The Rise of 3D Printing Curriculum

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Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board, in the Province of Québec, is bringing 3D printing curriculum to its students in Joliette Secondary School. The school board’s AEVT department recently submitted a grant proposal for the purchase of a 3D printer in support of its Work Oriented Training Path (WOTP) program. WOTP is intended to help students study building structures and forms and expose them to engineering and architectural concepts. The grant was approved with the hopes that it would strengthen the Province’s Vocational Technology initiatives in the community. The school established a 3D printing curriculum with the purpose of connecting WOTP subjects with technological and scientific experimentation and preparation for the job market.

Students that engage in these exploration activities get involved in modeling and printing architectural forms. A curriculum built around 3D printing is set to stimulate their interest in building trades and encourage perseverance in those areas. The school’s curriculum, referred to as MAKING, is simple but very effective in achieving success in STEM education.

MAKING a 3D Object: Joliette’s 3D Printing Curriculum

3d printing curriculum

Fig. 1 – Process of MAKING a 3D object (21 m of filament used, printing duration 3h24)

Step 1 – Design/Modelling

Drawing digitally can be done using a variety of different software solutions. Many drafting and engineering professionals and students rely on SolidWorks for its intuitive, 3D modelling interface. SolidWorks’ designs can also be saved and exported in STL format. STereoLithography (STL) file format has become the industry standard when it comes to 3D printing. It is often used for rapid prototyping and computer-aided manufacturing. STL files refer only to the surface geometry of a three-dimensional object. They do not account for any representation of color, texture or other common CAD model attributes.

Step 2 – 3D Printing

Following the creation of the STL file in SolidWorks, students are responsible for sending the data to the 3D printer. The Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board purchased a da Vinci 1.0 3D printer because of its user friendly interface. The printer will guide the user to adjust the print density of the object(s), once it has received the model data. The default print setting on the da Vinci 1.0 printer will create the internal structure of the object based on honeycomb structures. The printer will also provide supportive structures according to the object features. These printed supports are used to structural strength and ensure that the model does not collapse during the printing process (Figure 2).

Step 3 – Raft Removal

3d printing curriculum figure 2

Fig. 2 – Printout result

Printing thinner and longer objects requires more attention due to the shapes’ physical instability. Rafts create stability and can be removed after the object has been printed. Sometimes, the printer will use more filament for the rafts than for the actual object being printed (Figure 3).

The Academic Outcome

3d printing curriculum figure 3

Fig. 3 – Raft removed (on the left) to extract final product (on the right)

The Pedagogical Consultant for Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board, Tami Belhadj, stated, “For high school students, project based instructional strategy is favored as a deeper learning approach. 3D printers open new possibilities for learning, promotes problem solving skills and most importantly creates excitement.” He goes on to suggest that a worthwhile challenge for students pursuing building trades, is to ask them print one of Blanciak’s 1001 Building Forms. There are many STEM education resources that provide educators with similar activities to fit their respective subjects.

Take advantage of your academic status as a faculty member or a student, and get your hands on a 3D printer and CAD software at academic prices. Achieve hands-on learning and explore design concepts in an academic environment that will prepare you, or your classroom full of students, for career success.

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3D Print Your Own Robot with bq’s DIY: My First Robotics Kit

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bq robotics kitAn invasion of PrintBots is taking place at Studica. Design and print your own robot with one of da Vinci’s 3D printers and bq’s DIY: My First Robotics Kit. This bilingual kit is sure to electrify your students’ imagination. Just in time for Halloween, your little ones can put on their mad scientist gloves and build a creation of their own. All while learning the basic concepts behind robotics, programming and engineering.

bq is a Spanish company dedicated to designing and manufacturing multimedia devices and 3D printers. In its mission to make digital devices more accessible to people around the world, the company developed the DIY: My First Robotics Kit in an attempt to de-mystify technology. Most children – and if we’re being completely honest, most adults – are accustomed to using technology every day, but are intimidated by the seemingly complex nature of how their devices work. The truth is technology is not as daunting as it appears, and you certainly don’t need years of study to understand its basic concepts.

