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Makers Empire and Tinkercad | 3D Design Software Comparison

Tinkercad and Makers Empire 3D are both 3D design apps suitable for elementary, primary and middle school students. However, Tinkercad is more suitable for older students while Makers Empire is designed specifically for students from kindergarten to grade 8.

Tinkercad is a browser-based app while Makers Empire works on all computers and devices including touch devices like iPads, which many younger children find easier to use. Makers Empire can also be used in offline mode, which is helpful when internet access is limited.

Tinkercad and Makers Empire can both be used at school and at home. For school customers, Makers Empire 3D software is bundled together with everything educators need to successfully integrate 3D printing into their everyday teaching practice.

Makers Empire was rated second out of 180 EdTech products in Common Sense Education’s Best EdTech of 2018 List.

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  • Tinkercad 3D Software
  • Tinkercad 3D app
  • Suitable for grades 5-8
  • Compatible with Windows, Macs, and Chromebooks
  • Unlimited classes
  • Unlimited student accounts
  • Unlimited teacher accounts
  • For each student, educators must provide the student's country, birthdate, username, password, and parent's email address.
  • Students use non-identifiable avatars and usernames. Teachers control students' design community.
  • Shaper design module
  • Blocker design module
  • Training lab with tutorials
  • Curriculum-aligned design missions
  • Integrated video training
  • 3D Game Creators like Maze Mania
  • Free draw shapes
  • Collaborative design
  • Pair with an overseas school for design challenge and cultural exchange
  • Design Thinking competitions
  • Can design offline
  • Teacher's Dashboard and class management tools
  • 2 hours of online professional development
  • Built-in assessment tools
  • 150+ Curriculum-aligned lesson plans
  • Live chat/support
  • Analytics
  • Can download 3D designs (STLs) for printing
  • FREE
MAK_Monster_Easy To Use_Square 2
  • Makers Empire 3D Software
  • Limited Makers Empire 3D app
  • Suitable for grades K-8
  • Compatible with iPads, Windows, Macbooks, Tablets (Android) & Chromebooks (Android)
  • Unlimited classes
  • 1 student account
  • Unlimited teacher accounts
  • Multiple login options include username / email and password, and Google Classroom, Schoology and Clever integrations.
  • Students use non-identifiable avatars and usernames. Teachers control students' design community.
  • Shaper design module
  • Blocker design module
  • Training lab with tutorials
  • Curriculum-aligned design missions
  • Integrated video training
  • 3D Game Creators like Maze Mania
  • Free draw shapes
  • Limited collaborative design
  • Pair with an overseas school for design challenge and cultural exchange
  • Design Thinking competitions
  • Can design offline
  • Teacher's Dashboard and class management tools
  • 2 hours of online professional development
  • Built-in assessment tools
  • 150+ Curriculum-aligned lesson plans
  • Live chat/support
  • Analytics
  • Can download 3D designs (STLs) for printing
  • FREE
MAK_Shop_School Subscription_1809
  • Makers Empire School Subscription
  • Full Makers Empire 3D app
  • Suitable for grades K-8
  • Compatible with iPads, Windows, Macbooks, Tablets (Android) & Chromebooks (Android)
  • Unlimited classes
  • Unlimited student accounts
  • Unlimited teacher accounts
  • Multiple login options include QR code, username/email and password, and Google Classroom, Schoology and Clever integrations.
  • Students use non-identifiable avatars and usernames. Teachers control students' design community.
  • Shaper design module
  • Blocker design module
  • Training lab with tutorials
  • Curriculum-aligned design missions
  • Integrated video training
  • 3D Game Creators like Maze Mania
  • Free draw shapes
  • Limited collaborative design
  • Pair with an overseas school for design challenge and cultural exchange
  • Design Thinking competitions
  • Can design offline
  • Teacher's Dashboard and class management tools
  • 2 hours of online professional development
  • Built-in assessment tools
  • 150+ Curriculum-aligned lesson plans
  • Live chat/support
  • Analytics
  • Can download 3D designs (STLs) for printing
  • $1,999 per school

Comparison of Makers Empire and TinkerCad by Stemshare

Want to read a third-party comparison of Makers Empire and Tinkercad?

Check out this detailed review of 3D design software for primary schools by STEMshare.

You can also view interviews with teachers who chose Makers Empire over Tinkercad.

 

The Makers Empire Difference

The Makers Empire’s 3D app is the cornerstone of our 3D products for schools. Makers Empire school products include everything you need to effectively and efficiently integrate 3D technology into your classroom, school or school district.

Makers Empire helps K-8 educators harness the power of 3D technology to teach Design Thinking, STEM and 21st-century learning skills. With Makers Empire, students learn how to identify and solve real-world problems and prototype, test and iterate 3D printed solutions.

Makers Empire is at the forefront of Design Thinking in schools: Makers Empire is used by 850,000 students and 15,000 teachers in 40 countries around the world.

Already have a 3D printer? Great. Our 3D printing learning program is a great way to make the most of your existing hardware and expand your current program. The Makers Empire 3D program is compatible with all 3D printers and works on Ipads, Macs, Windows and Android devices (including select Chromebooks).


What Teachers Say About Makers Empire

How Schools Are Using Makers Empire

Why Groveland Elementary School Switched From Tinkercad’s App to Makers Empire’s 3D Learning Program

Colleen Small is the media specialist at Groveland Elementary in Minnesota, USA. She started using Makers Empire only a few months ago but is very happy she made the switch from Tinkercad. Compared to Tinkercad, both she and her students have found Makers Empire to be easier to use and more engaging…“Tinkercad is kinda clunky, enrolling kids is a disaster and I was very frustrated with it,” she says.

So You Have a 3D printer – Now What? A Frank Account of 3D Printing in the Classroom

This guest post was written by Christopher Burdman, a grade 3-5 STEM teacher at Joseph P Tyan Elementary School. Here he shares a frank and engaging account of his 3D printing journey, through unexpected windfalls, false starts, new beginnings and eventual success. A must-read for any educator wanting to use 3D design and 3D printing in the classroom as a truly effective, cross-curricula teaching tool.

How A Teacher is Using 3D Printing to Transform STEAM Learning In Her School District

Since our last interview with Robin a year ago, her passion for teaching with 3D printing has led to a new, STEAM-focused job within her school district. Robin explains: “When (my colleagues) saw what I was doing in my classroom last year many of them came to me and said, ‘Robin, I would really like to try to do that.’ So I was going into classrooms during my breaks and showing teachers what I was doing…”

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