SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids Update

Last year, we announced our intentions of bringing bite-size experiences of the design process to a generation of young creators. Private Beta invitations were sent out in waves to more than 4,300 registered individuals. We have since gotten off to a great start with around 1200 active creators. Since then, more than 4,400 models have been made, and we have been able to enjoy works from individuals of all ages!

As we developed our apps throughout the year, we invited kids from around our community to test them and give us honest feedback. We learned that kids are amazing learners and there is no better way to learn than through play.

Our ecosystem of apps allows creations to grow from one app to another, evolving as they are developed. Players can choose to start their creations from scratch. They can also choose to start with a shared creation that they are inspired by and build upon it to make it their own. As these creations are shared again, they are tracked as “Riffs” of the original. Players can follow the evolution of an idea from its origin to various riffs. As these players explore the apps, they find new ways to be creative and new ways to express themselves.

In our effort to minimize tedious workflows and maximize the fun, we have been fortunate enough to work with an incredible 3D printing company, Sindoh, based in South Korea, to prototype a more seamless way of printing in 3D directly from an app. We have begun developing a 3D Cloud Print workflow to allow SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids to send model data over the internet to a linked Sindoh printer anywhere in the world. It can be in the next room in your house or half way around the world in your pen pal’s classroom.

 

Now for a sneak peek at one of the new apps we are working on, an app that will take the creations made in Shape It to yet another level… gaming. Game It is our latest app that lets you take models designed in SW Apps for Kids to create your own video games. With the ability to choose your scenes, heroes, prizes, health kits, obstacles, and bosses, you can customize to your heart’s desire to get just the right game play before sharing it with the community and challenging your friends.

As you can see, there is no shortage of creativity and passion in the world of SW Apps for Kids development. We hope to bring the best that we can provide to our future designers. Thanks and keep your passions alive.

Chin-Loo Lama

Chin-Loo Lama

Senior User Experience Designer for DS SOLIDWORKS. I am a mechanical engineer, interaction designer, artist, tech geek and most importantly, a mom.
Chin-Loo Lama

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  • As an owner of 3 Sindoh 3D Wox printers at our school this is great news. I would love to try the app. Would love to be able to use a Google login, will that be coming?

    • Chinloo Lama

      Glad to hear that you have Sindoh printers in your school. They are working on a version that is more user-friendly for kids so that they don’t need to use spatulas to pry pieces off the bed of the printer. As for the Google login, are you hoping for kids with google classroom accounts to more easily access Apps for kids?

      • Chinloo,
        We love the Sindoh printers and plan to get the new model once they come out. What we would love is if teachers of younger students (grades 1-4) could use Google sign in for both their accounts and the students. A dashboard for the teachers would be great as well. We do not use Google Classroom at our school but do use G Suite so students have an account to use. It makes our IT department happy and makes it easy to adopt new technologies.

        • Chinloo Lama

          Hi Karl, thanks for the explanation. We will have to look into how we can support G Suite accounts. I’m assuming your emails are not ***@gmail.com but has your school extensions. So we would have to make sure if a regular google login checks for these types of accounts. I’m assuming that your experience is that other sites that support google logins work with your G Suite accounts? As for a dashboard for teachers. We are definitely working on this aspect. Any feedback, advice, or suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

          • Chinloo, that is correct as our student G Suite accounts end in .org All of the other venders we use with the Google log in works with our accounts. This may be the place to start https://developers.google.com/identity/protocols/OpenIDConnect

            The dashboard would be great if teachers could create a class for students to join with a code or link. Allow for sharing publicly or privately (being the default). This could build a community allowing for remixing. Would be nice to know which ones have been shared publicly and which ones have been remixed.
            Have a series of lessons that the teacher could assign with student progress showing up in the dashboard. If there is a cost for schools, have an admin dashboard that allows the admin to invite teachers and students with a special code or URL while also managing subscriptions. Something like this would have a value to schools and I would think after a set number of users schools would be willing to pay for the subscription. Looking forward to what you are planning as the market area for young makers needs this type of resource. Tinkercad is not useful for this age. The only other vendor I know about is Makers Empire which I am talking to in a few weeks to see if it would work for our school.
            I appreciate the opportunity to discuss this with you.
            Karl

          • Chinloo Lama

            Hi Karl,
            Thanks for all the great feedback. I’ll take all this to our team. I’d love to continue the conversation with you around this topic if you don’t mind. let me know how best to contact you and you are also welcome to reach out to me on LinkedIn and we can carry on the conversation that way.

          • Looking forward to connecting

  • But how long does it take to be spread to other 99.9% of people?