7 Ways Makers Empire Is Different From Other 3D Design Programs for Primary & Elementary Students​

Makers Empire 3D design app on various devices

There are a number of 3D design software aimed at primary and elementary students including Makers Empire, Tinkercad and Blockscad. In this post, we’re going to explore how Makers Empire is different to other 3D design apps in seven key ways. 

Makers Empire:

  1. Is aligned to international Design & Technology curricula
  2. Can be used for all three stages of the teaching cycle
  3. Is designed specifically for K-8 students
  4. Works on all computers and devices
  5. Offers scaffolded learning
  6. Can be used in offline mode
  7. Is constantly improved by vigorous, weekly user testing by students. 

Let’s examine these differences in more detail. 

1. Aligned to international D&T curricula

iPad shwoing a 3d model of a house designed by a student using Makers Empire 3D design app

Students can complete D&T aligned activities in the Makers Empire 3D design app as follows: 

  1. Challenge central – bite-sized tasks aligned to D&T curriculum that provide differentiated learning opportunities for students.
  2. Design missions –  D&T aligned missions set by teachers appear remotely in students’ devices supporting learning both in class and at home.
  3. Challenge paths – coming soon, the new challenge paths offer interactive content (videos, quizzes, design challenges) aligned to D&T curriculum on specific themes for a deeply engaging and immersive learning experience.
The Makers Empire Design curriculum is aligned to D&T and engineering curricula including: Australian Curriculum;  IBNGSSCommon CoreNational CurriculumNSW Syllabus & Victorian Curriculum

2. Can be used for all three stages of the teaching cycle

Most 3D design software for students focuses solely on the Teaching part of the teaching cycle. Differently, Makers Empire can be used for all three stages, making it an efficient and effective solution for time-poor teachers:

  1. Plan – teachers access the Teacher Dashboard to complete the two hours of accredited professional development, browse 150+ curriculum aligned lesson plans, watch 3D printing video guides, undertake the getting started guide to set up your classes and get ready to teach your first class
  2. Teach – you can set students work both in the classroom or remotely if they are learning at home via the Teacher Dashboard (new design missions or tasks will appear in students’ devices as a notification).
  3. Assess – built-in assessment tools and rubrics in the Teacher Dashboard make assessing students’ work simple.

3. Has been designed specifically for grades K-8 students

Most 3D design software for children is suitable for upper primary, middle and high school-aged students. Differently, Makers Empire’s 3D design software has been designed specifically for grades K-8 students so it is easier for younger students to use. It’s really fun and engaging, too!


4. Offers scaffolded learning

Makers Empire offers scaffolded learning: 

  1. New users begin in the Training Lab, which houses basic tutorials, pro tutorials and video tutorials designed to show users how to use the app.
  2. The replayer tool offers a replayer of how a design was made.
  3. The text-to-speech tool supports lower literacy levels and younger students.

5. Can be used on all computers and devices

Makers Empire 3D design app on various devices

Makers Empire can be used on all devices including touch screen devices, which many younger students find easier to use. 


6. Can be used in offline mode

Makers Empire 3D design app offline icon
Makers Empire can be used without an internet connection making it a robust solution when internet access is limited or unreliable.  If students do lose their connection mid-design, don’t worry – their work is safe.

7. Constantly optimised via learning engineering

Makers Empire tests our 3D design app and Teacher Dashboard features every week in schools and via online experiments, and then modifies our product roadmap accordingly. We are strong advocates of learning engineering: we use data and custom-built tools within our app and Teacher Dashboard to drive rapid experimentation and continuous improvement.

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