Darwin's Treasure Chest. 3D-printable learning models
Darwin's Treasure Chest. 3D-printable learning models
Kids should have fun with evolution! These scientist-approved 3D-printable models of prehistoric life and info cards make learning fun.
Kids should have fun with evolution! These scientist-approved 3D-printable models of prehistoric life and info cards make learning fun. Read more
About this project
OUR AMAZING EVOLVING WORLD
We are fascinated by the story of life on Earth. We want to use the great technology available today to help kids, parents, teachers, and all of us feel comfortable with—and understand—evolution. YES, we EVOLVED! The story of life on Earth is an awesome one (and it took much longer than 10,000 years!) and 3D technology can help us tell it.
We're creating a series of 3D-printable models that will bring to life the amazing and unpredictable story of evolution in a way that is fun, educational, and scientifically accurate. Building and interacting with these creatures is a great way to learn about what life came before the living things that are all around us today.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
Making accurate 3D models for computer-generated animation is a time-consuming task. We know. We've been doing it for years. Now, a whole suite of affordable 3D printers and materials are hitting the market. All of a sudden our 3D digital models can become physical without a huge price tag. Our goal is to build a set of scientifically accurate prehistoric models and offer them for download at a very low cost so they are accessible to schools, families, educators, and anyone who loves creatures as much as we do!
To help us tell the right stories and get the critters as accurate as possible, we'll be working with leading experts. Dr. Kevin Padian, an evolutionary biologist at UC Berkeley and past president of the National Center for Science Education, will be our chief advisor.
Along with the models, we're offering free downloadable content that can be printed out and stored in a 3D-printable "Darwin's Treasure Chest" that will also be available at low cost.
We would love create models telling the whole story of the evolution of life on Earth—from the first signs of life to modern biodiversity—but for this first Kickstarter campaign, we've decided that rather than try to do the whole thing, we would "chunkify" the story and focus only on the part that starts with the first large-bodied organisms and leads up to, nut does not include, the time of dinosaurs.
So, this first campaign is called Life Before Dinosaurs. The money will go towards buying the 3D printers we need to proof the models, creating and testing the digital models (which takes a lot of trial and error, and creating the downloadable written and visual content that goes along with the models.
If this is funded at $38,000, we'll be able to make a set of 15 models and all of the downloadable content that goes with it. The majority of that cost is associated with the time it takes to create the models, work with experts to develop the content that goes with the models, and test our designs on 3D printers (which we have to buy) to make sure they print out well. The last thing we want is for people to be frustrated that their models don't print right. Any funds we get over our goal will go toward making the models for the next part of the story, the Age of Dinosaurs.
The third part of the story, and the third set of models, will be about the Age of Mammals, will include the story of our ancestors. Where DID we come from? Are we still evolving? What do YOU think?
And from there, well, we've got lots more ideas.
We're happy to have a whole string of rewards that we hope will be of interest. They range from original art to jewelry and models. Here is a photo gallery of some of the rewards.
THE MODELS OF DARWIN'S TREASURE CHEST
So you can get a sense of where we are going with this project, we are sharing the tentative list of the three parts we've planned so far. We say "tentative" because we are going to be working closely with experts to make sure the models we make are the best for telling the stories that need to be told. RIght now, our list looks like this:
GROUP ONE: Before the Dinosaurs-$38,000 to fund
Proterozoic Era: Vendian period fauna
Model 1 Dickinsonia
Model 2 Fossil trackways
Paleozoic Era: Cambrian fauna
Model 3 Anomalocaris
Model 4 Pikaia
Model 5 Conodonts
Paleozoic Era: Ordovician fauna
Model 6 Jaekelopterus (eurypterid)
Model 7 Orthoceras (cephalopod)
Paleozoic Era: Silurian fauna
Model 8 Hemicyclaspsis (agnathan (jawless fish))
Model 9 Nostolepis (acanthodian (jawed fish))
Paleozoic Era: Devonian fauna
Model 10 Eusthenopteron or Coelacanth (sarcopterygians: fleshy finned vertebrates)
Model 11 Titaalik
Paleozoic Era: Carboniferous fauna
Model 12 Hylonomus or Paleothyris (early reptile)
Model 13 Gerrothorax (temnospondyl)
Paleozoic Era: Permian fauna
Model 14 Dimetrodon or Ophiacodon (synapsid-pelycosaur)
Model 15 Youngina (diapsid)
GROUP TWO-The Age of Dinosaurs
Mesozoic Era: Triassic period fauna
Model 1 Effigia (crurotarsan)
Model 2 Herrerasaurus (dinosaur)
Model 3 Temnodontosaurus (icthyosaur)
Mesozoic Era: Jurassic period fauna
Model 4 Daxiatitan (sauropod)
Model 5 Tuojiangosaurus (ornithischian)
Model 6 Hadrocodium (mammal)
Model 7 Ramphorhynchus (pterosaurs)
Model 8 Archaeopteryx (avian dinosaur)
Mesozoic Era: Cretaceous period fauna
Model 9 Tyrannosaurus (theropod)
10 Parasaurolophus (ornithischian)
GROUP THREE-The Age of Mammals
Cenozoic Era: Paleocene through Miocene epoch fauna
Model 1 Hyracotherium (early horse)
Model 2 Eosimias (early primate)
Model 3 Dryopithecus
Model 4 Rhodocetus (early whale)
Model 5 Basilosaurus
Model 6 Moerotherium
Cenozoic Era: Pliocene through Pleistocene epoch fauna
Model 7 Mammuthus
Model 8 Australopithecus afarensis
Model 9 Homo neandertalensis
Model 10 Homo sapiens
Risks and challenges
First challenge: Arriving at the final list of creatures. There are literally thousands of known fossil organisms to choose from. We have to whittle that down to 35!
Second challenge: The written didactic content that goes along with each creature needs to tell a coherent, effective story. It also needs to work, as much as possible, with the curricula teachers are working with.
Third challenge: Making accurate, scientist-approved models. There is lots of back and forth between the art team and the experts. This is time-consuming, but necessary. The biggest part of this challenge is finding the right balance between accuracy and 3D-printability (see below).
Fourth challenge: Making the models 3D-printable. Producing accurate digital models, no problem. Producing accurate models that work well on low-cost printers? THAT takes time and a lot of testing on 3D printers, which we will need to buy. We are designing two versions of each creature. One version is for low-end 3D printers like the Makerbot and the Cube. Another set is more detailed and can be printed on high-end 3D printers. This way, we can make sure that everyone get something that suits.
The Risk: We feel the biggest risk is that the current popularity of 3D printing turns out to be a passing fad. We're gambling that at least some of what the pundits and evangelists are saying about 3D printing is true. (see http://qz.com/118678/why-the-market-for-3d-printing-will-triple-in-five-years/ for example) and that 3D printing will follow desktop printers, scanners and similar technology and become commonplace. The key to the success of Darwin's Treasure Chest, from our perspective, is that more and more 3D printers appear in schools and homes sooner rather than later.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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