That’s where bq and 3D printing comes in. The DIY: My First Robotics Kit gets children to interact with technology in a natural way; through playing and having fun. Help your students lose their hesitation and begin to understand how robotics works. Combine creativity with project-based learning as students manufacture parts with 3D printing and assemble their robots with electronic components from bq. Recommended for ages 8 and up, this kit is sure to spark the interest of kids and adults alike.

Benefits of Assembling a Robot with PrintBots

make robot with printbots• Promotes visual logic, decision-making, imagination & other critical skills
• Build a PrintBot design provided, or encourage students to make a custom robot
• Step by step instructions for each robotic component in both Spanish and English
• Real robotics with real electronics, a hands-on experience safe enough for children and comprehensive enough for real-world application
• Programmable with mobile application RobotPad++ (for more advanced users)
• Design, Create, Program, Recycle

Adopt Your PrintBot

Take advantage of Studica’s da Vinci and bq bundle, which provides you with your own 3D printer and the DIY: My First Robotics Kit. This bundle also includes two PrintBot designs in .stl file format, so you can 3D print whichever body you want for your robot. Interested in hosting your own PrintBot invasion? Feel free to visit us and request a quote. This is a great STEM solution for use at home and in the classroom.

Learn to play and play to learn!

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Electric Paint from Bare Conductive Sparks Creativity

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electric-paintWhen you think of painting, electricity probably doesn’t register in your brain right away. Seems like a possibly challenging combination – to put it mildly. However, that train of thought is not what occurred to the bright minds at Bare Conductive. No, these innovators created an electric paint and a range of engaging kits that demonstrate the different ways you can use it. From paint, to starter kits and just recently the company’s own line of hardware, Bare Conductive creates products that make electronics fun and intuitive by blending concepts of design and technology.

The first thought that came to mind when we heard of this amazing was, “Wait, how does it work?” Studica always tries to provide students, educators and those interested in technology with cutting-edge, innovative products. So of course, we did a little investigating and got to know more about this wonder paint from the makers themselves.

What is Electric Paint?

Bare Conductive’s Electric Paint is a non-toxic, water based, water soluble, electrically conductive paint. It adheres to a wide variety of substrates and is easily removed with water. At this time, the paint only comes in black, but it can be over-painted with any material compatible with a water-based paint. This paint works with low voltage DC power sources. It is able to power small devices and creates a unique microcontroller interface.

bare conductive electric paintThe drying time for Electric Paint is between 5 to 15 minutes in a room temperature environment. The great thing about the drying process – besides its relatively fast drying time – is that the paint does not give off fumes. The paint’s flexibility is dependent on the thickness at which it is applied and the choice of surface. A consistent layer of paint creates the most flexible circuitry, while surfaces that are flexible, but do not stretch work better to ensure there are no fractures. This kind of functionality makes Electric Paint also ideal for cold soldering. This material is strong and almost infinitely repairable, which allows for components to be cleaned and re-used.

Bare Conductive Electric Paint in Action

Since its introduction, Electric Paint has been incorporated into various projects ranging from engineering designs to fine art. While it is safe for children and Bare promotes a number of student activities, young generations aren’t the only ones experimenting with it. Artist, Xavi Sole Mora, created an amazing re-imagining of Goya’s ‘Qué pico de oro! ‘. His piece, ‘The Gift of the Gab’, used electric paint in conjunction with Arduino Mega and Raspberry Pi to trigger MP3 sounds and servos via touch.

Spark your own creativity and experiment with electric paint, or delve into the company’s unique design kits with Bare Conductive’s Robot Parade. No matter what you do, you’ll definitely have fun doing it. At home or in the classroom, the possibilities with Electric Paint are endless.

