Mr. Sambuca's Form II boys have spent the past 10 weeks learning Trimble Sketchup, a 3D modeling software, to help prepare them for the final engineering design challenge. This year's challenge was to design a Lego brick that does not exist and must work with current pieces. The students embarked on the engineering design process, a series of steps that helps the students develop a new product. After extensive research through the Lego bins and online, students began to #1 "Ask" the who, what, why and #2 "Imagine" solutions without sketching. Using digital calipers, the boys measured a variety of bricks and plates to get the exact dimensions in order to #3 "Plan" their hand-drawn sketches. The sketches turned into an orthographic technical drawing helping the boys to design their 3D Sketchup model. Using Makerware and the Replicator 2, students worked on step #4 "Create" to print their prototype. Once printed, students move onto Step #5 "Improve" to test and modify their brick if it does not work. This project reinforces and help strengthen the boys inquiry, problem-solving, design and troubleshooting skills. Click here view the pictures.