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Utilizing Design, Illustration and 3D Printing to Educate, Empower and Inspire

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Explore and create : Playground

This is presentation 2 of 3, at station "Station 1: Surprize" within the playground "Art & Technology STEAM Playground"; scroll down to see more details.

Other presentations in this group:

Matt Dombrowski  

Matt Dombrowski will discuss his creative role at UCF nonprofit Limbitless Solutions creating cost-free 3D-printed bionic limbs, inclusive comics and video games to support the limb difference community. During his discussion, attendees will design their own expressive, custom bionic designs using a provided “coloring book” style template.

Audience: Library media specialists, Teachers, Teacher education/higher ed faculty
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Attendees should bring their drawing application of choice (digital or traditional).

Attendees are encouraged to come prepared with the template downloaded and ready to create.

Topic: Equity & inclusion
Subject area: Performing/visual arts, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Global Collaborator
  • Students contribute constructively to project teams, assuming various roles and responsibilities to work effectively toward a common goal.
For Educators:
  • Establish a learning culture that promotes curiosity and critical examination of online resources and fosters digital literacy and media fluency.
  • Create experiences for learners to make positive, socially responsible contributions and exhibit empathetic behavior online that build relationships and community.
Influencer Disclosure: This session includes a presenter that indicated a “material connection” to a brand that includes a personal, family or employment relationship, or a financial relationship. See individual speaker menu for disclosure information.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Participants will be able to:

- Utilize digital and traditional tools to infuse art in their curriculum.
- Better understand how art and technology can be utilized to create positive and open conversations with our students surrounding often challenging subject matter, such as disability.
- Learn methods to use various technologies to amplify student communication and dialog in the classroom.


Content and activities:

1. I will be presenting a brief background about how Limbitless Solutions utilizes visually expressive 3D printed limbs and comic books to empower children with limb difference.

2. The audience will be provided with a bionic limb template (.JPG) to design their very own artistically themed 3D printed bionic. This can be done in any digital tool they wish or by printing it out and using traditional art mediums. They will be encouraged to share their expressive result on social media with the hashtag #BELimbitless.

During the 20 minutes allotted, I will present a brief background of around 5-8 minutes discussing the various STEAM-related projects at Limbitless. The remainder of the session will focus on an open dialog with the audience while designing a concept for a 3D printed bionic in Adobe Photoshop. This is an activity I have done in the past, and some really amazing and creative conversations happen during these "Chat and Draw" sessions.

Process: The audience members are actively encouraged to draw their own bionic design along with me. Whether they choose to draw along or not, they are all encouraged to participate in the open discussion on how the arts can be used to empower others. They will be encouraged to share their expressive designs on social media with the hashtag #BELimbitless.

Supporting research

STEAM Power: Infusing Art Into Your STEM Curriculum Book by Tim Needles

Gates Notes: Limbitless Solutions

Limbitless Solutions - Iron Man Delivers a Prosthetic Arm - Albert Manero

Kids' prosthetics nonprofit Limbitless receives free GDC Play space at GDC 2018!

A Photo Essay: This Nonprofit Makes Kids With Limb Differences Into Superheroes


More [+]


Matt Dombrowski, University of Central Florida

Associate Professor Matt Dombrowski is Creative Director at Limbitless Solutions Inc, a nonprofit organization within University of Central Florida (UCF). He leads an interdisciplinary team in the development of 3D printed, visually expressive bionic arms and training video games for children with limb difference properly utilize their prosthetics. His work has been featured by Adobe, Autodesk, Unity, Huffington Post, Gamasutra, Fast Company, Smithsonian American Art Museum, GDC, SXSWEDU, and Gates Foundation. He received two of the highest teaching related awards at UCF, the UCF Undergraduate Teacher of the year, and the Chuck D. Dziuban Award for Excellence in Online Teaching.

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