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Test your STEM Knowledge & Upcoming Webinar Listings

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stem-knowledge-testAnother school year is underway leaving educators and administrators with the challenge of providing their students with the best education possible given the limited resources available to them. With the continuing pressure of new academic standards and the demand for STEM in the classroom, this task is more trying than ever. Studica is hosting two live webinar presentations this month to help you find solutions to STEM challenges and detail how solutions like the fischertechnik STEM Lab Program can help you implement new curriculum. Sign up today and consider some of the following questions to see how well your school measures up in the STEM Test.

Studica’s Upcoming Live STEM Webinars (follow links to sign-up today):

STEM Knowledge Test

Q- Are you teaching true integrated STEM education that blends the core areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or are you teaching one small part of what makes up STEM?

  • True STEM education is integrated. It blurs the lines between math, reading, writing, science and so on. It shows students how these subjects work together, support one another, and are all important to understand and master.

Q- Are you teaching STEM to satisfy a range of specific academic standards, like Common Core Standards, or just a few general standards that could easily be addressed in other ways?

  • Any program—including a STEM focused program—that is a part of your classroom activities should be one that helps you meet many different academic standards. Not simply a few “general” standards that could be met by numerous activities.

Q-Are you teaching STEM through a loose group of unrelated activities plugged into classes that are otherwise not truly STEM focused, or are you dedicating a regular class period to STEM education?

  • The goal of an effective STEM initiative should be to create activities where each day builds on what was learned in the days before. This requires the students to synthesize the knowledge and skills they’ve learned so far to answer present challenges.

Q-Are you presenting STEM in a way that is engaging or dry? Are you using a “Project-Based” learning approach?

  • A truly engaging classroom experience challenges students to roll up their sleeves and get actively involved in finding answers to problems being discussed. Most experts agree one of the most effective methods for teaching STEM is by creating exercises where certain results will occur and students have to discover why they occurred through experimentation, research and trial-and-error activities.

Q- Do your students ask “Why do I need to know this?” or “When will I ever use this?”

  • If they do, it’s likely they don’t understand how the concepts covered in class will connect to their future careers, or to any other useful purpose. A good way to address this common problem is create assignments embedded in “real world” scenarios. It is extremely important to put students in a situation where they must understand why a skill is necessary by using it to perform a function. In doing so, they will be more likely to learn and retain it.

STEM Solutions

Based on what you’ve read, is your school adequately meeting the STEM education challenge or are you failing? The good news is that even if you fall into the latter camp, there are solutions available, such as:

  • Petition your school or district to hire extra personnel devoted to developing and teaching a hands-on STEM education course. Allocate time and funding to create curriculum aligned to current standards.

PROS: Establish a customized program to meet your specific needs

CONS: Time intensive, money intensive, requires dedicated manpower and support system

  • Join with one of the state or national STEM centric curriculum programs, which provide you with their own standards focused curriculum.

PROS: Immediate access to an existing program and materials. Often, a high quality program offering specialized classes in specific STEM disciplines designed by experts in the field of education and technology.

CONS: Can have significant costs associated—will often require annual fees for curriculum and or software access, and also require purchase of an extensive list of materials. Training is required. Deviation from provided curriculum format is usually frowned upon.

PROS: Provides complete, day-by-day, detailed classroom curriculum, along with all materials and software required to conduct a STEM focused, project-based learning course. It is designed to address the most current academic standards including: Common Core standards for Math, Science, Reading and Writing; NSES Content Standards; Standards for Technological Literacy and ISTE standards.  No annual fees. Curriculum developed by noted educator and STEM expert, Tom White. An affordable, easily scalable solution that provides everything you need in one place.

