10 Makers Empire Hacks and New Features Coming in 2021

Now that we’re into the new year, here are our most requested Makers Empire hacks and tips for students, plus sneak peeks of new features coming to the Makers Empire 3D design app in 2021. 

Makers Empire’s 3D design and modelling app is loved by 1.9 million students around the world. Everyday, students create 100,000 new designs using the app. Designed specifically for K-8 students, Makers Empire 3D is a powerful but easy to use 3D design app that primary, elementary and middle school students use to create everything they can imagine in 3D, design solutions to real-world problems, and engage and collaborate with their peers. 

The Makers Empire 3D design app is part of our complete solutions for schoolsschool districts and large groups of schools, which also include 150+ curriculum-aligned lesson plans, professional development for teachers, class management tools, student assessment tools, teacher resources and ongoing support.

Makers Empire Hack #1: Use One Account at School and Home

Makers Empire school users have access to special features and content which are not available on basic (free) accounts. 

School users can also share their creations with their teacher and classmates, get feedback from their teacher, and complete design and technology curriculum. 

If you already use Makers Empire at school, use your same user account at home and school to get the best experience. If you forget your login details ask your teacher for help.

Makers Empire Hack #2: Level Up & Earn More Tokens

Students earn tokens (not real money) in the following ways:

  1. When they level up, which happens when the student gets enough points to reach the next level.
  2. By completing Training Lab tutorials or Daily Challenges.
  3. By completing curriculum-aligned challenges in Challenge Central and having it assessed by their teacher. Rewards for Challenge Central alternate between points and tokens – the teacher can choose to award bonus tokens when assessing students’ design in the Teachers Dashboard.
  4. By convincing their teacher to give them tokens.
  5. When another user buys one of their designs from the Gallery (if they have set a price for that design).
  6. When another user buy one of their imported shapes from Shaper or created shapes in Blocker

Makers Empire Hack #3: Buy and Sell Designs for Tokens

Makers Empire users can ‘sell’ and ‘buy’ designs for in-app Makes Empire tokens or coins (not real money). 

To sell a design, students set a price on their designs before sharing them with their community. To buy a design, students click on the ‘cost’ icon displayed on designs that are for sale.  

When changes to an original design are made by buyers, our improved attribution feature will display the original designer’s name first under the design title, followed by any subsequent designers’ names. 

Makers Empire Hack #4: Use Tokens To Unlock Shapes & Parts

There are two ways to unlock/buy shapes, blocks and avatar parts

  1. Browse the shop – In Shaper, Blocker or Avatar, click the shopping cart button to open the shop. Shapes, blocks and hero parts are organised into packs. Click any pack to see the contents. Click on a shape, block or hero part for a closer view. The shop keeper will ask you “Buy this for XX tokens?” Click Yes (tick) to buy and unlock.
  2. Unlock specific parts – in the Shaper, Blocker or Avatar editor, you can see locked parts in the parts grid. To unlock a specific part, click on the corresponding lock icon. The shop keeper will ask you “Buy this for XX tokens?” Click Yes (tick).

Makers Empire Hack #5: See How Designs Were Made

iPad showing Makers Empire 3D design app replay feature feature

You can use the Replayer tool to see how designs made with the mid 2020 version of the app and beyond were created. Simply click the Replay button on a selected design and the Replayer will launch. Users can:

  • Play or Pause the replay
  • Fast Forward or Rewind using the slider
  • Turn ‘Spin’ on or off (view spins around by default)
  • Adjust the replay speed from tortoise (slow) to hare (fast)

Makers Empire Hack #6: Manage Comments

iPad showing Makers Empire 3D design app bedroom design and comments by users

Students decide who comments on their designs via in-app account settings – users can choose to allow comments from everyone, people I follow or nobody.  The vast majority of comments help contribute to a positive, engaged community.  Very occasionally, a user will leave a negative, unkind or inappropriate comment. If this happens, we suggest the following:

  1. Broken heart a comment: All app users can ‘heart’ or ‘broken heart’ comments to indicate an upvote or downvote.
  2. Delete a comment: All users can delete unwanted comments by clicking on the ‘delete comment’ button next to comments.

View other options and learn about our Acceptable Content Policy.

Makers Empire Hack #7: How Karma Works

The heart score in a user’s profile used to be just the likes (hearts) on individual designs a user had achieved. 

We have now upgraded this to be a general ‘karma’ score that comprises both likes on designs and comments. 

This is present in a user’s profile and always visible under the user’s username in the top right hand corner of the app.


Makers Empire Hack #8: Make Precise Designs

iPad showing Makers Empire 3D desin app precision control tools

We’ve designed Precision Tools to give users extra accuracy and control while retaining Makers Empire’s user-friendly appeal:

  1. Precision Move allows the user to accurately control the exact movement and position of the shapes in their Shaper designs.
  2. Precision Size allows the user to accurately control the exact size of the shapes in their Shaper designs.
  3. Precision Rotate allows the user to accurately control the exact rotation of the shapes in their Shaper designs.


Makers Empire Hack #9: Level Up with Videos

Want to learn from others to improve your design skills? Watch videos in the in-app video room within the Training Lab or check out more videos on the Makers Empire website or our Youtube channel. 

Browse how-to-design tutorials, student projects shared by schools, and other helpful videos. 


Makers Empire Hack #10: Get Free Posters & Printables

Want some free Makers Empire resources and printables? Want to show your love for Makers Empire? 

Check out our free resources page where students can download official Makers Empire posters, Design Thinking cycle worksheets, measurement guides, design challenges and more.

Bonus Hack: Learn From Winning Designs

Makers Empire runs a Design Thinking competition in the Makers Empire 3D app every month. Students can test their problem-solving and design skills against a global community of makers – competitions attract up to 24,000 entries! 

See winning designs and runner ups from previous competitions and get inspired to make even better designs. 


Coming in 2021: New Themed Challenge Paths

iPad showing Makers Empire 3D design app curriculum-aligned to mars design challenges

Challenge Central already houses bite-sized tasks aligned to Design & Technology curriculum that provide fun learning opportunities for students.

In 2021, we’ll be introducing themed Challenge paths with interactive content (videos, quizzes and design challenges) aligned to Design & Technology curriculum for a deeply engaging and immersive learning experience.

Coming in 2021: New Sound Effects

The Makers Empire technology team is creating new app sound effects designed to emphasise actions and achievements, delight students and help keep them focused on design tasks.  

We can’t wait to introduce these new sound effects in the app. Our tech team includes a BAFTA award-winning game audio developer so our expectations are running high!

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