It's really fancy !
We’ve all tried arts and crafts before, and we all know the nightmare that is getting precise cuts. We all think it’s easy to cut a straight line with a pair of scissors, and then lo and behold we have a jagged mess we’re embarrassed of. So where are we going with this? Well, at Aveea we’ve been running sessions with a fancy piece of kit known as the Cricut Joy, and if you’ve never heard of it then you’re in the right place! And if you already have, continue reading anyways to find out exactly why we’re using it!
The Cricut Joy is a machine which, at first glance, you might mistake for a printer. But there’s no messy ink here, instead, it contains a sharp blade- “…what?” you might be thinking, but we assure you that it’s all safe!
Unlike a printer, the Cricut Joy allows us to use CAD (Computer Aided Design) to tell it exactly what we want to be cut out. The result? Clean, fast, consistent cuts that we could only dream of making with a pair of scissors.
We no longer need to be wizards with scissors to bring our ideas to life, and we no longer have to struggle with our scissors getting jammed. But what good is that for a session at Aveea? Surely we haven’t bought a machine just because of our scissors woes. And that’s true, we haven’t, instead it all has to do with what the Cricut Joy represents.
CAD, CAM, what are all these new terms?
CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) is used in all industries around the world, you can pretty much look at anything around you and be assured that CAM had a part in its creation. The Cricut Joy is one of the many thousands of CAM machines out there, and we’re using it at Aveea to help familiarise ourselves with the concept of CAD and CAM.
The benefits of utilising these methods are endless, whether it’s saving resources, mass production, or automation, it becomes quite clear why it’s being used worldwide. And this isn’t just a recent trend either, these methods have been used for decades and can be easily seen in countless factories around the world. They undeniably play a crucial part in modern civilisation.
So why is it that schools haven’t been teaching this? Well, they have, especially in more recent years. CAD and CAM in their first introductions were complicated and required expensive, specialist software and machinery, certainly not the type of thing that you could purchase at a school level, not to mention the complexity of it. But as technology has progressed, these sorts of things are more widely available, and with machines such as the Cricut Joy we can practise and better understand CAD and CAM. That isn’t to say that this is part of the national curriculum, not yet at least, but at Aveea we believe that the value of this knowledge to be able to use CAD and CAM is what will give our pupils the leg up amongst their peers and prepare them for their futures.
What if I don't want to become a designer or an engineer?
But what if you don’t plan on becoming a designer or an engineer? It certainly might not seem like the most versatile skill to add to one’s repertoire, but we can assure you that could not be further from the truth. For example, perhaps you want to get into the movie business, well you’ll have to deal with plenty of CAD for special effects, props, outfits, and stage designs, not to mention advertising, plenty of which will be produced using CAM. That’s not to mention most video editing requires the same structure and process!
And what if you’re not the one creating these? Understanding what goes into creating these will allow you to better understand the limits and restrictions when it comes to working with them. Even if you are simply a scriptwriter, understanding what exactly can and can’t be accomplished, and how easily it can be done, can make creating your vision that much easier. Even just a simple level of understanding can go a long way.
Really it means expressing creativity !
Besides being a way to become more proficient with technology, CAD can be a means of expressing creativity. Exploring all those ideas which never quite get fully formed while stuck in our heads. We all know how it is to be unable to express an idea, it’s never quite the same as what we imagined. CAD can help us get one step closer and also gives us an alternative on top of the more traditional methods like drawing or writing.
We’ve always believed in empowering our pupils, encouraging them to express themselves, and what better way than to make use of a powerful machine capable of cutting through the thickest of cards like butter. Of course, this comes with equal responsibility and safety measures, just like you shouldn’t run with scissors, operating equipment like the Cricut Joy requires respect and appropriate action. Especially because this will most certainly become a recurring session at Aveea!
We truly believe in the value that these skills can provide, so we will make sure to do our best to provide the opportunities to learn them!