CONS: You aren’t using it already! While we must direct you elsewhere if you’d like to explore options one and two, we invite you to attend our live webinar presentations to learn about the fischertechnik STEM Lab Program as a solution to your STEM dilemma. These webinars will provide some background on why STEM is such an area of concern, why project-based learning is so effective for teaching STEM and provide an overview of the fischertechnik STEM Lab Program and its curriculum. To reserve your spot for either of these informative webinars, simply follow the links below:

Studica’s Upcoming Live STEM Webinars:

If you are unable to attend either of these presentations, please feel free to contact us at Our fischertechnik Product Manager, Lance Zurek, will be happy to make arrangements to connect with you personally, provide you with more information and answer any questions you may have.
The tools are available. There is no longer an excuse why every school and every student can’t succeed at STEM. Studica prides itself in working with schools and educators to find the right solution for their academic institutions. Use this opportunity to learn more about the latest STEM education, it only takes forty minutes of your time. Your students and their future are worth it.

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fischertechnik Recognized by Dr. Toy with Three Awards

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dr toy October 2014Dr. Toy’s special year-end awards were recently announced, honoring fischertechnik with three awards. The new fischertechnik Dynamic XL set was selected for Dr. Toy’s “Best Picks Children’s Products for 2014”. The fischertechnik Solar set was selected for Dr. Toy’s “10 Best Socially Responsible Products of 2014” and “100 Best Children’s Products of 2014”. Earlier this year, the fischertechnik Oeco Energy set was selected as one of the “Top Green Products for 2014” by Dr. Toy.

Dr. Toy, also known as Stevanne Auerbach, PhD, is one of the world’s leading experts on toys and children’s products. With 30 years of experience, Dr. Auerbach includes educationally oriented, developmental and skill building products from the best companies in her four annual award programs. These Dr. Toy approved products provide guidance to many parents, teachers and toy buyers in making selections for children. We are very proud and excited that so many of our fischertechnik products were recognized this year by Dr. Toy.

Meet fischertechnik’s Award-winning

Dynamic XL:

fischertechnik Dynamic XL 2The fischertechnik Dynamic XL set is the newest addition to fischertechnik’s ‘Fun with Physics’ product line. It features all new parts that include 90° curves, cross-overs and jumps with catch funnel. Watch as the balls race through tight curves and shoot through different tracks. With this set, students can build up to eight different track models to learn and observe various physical phenomena. Give your children a hands-on experience as they learn about acceleration, inertia, centrifugal force, the conservation of energy, linear momentum and more. This set also includes an elevator powered by a fischertechnik XS Motor that returns the balls back to the top of the track. Take a look at some additional features that make this product perfect for your home and the classroom.

  • Selected as Dr. Toy’s “Best Picks Children’s Products for 2014”
  • Enclosed activity book explaining various physical phenomena
  • Mini motor included
  • Total of 1250 parts for building eight different models

Solar Set:

fischertechnik solarThe fischertechnik Solar set provides young builders with a fun, engaging introduction to the world of renewable energy. This set includes the new solar rotor, which is a combination of a solar cell and a motor. This solar rotor is at the heart of the set’s three possible models: a helicopter, an airboat and a ventilating fan. Children benefit from building models, while gathering their first experience in renewable energy.

  • Selected as Dr. Toy’s “10 Best Socially Responsible Products of 2014” and “100 Best Children’s Products of 2014”
  • Total of 60 parts for creating three different models
  • Includes unique solar rotor power source

Oeco Energy:

 PrintThe fischertechnik Oeco Energy set allows students to explore the world of renewable energy. The set includes models that illustrate how electricity is produced, stored and used from natural energy sources such as water, wind and sun. It also includes two new modules that guarantee more power and additional attachment possibilities for flexible use within the models. Students that use this set truly understand these energy forms. To expand the possible models and incorporate a fuel cell, this set can combine with fischertechnik’s Fuel Cell Kit.

