Patterns in Nature


Nature is capable of creating precise, mesmerizing patterns. At this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere, one of our favorites is the snowflake.

Snowflakes start as tiny hexagons as they fall through various cloud layers, with each change in temperature and humidity adding to the six arms. As the flake travels to Earth, each arm will experience the same changes, resulting in the intricate and symmetrical crystalline shapes we see.

For the Patterns in Nature design challenge, you will:

  1. Design a symmetrical snowflake using the design tool of your choice (Tinkercad, BlocksCAD, Makers Empire, etc)

  2. Upload your model to the Polar Cloud with Pattern Challenge in the title and share it with the public

  3. Winners will be chosen from the uploaded objects after January 31st, 2019

Selected schools will win a Monoprice Voxel 3D printer! The challenge is open for all participating GE Additive Education Program schools.

Designing a Snowflake

To create our own symmetrical snowflakes, start by designing a single arm and copy it until you have 6 matching arms, creating the well known hex pattern. We’ll be showing you how to do this using Scratch based programming through BlocksCAD! If your school has participated in Hour of Code or want to think laterally about 3D design, we highly recommend you try BlocksCAD.

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To learn how to use BlocksCAD to create a snowflake, check out our tutorial video below.