One of the things I have been wondering about is how to make a real connection between 3D printing and learning computer science. Sure most 3D printers are attached to computers and CAD software is used to create models for printing. That is not quite computer science to me. And it sure isn’t programming. Recently I learned about a project to create a language to program 3D models for printing. It looks interesting even though it is still under development.
Chris Johnson at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire is working on it and it is called Madeup. Madeup is a Logo-like language that can be used to “walk paths through 3D space, and then generate models based on those paths. Previews of the models are rendered on every keystroke in a WebGL canvas.”
Chris has a KickStarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1975355456/madeup-a-programming-language-for-3-d-models) to raise some funds to allow him more time to finish the project up so that it can be used in classrooms. I’ve contributed a small amount so that I can get an early copy for my own use.
I think the 3D renderings alone will make things more interesting than 2D graphics but being able to create a physical representation is really exciting to me. Take a look at the video on the KickStarter and let me know what you think. Does this look useful to you?