  • Includes activity book
  • Includes 1 solar motor (2V) and 2 solar modules (1V; 400 mA)
  • Gold cap power storage device (2,7V/25 F)
  • Total of 320 parts for building up to 10 models

Adopt fischertechnik at Home and in the Classroom

fischertechnik focuses on getting children excited about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The first step in ensuring that your child achieves success in the future is making sure they understand how the world works. fischertechnik creates flexible, innovative construction sets that encourage children to learn, while fostering their own creativity. Learn more about fischertechnik and how it is making a difference at home and schools all over the world.

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Learn about PTC Academic Program for PLM and more

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PTC-Academic-ProgramPTC is a company that specializes in solutions for Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), Supply Chain Management (SCM) and Service Lifecycle Management (SLM). That sure is a lot of abbreviations, but simply put PTC focuses on finding opportunities where businesses –big or small– can simplify and grow industry advantages with the use of technology. PTC has a range of products to foster production and bolster service standards.

What better way to accomplish this than to make these innovative, technology-based tools available to students? STEM education gets a lot of attention in the media and throughout educational outlets, because many students graduate from higher education unprepared for the modern workplace. Tools like PTC Creo and PTC Mathcad provide students with the introduction they need to technology that is actually being used by professionals every day.

PTC Student Offerings

PTC is offering a student edition of these two amazing programs in order to support students and help them achieve their career goals. The Senior Vice President of the PTC Academic Program, John Stuart, made this statement in regards to the company’s outreach, “PTC believes the sustained success of our company, our customers and society depends upon empowering each generation to solve real-world social, economic and environmental challenges.” Both PTC Creo and PTC Mathcad provide an academic advantage to students by presenting the latest industry standards in design, calculation and collaboration software.

PTC Creo Features

PTC Creo is the first collection of design applications to include concept design, 2D, 3D, direct modeling and more. It is also ideal for students as it solves the major challenge of ease-of-use that many face when trying to learn a new program. PTC Creo is a useable, scalable and interoperable system.

Features of PTC Creo include:

  • Provides instant access to eLearning and content within a customizable, searchable user interface.
  • Allows you to make direct edits, while preserving the intelligence of existing models, and applies intelligence to simple models without compromising your design intent and imagination.
  • Each PTC Creo design application is built on a common data model. There’s no need to maintain multiple licenses across campus, which allows you to focus on a single user interface. Plus, you have the advantage of moving from each design application without having to save and export files.

PTC Mathcad Features:

PTC Mathcad is the industry-standard software for engineering calculations. Engineers are able to streamline design processes with this program due to its live mathematical notation, open architecture and powerful capabilities.

  • Easily create and understand worksheets with very little training because PTC Mathcad uses known standards and conventions that complement other math notation tools.
  • Combines numerical and symbolic tools with deep text formatting capabilities in a single document interface.
  • Creates an environment that enables broad distribution of content to facilitate professional collaboration and continuous improvement.
  • Allows you to demonstrate your analysis and communicate the viability of a project in a real-world environment.
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3D Scanning with Skanect 3D

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3d-scanning-examplesSkanect 3D is a 3D Scanning software that utilizes the Microsoft Kinect peripheral to create 3D Models out of real world objects. The software will create 3D Models out of whatever it is that you are scanning with your Kinect. The 3D Models can be exported as STL, OBJ, PLY, and VRML files. Most 3D Printers will be able to print at least one of these file formats. Skanect also allows you to share your model directly with Sketchfab, Shapeways, and Sculpteo. And while the software itself does not contain 3D Modeling tools, it allows you to use 3rd party software to further edit your mesh.

Simple 3D Scanning

The workflow is rather simple. First, plug in your Kinect or other compatible 3D Sensor. Next, open up Skanect 3D and choose to make a new file. Then, record the object that you want to capture. Once it’s recorded, you can fine-tune your model using several different functions. After that, you just save the file as whatever format you need and you should be good to go.

The Kinect is not the only 3D sensor that works. There’s a sensor for the iPad called Structure Sensor. This peripheral plugs into the iPad and integrates with the corresponding app. This allows you to take a 3D scan of an object. There is also the Asus Xtion and PrimeSense Carmine. Any of these sensors will allow you to capture a 3D Scan with Skanect 3D.

