Dejan Mitrovic discusses Kideville in the Tinkerspace, part of the V&A exhibition Power of Making, 6 September 2011 – 2 January 2012


DEJAN MITROVIC: My name is Dejan. Originally I come from Serbia, and I came to London to do a Masters in Innovation Design and Engineering, where I have created a product called “Kideville”.

I thought of it by wanting to join my two big interests which are design for children and new technologies and rapid prototyping.

After a process of designing, where they first come up with the idea, they explore the different iterations of the idea, they sketch them on paper, make it out of plasticine, I introduce them to the CAD (Computer Aided Design) software where they make it using the computer, and then it’s printed for them on the 3D printer. So they see their results made in plastic, like this. It all becomes part of a wide group project which is the city, where each kid gets their own bit, their own plot of land, but it’s essentially one collaborative project, so they also learn how to contribute to a bigger group project.

The way the workshops work is, children come, I give them a piece of paper and say “design your dream house”. I encourage them to split the paper into 4 parts so that they think about the different views of the house, so the front view, the side view, the top and then a 3D view. Once they’ve done that, it helps them understand what their idea is, and what they want their idea to look like, and then they move onto the computer where they use special 3D software and quickly design it, mock it up in the CAD and then make a 3D file. After that, I take the file, put it onto the printer and it prints their house out of plastic.

Essentially how it works is, it reads a 3D file, and it reads it in lines so that it can follow those lines and build the model. Now when it reads the lines, it is melting a filament of plastic which is fed into the extruder up here, and it’s coming out in a very, very small line, and as the extruder moves in three dimensions, so essentially ‘X’ and ‘Y’ first of all, it lays the plastic in lines. When it finishes that one layer, the base moves down on the ‘Z’ axis a little bit, and that’s how it builds the next layer, and the next layer, and so approximately 0.1mm every time it moves, and that’s how it builds up the plastic. As it melts, as it comes out of the extruder, it solidifies straight away.

YOUNG GIRL #1: I haven’t got that far yet. It’s in the shape of an ‘N’, because my initial is ‘N’, and I think it’s meant to be kind of like an office building or something like that.

YOUNG BOY #1: It’s my house, it’s a bit crazy.

YOUNG BOY#2: You can see the chimney fully, then on the top you can see the chimney and just a circle.

YOUNG BOY #3: I had never done anything like it before, but it was definitely fun.

YOUNG GIRL #2: I had to draw a house or a building or something, then draw it in 3D, then I had to go on a website and do it in 3D.

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