iMake iLearn – 3D Printing and Student Creation

iMake iLearn

So you and your students have a 3D printer…. now what?  The following two posts were originally posted on the iCreate iLearn blog as well as shared in the monthly webinar 5 Ways to Use Discovery Education.  Each post explores several different web based tools for having students create with 3D printing as well as ways to use Discovery Board Builder to help students document their learning process.

Original post in August 2014 on iCreate iLearn Blog

Tinkercad – Creating for the First Time


I’m ashamed to admit that it took me six months before I feel that I truly created with our 3D printer.  I worked with students to help them create using Tinkercad, Blokify, Charmr, and Radiant Li but I never created myself.  I was content to watch others, print the designs, and help look at the mistakes but I didn’t create.  The very premise that I wanted to encourage with my students I failed to do.  Imagine, Create, Play, Share, Reflect, Imagine

Why didn’t I create?  Was I too busy?  Was I afraid to fail?  I would like to pretend that I was too busy but honestly I could have made time.  It was more that I was afraid to fail because that is exactly what I did.  I watched this really amazing video about a young man who was teaching his friends how to create keychains and it inspired me to finally create too.

Tinkercad is extremely simple to use.  In my design, I used a rectangular prism and stamped letters into it to create the keychain.  I learned that I needed to understand what measurements really mean as my keychain was much larger than anyone would desire.  But I failed and it made me imagine again what I needed to do to create what I wanted.  I also found that because the letters were stamped through, some of the fragile parts fell off so the design that I had imagined needed to be modified.  My keychain is now attached to my iPad Mini and it gives me great pride to see what I created even if it wasn’t what I imagined.

3D Printing and Discovery Board Builder

Original post in March 2015 on iCreate iLearn Blog

About a month ago, my 2nd and 3rd grade math group helped me to use 3D printing to build a deeper understanding around the geometry concepts that were being studied.  Since then our 4 3D cubes have arrived which gives us a printing capacity that did not exist.

So the next plan includes these key parts….

Research and Documentation

Plastic plays an important part in our lives.  Our fourth grade students will be researching plastic and the impact that it plays in all of our lives.  Our students will be using Discovery Board Builder to document their learning and research.


Students will then create a 3D print design that has meaning for them using Cubify’s Crafternoons website.  Our goal is to not have cookie cutter designs but original designs that have meaning to each student.

Students will use Board Builder to document their design creation as well as include a time lapse video of their print.



Discovery Board Builder will be the tool that students use to document and share the entire learning process because it enables our students to import videos, images, and write about their learning.

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  1. Allen said:

    Welcome to, the home of low cost, hi-definition print with beautiful design from local studios. Flyer Printing

  2. Elijah Smith said:

    I love 3d printing! I learned in autodesk inventor but stuff is super expensive. Glad to know theres more programs coming up to make 3d printables.

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