Once your model is finished, you should be able to send it straight to your 3D printer. Studica offers several Skanect 3D packages for students, faculty, and educational institutions. We also offer 3D Printers from multiple manufacturers including 3D Systems, MakerBot, and XYZ Printing.
Check out my video demonstration of Skanect 3D below. Thanks!

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V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max Makes Rendering Smoother than Ever

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vray for 3ds maxChaos Group announced the release of V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max with an inspiring host of new features. Along with an incredible response from users, the new release was honored with the award in the Software Update category at this year’s CG Awards. The 3D World CG Awards gather professionals from around the world to acknowledge exceptional work in the computer graphics industry. The awards distributed at the event range from the artists defying the boundaries of illustration, animation and visual effects to the developers creating tools that make everything possible. Chaos Group’s V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max is used by professionals around the world in various industries.

What makes this innovative design software so special? V-Ray is the most complete lighting, shading and rendering program available in the design industry. This latest version provides a strong set of features, technical advance and support for open source technology. It gives artists access to fast, simple design solutions. V-Ray 3.0 delivers tools focused on artist productivity and modern CG workflows.

V-Ray for 3ds Max: Features that Break the Mold

It has so many amazing features that it’s more than a little difficult to highlight what you’ll love best. V-Ray’s 2014 Showreel in Film & VFX definitely sums up the limitless possibilities and the power of these tools. But it just wouldn’t be right if we didn’t call out some of the innovative, award-winning features that warranted so much V-Ray 3.0 praise.

  • Simplified User InterfaceVersion 3.0 introduces a simplified User Interface and includes 3 modes: Basic, Advanced and Expert. These modes can be toggled to reveal additional controls. The default is Basic Mode, which is designed to meet the needs of most artists’ daily production work.
  • Progressive Rendering This new Progressive Image Sampler is fast to set up and even easier to control. It generates fast feedback, even with features such as Environment Fog, Depth of Field and Motion Blur. The Sampler uses path traced rendering compatible with multiple GI solutions including Brute Force, Irradiance Map and Light Cache.
  • New Skin ShaderThis Skin shader is intuitive with layered highlights that make it easier for artists to create complex, layered skin.
  • Faster HairV-Ray 3.0 introduces faster hair rendering speeds (up to 15x) and view-dependent tessellation that automatically smoothes hair curves.
  • Probabilistic LightsIncreases the speed of scenes with a high number of lights. Probabilistic Light Sampling reduces the number of lights evaluated at render time.

V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max Academic Advantages & More Licensing Options

Not only did V-Ray 3.0 introduce some great new features and updates, it also instated new licensing options. Students and educators benefit greatly with academic savings of over $875 off retail. That shouldn’t discourage graphic artists though. Chaos Group offers a variety of single and multiple licenses at different pricing options to meet your needs. Buy today and see what your creativity can accomplish with V-Ray 3.0 for 3ds Max’s powerful industry tools.

Already using an older version of V-Ray for 3ds Max? Chaos Group also offers upgrades for registered V-Ray 2.0 for 3ds and V-Ray 1.5 for 3ds Max users. Get more information on features and licensing options.


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How to Activate NI LabVIEW

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I have been getting a lot of support questions regarding activating LabVIEW lately. To be more specific, users are saying that their serial number is invalid when they try to activate the software. In this post, I am going to detail how to activate your LabVIEW software properly.

Using the LabVIEW Installer

If you purchased LabVIEW through Studica, you most likely only have LabVIEW, Multisim, or Ultiboard. It’s possible that you have all three. This is important to note because the LabVIEW installer (depending on which one you are given) will often list lots of different software that you may not actually have a serial number for. This is usually the source of the “Invalid Serial Number” error. For example, if you put in your LabView serial number where it asks you for the NI SignalExpress serial number, then you will receive an error. This is because your serial number is only good for LabVIEW, not SignalExpress.

