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3D Puzzles - Thank You Philadelphia University

Monday, November 21, 2016

At Compete 360, teams in the High School and 6th-8th Grade Divisions have the opportunity to earn a piece of a 3D puzzle every time they complete all of their work for a stage of their DT Phily project. This incentive helps teams visualize their progress in fun way over the course of a months-long project and gives them a physical memento of their DT Philly journey.  

This year’s 3D puzzle is a custom design that involved extensive laser engraving and wouldn’t be possible without the coordination and donation of materials from Jeffrey Zarnoch, an architect and professor at Philadelphia University.  In addition, we’re grateful for the donation of time and machine use from the college’s Resource Manager, Chris Thompson.  We owe a huge thank you to Jeffrey, Chris, and the College of Architecture and the Built Environment at Philadelphia University for this generous contribution. 

How were these 3D pencil holders made?  Designers use a technology called laser cutting to create custom cut and engraved pieces.  The first step in this process is for the designer to create a detailed computer drawing of the design.  Then the computer reads the information for the design drawing and tells a laser how to move and how deeply to cut.  The cutting process can be quite mesmerizing.  See how it works here.  Depending on the strength of the laser, this machine can cut through paper, wood, plastic sheets, and fabric.  Laser cutting is one method of rapid prototyping that is commonly used in design.