Gear Up For Fall Semester

College professors, make your life a little bit easier by employing pre-printed evaluation notepads, stamps with your logo, extra credit and attendance punchcards,

and a prize box filled with things that any student would drool over, including fine art stickers, magnets, posters, and magic eight ball pens!

16-and-a-Half Ways to Make Use of 3D Printers “In” the College Classroom

Even if your institution can’t approve a 3D printer for your classroom at this very second, you can STILL benefit from this technology that, quite frankly, seems almost too good to be true, or something out of a sci-fi adventure.


  1. We can talk ABOUT the implications of it
  2. Dream of possibilities that could happen in the next five years
  3. Dream of stuff that might not be possible in the next 50 years (or ever)
  4. MATH–Use it as the “star” of a word problem
  5. In a word problem about how many widgets or figurines (etc) it can print per hour
  6. WRITING/ENGLISH/LITERATURE/FILM/ART: Cast it in the starring role of a short film or short story!
  7. In SPEECH (or other discussion/presentation-heavy classes) we can invoke 3D printers in a discussion of “things we can print out to help bring about world peace” (or to end hunger, etc.)
  8. To hook the interest of a chronically-disinterested student
  9. To give a shy student (who’s interested and/or experienced in 3D printing) something to talk about, to ask about, to pursue
  10. To strike up a philosophical discussion
  11. To lead into a discussion of ethics
  12. As an example in philosophy (or math, even), involving the whole replication/self-replication thing that’s been floating around the internet for a few years now. And, of course, we can have our beloved 3D printer simply do what it does best, aka
  13. To print out components of a classroom activity, such as a puzzle or a 3D model
  14. To print out prizes for students–no more disappointment and depression because your taste in prizes was, like, not the bomb biggidy (or rather, the prizes you chose for the kiddies DID bomb. Or tank or however it’s said), no more anger or anguish that you ran out of day-glo dice or magic 8 ball pens (having given the coveted item to their mortal enemy!)
  15. Print out “Classroom Helpers,” such as custom DICE with the name of each student on a different side. (My classes are usually either 19 or 21, so I would need 3-5 dice, depending on how many I have–and how many have the same name. Then, when it’s time to get into groups, no one will feel as though they’ll be chosen last (although if that’s how they usually feel, then they’ll just feel like “oh no, I’ll be with someone awesome who’ll be so upset to be shoved into a group with me! :(:(:(“
  16. Print out all the parts of a model; a machine would work very well, and one that doesn’t require any power to work (i.e. Underwood typewriter) would be particularly thrilling! Then, have the students work in pairs or small groups to:
  • Put the model together according to written instructions
  • Put the model together according to photographs or diagrams
  • Put the model together without any instructions (or instruction)
  • Make the model or machine work before any other group (or student)
  • Leave out one or more seemingly-INSIGNIFICANT pieces (don’t tell the students, though!) and see if they notice, if they’re unable to put it together, if they somehow make or find a suitable replacement, etc. [NOTE: If you have students who are the opposite of easy-going, it would be better to NOT make it a race with other groups and without that missing piece, or else they might freak out.]
  • Print out TWO or more sets of the same machine components and throw an undisclosed (to them) number of extra pieces in. Without instructions (or previous experience with that machine) they will have to use their brains to discover the exact number (of each part) needed, and no more.
  • Print out at least one set of at least two DIFFERENT machines (typewriter and stereo, or two types of typewriter, etc.), mix them up, and let the young inventors learn which parts work together and which ones won’t. 

I’m not quite sure where I got the figure of 16 1/2, but whatever. 

I *am* sure, however, that each idea will be as fun as the last/next. 

(And you can be quite sure that I shall be posting accounts of these nefarious, new experiments. I mean, activities. Once the new term doth begin, of course. 

Speaking of which, do, please, send in your own ideas–or even just anecdotes of what happened when you tried any of these–and I’ll be more-than-glad to share them here, as well :)

Is the Custom Magic 8 Ball REALLY a Thing These Days?

A trend that’s apparently taken off, of late (within select circles, I’m sure) is APPARENTLY… the customisable or customised MAGIC 8 BALL!

As in, one of THESE!!


But instead of the answers that USED to show up, including:

  • It is decidedly so
  • You may rely on it
  • Signs point to yes
  • Reply hazy try again
  • Better not tell you now
  • Don’t count on it
  • My sources say no
  • Outlook not so good

NOW, people are (ostensibly) 3D PRINTING their OWN magic-dice-thingies!

(Not just HAVING them printed by companies, but DIYing their own 20-sided psychic die! The future is now??!)

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Check these out… if you dare.

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All in all, this could be interpreted as:

1) a sign that the youth of today are entirely too bored for their own good,

2) a colossal waste of money, effort, and TIME (among other things) when there’s people in the world who don’t get to eat more than three or four times a week, can’t find a job, and/or don’t have a moment to spend with loved ones (oh, my poor little CEOs and fellow workaholics :( and no, I’m not being snarky, coz I come from an entire RACE of workaholics, btw! Which isn’t necessarily horrid, btw! As long as one’s HEALTH isn’t ignored, obviously…), and/or

3) a BRILLIANT opportunity for my pet project of TECHSPLOITATION, aka “taking advantage of technology to make education, health, and LIFE better for EVERYONE!”

(Though it COULD be defined as “using technology to exploit peeps in 1) new ways, 2) more-efficient versions of existing manners of exploitation, and/or 3) — uh oh, I’m doing it again. Sorry. Sorta…)

I’m gonna go with #3 (although #1’s definitely true, where “youth” = basically anyone alive today, and please note that I did say BASICALLY, coz there are, to be sure, all sorts of thoroughly-WONDROUS humans out there who aren’t lazy and, like, sheeple-ness whatever. But that’s another diatribe for another day, yay).

Just THINK of how many applications one could use this for! Speech topics, ice-breaker questions, even “feedback on presentations!”

Or, like, “ways of shutting down students who keep asking if we can go outside on a field trip to the beach instead of taking the pop quiz” !!

Methinks this calls for an episode of To the Secret Lab! Schoolmarm’s Day Out, in order to make a few of these things, and then post a “here’s what happened,” and a “how to make one of your own,” and all sorts of other fun and games.

Check back in a few hours and maybe it will have happened as I’ve said, and also been posted online for all to see!


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(Heh… :)



Could AIO Robotics be the most AWESOME company in the whole WORLD?!

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Why? BECAUSE! Just LOOK at what you–yes, YOU!–can PRINT OUT… right in your living room!

The future is NOW! (Yay for technology!)

Click on this friendly robot below for even MORE info, straight from the…Robot’s…mouth. (SORRY! It’s like someone implanted a 24/7 Cornball Chip in my brain.)

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(Review of ZEUS by guess who COMING SOON! God willing…!

For the moment, however, feel free to check out some photos of the delectable 3D Printer and Scanner by AIO Robotics.)