3D Printing

Watch this video for an introduction to 3D Printing:



3D Printing Flow

  1. Design a 3D model (using Google Make, Blender or any 3D CAD program)
  2. Clean your model using NetFabb cloud service
  3. Prepare you model using 'Makerbot Desktop'
  4. Prepare the 3D printer for printing
  5. Transfer your 3D model to the printer by USB
  6. Preheat 3D printer
  7. Print your design
  8. Allow printer to cool
  9. Remove your model


3D Printing Across the Curriculum

The opportunities for applying 3D design and printing across the curriculum is endless (and by no means limited to STEM subjects):

  • Making custom resources or technical models to support your teaching and learning
  • Designing an educational game
  • Getting students designing and printing their own designs 
  • Download ready to print models from Thingiverse

This paper from the English National Curriculum gives a range of ideas and the and the 3D Printing in education wiki is a growing source of new ideas and references that can assist teacher integrate this technology into their teaching and learning.


3D Printing Software

You can model 3D object using Photoshop, Google Make (previously called Google Sketchup), Blender or any CAD program. Google Make requires the addition of the STL import/export extension for exporting a STL file which is readable by Makerbots slicing software Makerbot Desktop.

Blender 101 video tutorial series (don't forget to setup a new project for real world design first)

Google Sketchup 101 video tutorial series

Meshlab is a good free utility or visualising and modifying STL files and detecting build errors.


3D Printing Tips

  1. Print a low resolution and low infill prototype first to test for build/design flaws
  2. Ensure you slice the model with rafts and if needed supports
  3. Prepare the build platform including cleaning body oils and dust from the build platform and leveling the build platform for every print
  4. If a build fails get advice before reprinting


Makerbot Z18 Generation Help & Support


Makerbot Replicator 2x Generation Help & Support