Co-led ABC3D digital creativity project
Co-led ABC3D digital creativity project

Co-led ABC3D digital creativity project

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I coordinated, co-designed, prototyped (facilitated) and evaluated a program to create a series of documented guides for 3D printing workshops in libraries, with the goal of democratizing knowledge of 3D printing.


The Ville de Montreal library sector was beginning to explore the potential for including 3D printing activities as part of their service offering in order to promote digital literacy and creativity. Whereas now there are almost a dozen creative labs (many with 3D printers) in libraries around Greater Montreal, at the time the first library fablab at Benny library in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood was only in the planning stages. It was proposed that we pilot a project so as to demonstrate the potential and possibilities to library staff.

3D printing workshop activity guides to design
articles to be written and published about the project
project budget, not including revenue from workshops


Through conversations with our primary partner at the Montreal Library Directorate, it was clear that although the library staff are too busy to co-design the activities it would be important to invite staff to witness the workshops to inspire them and help them see the potential.

The plan was to design workshops guides and pilot them in libraries around the city. Therefore, we had to provide short activity descriptions and an attractive image so that the library staff could more easily promote these in their neighbourhoods. Similarly, we had to clearly define the audience of focus for each workshop, and to consider how we might design for a range of ages.

We created simple smiley sheets, to encourage honest and anonymous feedback from workshop participants. The objective was for participants to have fun learning to make with a 3D printer for the first time, so we didn’t bother to evaluate learning outcomes. We refined our tipsheets when we noticed or heard that students were struggling with certain tools; or we changed the age range when it seemed that young kids were getting frustrated by complicated tools.

We quickly learned that participants cared a lot about getting to take home a printed object (ideally the one they had designed!). 3D printers are slow, so this quickly became a primary constraint in developing the workshops. We overcame these challenges by scaling prints down, printing almost 2D objects with a relief, bringing multiple printers, sticking around to finish up printing, or occasionally mailing prints completed after the workshop.

We standardized the workshop activity guides and uploaded them to a fun and custom-designed website in Kirby (a flat-file content management system). I did not create the website template nor the icon, but I did contribute to design decisions and co-wrote most of the content. As explained on the website:

Each workshop is documented in sufficient detail such that it is possible for libraries, both in Quebec and around the world, to be inspired to facilitate their own workshops.
A screenshot of the website with the activity guides. The activity guide
A screenshot of the website with the activity guides. The activity guide Keychains block-by-block is featured and uses the 3D design tool we made for the project, Cubecraft.


The following three articles (in French) were co-written as the project report and evaluation.