3D Printing

Project Ignite to Spark Curiosity in STEAM Students & Educators

In response to the White House’s fabrication initiative, called the National Week of Making, Autodesk, Inc. is announcing Autodesk Project Ignite   According to the company Project Ignite is “a free and open learning platform that builds the skill and confidence of young learners through creative, hands-on design experiences focused on the latest technology trends like 3D printing and electronics.”

peter_penguin_shark_week_sharkweekAutodesk has long played a role in education for all ages, including the recently added Reality Computing course at Carnegie Mellon University.  Besides Autodesk’s already comprehensive and free educational offerings, Project Ignite is intended to be a comprehensive package of technology, content and services to whisk the Maker Movement right into classrooms and the hands of educators.  Meant for primary and secondary schools, Project Ignite covers the whole design process, from digital 3D modeling to physical fabrication. Similar to the Tinkercad and 123D Circuits web sites, Autodesk’s Project ignite is COPPA safe-harbor certified by CARU Kid’s Privacy Safe Harbor Program.

“The ability to take risks, learn from failure and solve problems is critical to prepare students for the challenges ahead,” stated Samir Hanna, vice president and general manager, Autodesk Consumer and 3D Printing. “When learning includes making, designing and creativity, students have the freedom to explore different ways of engaging with content and each other. Project Ignite provides the collaborative and hands-on environment needed to energize educators, increase student engagement and inspire design thinking in a simple and fun way.”

Developer_Kit_Pure_White_square_1024x1024And Project Ignite has support, namely from Microsoft, MakerBot, and Electroninks Writeables. 3D printers and electronics kits are available with development and training services intended to reduce common obstacles that prevent educators from adopting and feeling confident teaching new programs that may be outside of their typical comfort zones.

“Project Ignite has been a wonderful addition to the classroom and I love what it does for my students’ excitement, engagement and overall interest with design and 3D printing technology,” according to Kim Coyle, educator, Middle School of Plainville in Plainville, CT. “Our goal is to inspire and prepare the students to be the next generation of innovators, so we’re expanding Project Ignite into other grade levels and looking into creating a makerspace next year to provide an environment that nurtures the students’ curiosity and creativity.”


Project Ignite in as nutshell:

  • For educators: Access to free Autodesk design software such as Tinkercad and 123D Circuits.  Access to step-by-step lessons to encourage creative thinking about the design process from idea to reality. Purchasable hardware options like MakerBot 3D Printers and Circuit Scribe pens and modules from Electroninks Writeables. For  free access to Project Ignite content, educators just need to log on, even if they have no interest in purchasing hardware.
  • For schools:  Administrators can pick bundled options that include free software and purchasable hardware options, as well as training and support.
  • For educational partners: Project Ignite is not just open to educators, but also to publishers, education tech and hardware providers who are interested in driving the Maker Movement from the front seat of the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) train.  Woot!
  • For families or parents – Project Ignite could turn out to be a fun weekend project for families who love learning and want to know more about the rising Maker Movement.

This all stems from a December 2014 Autodesk announcement which outlined a multi-million dollar commitment to offer free access to its 3D software to schools around the world.  Learn more about the Project Ignite learning platform here or request free access to Autodesk software for schools here.