is achievable by all children in a class. They will come
together to plan the design, form a team, cooperate and communicate and work
with one another. And in the design process they’ll call on a variety of skills:
language, thinking skills, social skills, hand and eye coordination,
artistic skills, ICT and mathematical skills.
The project is to design a cube to use as a tissue holder to take home for mum.
How big is it going to be, and what colour? How many tissues will it hold, how
many do we want it to hold? Who is going to design it, what's it going to be
made from? and who will print the
net of the shape, or
cut it, glue and fold it? What about a hole to put the tissues in? How big? On
the side or the front or on top of the cube? ... and so on.
The object of such a project is not to produce a complex and clever model with lots of
3D shapes but to guide children through the experience of thinking, discussing,
drawing, planning, evaluating, changing and making, and having something to show
for their effort; so many skills from one cube! 
3D Shape Variants
The following shape variations can be
drawn for the regular prism, pyramid and frustum of a pyramid shape and the
transition piece. The irregular prism can be drawn to create infinite number of
different prism shapes. 
Regular Prism 
Triangular Prism
Rectangular Prism
Pentagonal Prism
Hexagonal Prism
Heptagonal Prism 
Octagonal Prism Nonagonal Prism
Decagonal Prism
Undecagonal Prism
Dodecagonal Prism


Dodecagonal Prism 
Irregular Prism 
The user can define any irregular prism shape by drawing the
crosssection with the mouse and then setting the length of the shape.
A stair case for example, a cross, a simple motor car shape etc. When making
holes in an irregular prism one can make all the letters of the alphabet for
example. 

Irregular prism with a hole 
Pyramid 
Triangular Pyramid Rectangular Pyramid
Pentagonal Pyramid
Hexagonal Pyramid
Heptagonal Pyramid

Octagonal Pyramid Nonagonal Pyramid
Decagonal Pyramid
Undecagonal Pyramid
Dodecagonal Pyramid 

Dodecagonal Pyramid 
Frustum of Pyramid 
Frustum of a Triangular Prism Frustum of a
Rectangular Prism
Frustum of a Pentagonal Prism
Frustum of a Hexagonal Prism
Frustum of a Heptagonal Prism

Frustum of an Octagonal Prism Frustum of a
Nonagonal Prism
Frustum of a Decagonal Prism
Frustum of an Undecagonal Prism
Frustum of a Dodecagonal Prism


Frustum of a
Dodecagonal Prism 
Transition Piece 
Triangle to Circle Square to Circle
Pentagon to Circle
Hexagon to Circle
Triangle to Square
Pentagon to Square
Hexagon to Square
Octagon to Square 
Plus user defined transition piece to bridge
between any shape with sides in the range of Triangular to Dodecagonal (3 to
12). 

Square to Octagon
Transition Piece 


Displaying a
Shape
All the shapes can be displayed and printed with colors or images on each face, or as a
solid line shape or one showing the hidden lines. 




Shape rendered with colours 
Shape rendered with images 
Solid shape with lines 
Showing the hidden lines 

