COVID-19 : making use of GF activities

Hi there! As prosthetist / orthotist our jobs here in Norway have always been super secure. But then , at midnight, all orthopedic workshops in the country have received such drastic regulations that we have basically stoped working for an unknown number of weeks. Number of avtive employees in my company have dwindled to just a core set barely enough for absolute emergencies.
While I am temporarily out of work I get to take over school curriculum for my three kids (6, 8 and 11 years old). Schools are closed in all of Norway, as in many other countries by now.Children are not supposes to meet with friends either, not even outside. So, while there is much home schooling done in the neighborhood I thought: a great opportunity to use the GF in small, simple projects that can be scaled up to many children. There have been posts in the past about use of the GF in schools. If there are any educators out there with ideas for small fun, creative things I could do with the children in our neighborhood that would be fantastic! It would be great to engage Children in small projects to spice up their upcoming weeks of social isolation…


How are you going to do projects with the children in your neighborhood if everyone is supposed to stay home?


Having them draw things that you can scan and cut, particularly designing useful things can keep their minds very active. Helping them learn Inkscape and Gimp will also pay dividends for years.


There are some fun things in the Free Files area, too – games, and a little balancing toy, etc.

I thought they could be instructed to send digital files. Either customizable features of existing items I could add or designs of their own -such as earrings or a simple layered picture design. As all children are at home they all have one of their parents to help them as well.


Do you know which software would be most accessible for kids? Tinkercad?

I would go with Inkscape, It has great powers but simple things can be simple

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You are correct, there are a bunch of free designs I could use. Too bad rain deer season is past, there were many design suggestions. But easter should provide some inspiration as well I guess!

Steve Good just posted a whole bunch of kid patterns on his site - scroll down a little to where it says something like “Keep the kids busy.” Also if you search for “Easter Egg” in his free designs catalog the last item that comes up is a cute Easter shadow box you can cut out and let kids paint and assemble. Hope that helps!


I’d use TinkerCad. Inkscape is overwhelming and has no help features.

Or they could just draw and you could score/etch their drawings. That would be best for younger kids.


Take a look at this project:

They are pulling together people for a slack that is being used to manage projects for people with fabrication tech to be able to genuinely help with COVID-19. For example, there’s a project that’s a great fit for glowforge owners where people are designing spash shields for healthcare workers that can be cut on our laser cutters.


Seems to me you should start with the laser basics. I suggest inkscape. Show a video to the kids in the neighborhood the difference between cut, score, engrave and what it looks like in Inkscape.

Then move to asking them to make a favorite shape with each using the shape tools. Then do 2 shapes that interlock.

Then two shapes that interlock with an engraved and scored design.

Then a video about how to use text, explaining what a vector is and why text needs to be changed. Have them send a file with a cut, scored and engraved piece with text. Start simple and grow. etc etc


You are right- there are loads of ideas that should work very well ! thank you!

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Thanks - TinkerCad really looks great. I also found Glowforge specific tutorials from HL ModTech that fits this agegroup well !


A good, systematic workflow !! Thanks for the suggestion !

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This face-shield does look very relevant and doable. We need the face-shields for our contact with patients and while I have a laser cutter at work, we have a fully equiped workshop at our disposal as well. Our local University, NTNU, has loads of fabrication facilities, but there all students and staff are at home, so mayby no one can actually use the tools.
I found the site a bit difficult to navigate on my first attempt. Do you know wheter one has to register first ?

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Hrm, they have removed the link to their slack from the page.

Here’s a design that requires both a 3d printer and laser cutter:

and I’ve attached the one that is purely laser cutter:
mask_pattern_v9.pdf (794.0 KB)

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