Living & Learning in the Salish Sea

Category: EdTech Inquiry

3D Design and Print: TinkerCad workshop

On Thursday, October 10, I attended a free 3D Design and Print workshop at UVic Digital Scholarship Commons. At this workshop they spoke about the processes and products of 3D printing and gave us the opportunity to design our own model using the TinkerCad software. I made a simple name tag for my doggo, Ellie!

Useful Resources:

  • Thingiverse Education: “provides over a hundred free lessons that make teaching with a 3D printer easier and more effective for a variety of grade levels and subjects. It also provides a community where educators can exchange best practices or remix projects.”
  • TinkerCad: “a free, easy-to-use app for 3D design, electronics, and coding. It’s used by teachers, kids, hobbyists, and designers to imagine, design, and make anything!”
  • Sketchfab: resource to search for 3D print artifacts – available to use and download because of the creative commons license.


Important to look at the model from multiple angles to make sure it all lines up before printing

Think about printing orientation so as to maximize efficiency (i.e. which orientation will allow for minimal support?).

Can use heat to smooth things out. Or shape filaments using a blow drier, for example.

Available printing filaments:

  • PLA (polylactic acid – used at UVic)
  • PVA (polyvinyl alcohol)
  • TPU 95A (flexible filament)

Technique to inquire about: bridging

3D Design and Print: Getting the ball rolling

Okay, now this is something that I am stoked to learn about.

Wouldn’t it be neat to have 3D design software and printing capabilities in the classroom? This is a tool that I feel has unlimited possibilities, a playground of sorts for the imagination. With 3D design and print, kids are invited to individually or collectively engage their creative muscles and think outside the box.

On Thursday, October 10, 2019, I will be attending my first intro workshop to 3D Design and Print, and I can’t wait to get some hands on experience with the software.

In this introductory workshop, we will be working with TinkerCad in the design process. Here is a video explaining how to use the program:

And the 3D printing will occur using MakerBot Print:

I do wonder, however, what is the environmental impact of 3D printing? Is it a sustainable practice long-term? Is the material produced biodegradable? Where is the material sourced? And by whom? Is it feasible to have this in a public school classroom (i.e. what are the associated costs)? Is it accessible to children of all backgrounds and abilities? These are all questions that I hope to answer along the way, and I’m sure more questions will come to mind as I delve deeper into this 3D world.

More on this later!



© 2021 Jamie Andrews

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