Cabe Atwell

May 1, 2014

2 Min Read
City X Sparks Interest in 3D Printing

Many educators and tech companies have been spending time trying to devise a way to get kids more interested in technology. The tech industry is booming, and getting more students enrolled in technical fields is more important than ever. To do this, it is important to get kids interested at an early age.

IDEAco, partnered with 3D Systems, has launched the City X Project, a project created for kids ages eight to 12 to get them to begin designing and thinking creatively, as well as possibly giving them hands-on experience with 3D printing.

The City X Project is a three-day workshop. Over the course of the three days the students go through the design process, which includes brainstorming on the first day, prototyping and testing on the second day, and finally using intuitive 3D modeling software on the third day to print their ideas and share them with others around the world.


However, a design process would not interest or engage kids without an interesting pitch to draw them in. The Project X workshop presents kids with a story about humans landing on a new planet, creating City X, and making it their new home. They are faced with problems such as environmental issues, educational problems, and health concerns. Each student will be assigned to one fictional character and then try to help that character by creating a solution to their problems.

The workshop has already been presented in classrooms around the world. In 2013, 12 programs were run in the US and five were run in places such as Hungary, Lebanon, and Singapore.

Educators can download the free toolkit available through the City X Project website. Included in the toolkit are all of the guides and information one can expect to need to guide a classroom through a workshop.

Sparking kids' interest in 3D printing at an early age can potentially be life changing and help influence children to later on in life choose a career in a technical field.

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About the Author(s)

Cabe Atwell

Cabe is an electrical engineer, machinist, maker, cartoonist, and author with 25 years’ experience. When not designing/building, he creates a steady stream of projects and content in the media world at element14,, MAKE ─ among others. His most recent book is “Essential 555 IC: Design, Configure, and Create Clever Circuits.

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