3D Printing with Marginalized Children—An Exploration in a Palestinian Refugee Camp
We work with a multi-national network of computer clubs for families and children called come_IN. In two such clubs (located in Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank), we worked with children on playful approaches concerning 3D modeling and 3D printing within a five-week, qualitative field study. Based on this study, we report on the achievements as well as on the difficulties of digital fabrication and of “Making” in developmental and educational contexts. The benefits are related to an overarching theme of self-expression where the main focus was on dimensions as playfulness, approachable complexity, individualization, immediacy and physicality and collaboration as well as motivation. The problematic aspects were mostly related to socio-technical limitations concerning the themes of orientation and camera control, the lack of coordination and collaboration features, usability and UX issues as well as the construction and limitations of current 3D printers. Based on those findings, we have derived implications for the design and the appropriation of future systems for digital fabrication with children, especially in developmental/educational settings, such as improvements of their collaboration support or better feedback mechanisms regarding the system status towards the end user.