3-12, Art, Creative Thinking, Education, Math, Student Products

3d Printed Mandalas

My 4th grade gifted class is learning about mathematical masterpieces, talking about the symbolism of the circle, and discussing immortality as we read Tuck Everlasting.  I usually integrate a short project on mandalas as a culminating activity during this time of year, since their symbolism fits so well with the other facets of our study.  With a new 3d printer in our classroom, and students anxious to design, I gave them the option of creating their own mandalas in Tinkercad to print on our Polar 3d.  The one you see below is our first successful printed mandala.  We are still working on how we want to fill in the holes.  Traditional mandalas are made with colored sand, so we want to find a way to simulate that, yet retain the printed outline.  I will keep you posted on our journey to the final product! (Here is an interesting time-lapse video of the creation and destruction of a traditional mandala.)


2 thoughts on “3d Printed Mandalas”

  1. This is so cool – I would love to be a kid in your class! What if you sealed the back of the Mandala using clear sticky paper (we call it Contact Paper or Coverseal (NZ) but that same sticky stuff that you would use to line drawers in your kitchen – but clear). You could put colored sand in squeeze bottles and squeeze it into the holes, pressing it to the sticky paper and filling the Mandala to the edge. When you are done, use a paintbrush to brush all the sand off the plastic frame and layer another circle of sticky clear plastic on top. It is “possible” that because you have a really nice thick frame and deep holes, that the plastic would ‘contain’ the sand and you would then be able to hang it. Did your kids leave a hole in the frame for hanging them for display or did you have another plan for displaying them? Can’t wait to see what your kids come up with!

    1. We forgot to add a loop to the top to hang them, but I haven’t printed them all out yet. So, we will definitely try to add loops to the rest.

      You had exactly the same idea I had! I haven’t tried it yet – hoping to do it in the next couple of days.

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