Once the software is actually installed on your computer, you will need to activate it. Follow these steps to ensure a smooth activation.

Go to Start →  All Programs → National Instruments → NI License Manager.

This will open up the License Manager for your NI products. This is where you can see all your licensing information. This is also where you activate your licenses.

Under the hierarchy that says “Local Licenses”, find the product that you need to activate and left click on it. You will see an “Activate” button near the top left of the window. Click on this button.

LabVIEW Install




A wizard will pop up with a few options to choose from. I recommend using the “Automatically Activate Through a Secure Internet Connection” option. Then hit Next. The next window will show you a list of possible products that you can activate. Again, your serial number is only good for certain products. If you do not know which products, I recommend looking at your purchase order and confirming what it is that you purchased. Fill out the serial number  information for the applicable programs and hit Next. On the next window, you will be asked to login to your NI profile. Go ahead and do so. If you do not have an account yet, click on the “Create a New User Profile” option and make a new account. Once this is done, click Next and the activation process will begin.

Once it’s done, it will let you know if it succeeded or failed. If you have any failures, it is most likely because your serial number does not cover the failed products. I hope this is helpful. Feel free to leave comments. Thank you!

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National Instruments lists mySTEM Project Board for NI myDAQ

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mySTEM for NIWe’ve got some exciting news to share here at Studica. Recently, Studica’s mySTEM™ Project Board has been listed on National Instruments’ NI miniSystems and Accessories for NI myDAQ. mySTEM goes hand in hand with myDAQ and LabVIEW as ideals tools in teaching and learning about science, technology, engineering and math. The mySTEM Project Board includes curriculum that can be used by beginners and experts alike to gather data, make decisions and control output devices.

Our partnership with National Instruments is due to the rising success of mySTEM Boards in the classroom. The Studica mySTEM™ Project Board for the myDAQ is an essential tool for introducing control systems. This board enables students to control the state and direction of four output channels that support a wide range of field devices. Geared towards high school and post-secondary education, the mySTEM Board is able to control DC, encoders, stepper motors, relays, buzzers, solenoids and many more devices.

NI Inspired Development of the mySTEM Board

LabVIEW Figure 1 mySTEM Project Board (NI myDAQ wired)The mySTEM Board was designed by esteemed STEM educator, Tom White, as a means of turning a regular myDAQ with LabVIEW into a programmable action controller. In discussing why he developed the mySTEM Board, White noted that the board allowed students to experiment with projects without unnecessary complexity. It allowed them to quickly try different possible solutions to unique design problems.

He also noted the possible career benefits students could experience by stating:”Industries today are looking for young people who have experiences in all aspects of design. Students in mechanical, electrical, control systems, industrial, process control, manufacturing, automation and robotics will find this an invaluable learning tool. The board is adaptable to many types of situations.” [1]

The mySTEM™ Board will allow students to approach problems by designing a working computer controlled solution. Normally, this would require expensive equipment, but with the mySTEM Board students have access to an affordable mini-system that turns any myDAQ into a programmable action controller using LabVIEW. Learn more about how project-based learning enhances education.

Additional Features of the mySTEM™ Board

  • Signals created by the myDAQ are very low in power. This board provides a separate circuit driver in order to control larger output devices.
  • The board minimizes the wiring needed for students to write a control program in LabVIEW and connect to various types of devices.
  • Learning resources written by distinguished educator, Tom White. This curriculum provides an introduction to the board and discusses combinational and sequential logic as it applies to control systems.

Get mySTEM Board for Your Classroom

For additional information on the mySTEM Board and its applications, please visit us by clicking here. Our partnership with National Instruments has given us a new channel to reach educators dedicated to providing the best in STEM education. Through our combined efforts we hope to continue to provide students and teachers with the latest, most affordable STEM resources.

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