Makers Empire sample lesson plan

Enter your email address and a sample lesson plan, Monuments of Ancient Egypt and some more information about 3D printing in schools, will be sent to you.

This lesson plan is designed for years 5-7 and is mapped to standard curriculum (Australia/England/USA).

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Note: This is a new service that we are trialing. If you would like to test our service with some free prints, please email - we'd love feedback!

Printing Credits can be bought and used to buy 3D prints - models will be printed and mailed to you.

One print credit is equal to one 'small' print. This will vary depending on the model, but we aim to make it satisfactory for students. If exact printing sizes are required please specify when ordering.

To buy prints, select the "cart" button on a print and follow the instructions:
Printing credits 6e8297393d78349e6887f0600cc7d0c3a9efd711defa3aff0d0dfa301dfcb407


What is Makers Empire?
Makers Empire helps students enhance their understanding and mastery of design thinking and 21st Century learning skills. Makers Empire has created the world's easiest to use 3D design software, specifically designed for K-8 classrooms and supported by a comprehensive 3D Printing Learning Program. At Makers Empire we’re helping today’s students get ready to thrive in the future.

What tablet device does Makers Empire 3D design app work on?
Apple iPads / Android tablets / Windows machines

How easy is the software to use?
Very easy!

Do I need to learn complex design software or have extensive computer experience?

Do I need to have any technical knowledge, go to a technical college or attend a course for engineers and architects?

How long will it take for me to learn how to design and print 3D with Makers Empire 3D design app?
Makers Empire 3D design app has been designed for all ages. It has been tested with students as young as 4 and senior citizens over 60 years of age. They were all able to create one or more designs within a few minutes.
See our pilot classes create their first 3D objects:- North Adelaide Primary School, Westminster School, Good Shepherd Primary School
See our senior citizens over 60 years of age:- Mary and Ali create their first 3d objects

Does it cost me anything to use Makers Empire 3D design app?
The Makers Empire 3D design app is FREE to download from the app store on your favourite tablet device – iPad/Android. It comes with 6 modules -- shaper, character, blocker, doodler, curator and competitions -- with more planned in the future.

Why is 3D printing so important? What are the benefits of incorporating 3D design and printing in primary schools?
See 3D printing in the news.

What do schools think about the Makers Empire software and complete learning program?
Check out testimonials from happy school principals and teachers.

I am a school principal or teacher and I would like to incorporate design and 3D printing in our curriculum. Can Makers Empire help me?
Schools can purchase an affordable annual school site license to Makers Empire

Learning Program for design and 3D printing for schools, which includes:

  • fun and easy to use Makers Empire 3D design tablet software for use in the classroom;
  • access to all 3D design app modules and future modules;
  • Lesson plans aligned with the Australian Curriculum for years 2 to 7 introducing students to 3D printing;
  • Teacher Portal for teachers to see students work and download 3D designs so they can be 3D printed; and
  • Annual school site license can be discounted with larger number of students

Contact us to arrange a school site license today on email:


What does a school need to get started with 3D design and printing? 
There are three basic things required:

1) Software 

3D design software - Makers Empire makes the world's easiest to use 3D design software for iPad/Android/Mac/Windows machines - suitable for students aged 5 years and up. The Makers Empire software was specifically created to meet the needs of primary school educators and is optimized for touch interfaces. For older age groups general 3D design software can produce 3D printable models (although you can also create non-printable models). Software in this category includes AutoCAD, TinkerCAD, Sketchup, Creo and Solidworks.

2) Expertise

In the school environment we believe some directed professional learning is beneficial - it will speed up adoption, reduce frustration and get your teachers and librarians 3D printing faster. 3D printing is changing so quickly that having some guidance around software and hardware can easily save you many unnecessary hours. We have programs from an introductory 1.5 hours to a 10 week design thinking blended course - find out more about Makers Empire complete Learning Program for teachers.

3) A 3D printer or 3D printing service

1. 3D printer - You can start with a single printer to test the waters. Budget about $2,000 for the printer and filament.

2. 3D printing service - You can send your designs off to be printed for you and then sent via the post.

Although students won't have the opportunity to see a 3D printer in action, there are a number of advantages to this approach:

  • no need to buy a 3D printer (these are falling in price quickly)
  • no need to learn 3D printer software
  • no need to spend time printing out a classroom of designs (which can take hours/days on a single 3D printer)
  • higher quality prints


How much does a 3D printer cost? 
At the primary school level we suggest a budget of $1,000 - $2,000 for a 3D printer.

The cheapest 3D printers -- less than $500 -- are similar to cheap $50 inkjet paper printers: they lack features that make life easier, they are more likely to require tinkering and they break down more frequently.

We don't recommend spending much more than $2,000 for your first primary school printer because the technology is changing so rapidly that a $1,000 machine bought today may be superseded in a year or two.

3D printing hardware technology is improving at a phenomenal rate. There are hundreds of consumer printers on the market and they’re dropping in price by up to 50% each year.

Are more expensive printers better than cheaper ones?
Not necessarily. Price is not a guarantee of quality: many of the most expensive printers have had a lot of problems. We’ve seen $10,000 machines out-performed by $2,000 machines 12 months later.

What's more, paying more at the pro-sumer level -- the level between consumer and professional -- is no guarantee of quality. There have been quite a few name brand printers that have actually performed more poorly than much cheaper machines.

How much is the consumable (filament) and how long does a roll last?
A roll of filament costs around $USD30 - $70 per kg. We’d suggest budgeting one kg of filament per three weeks per printer. This would be for a printer running almost full time during school hours.


Which 3D printer should I buy?
Make: magazine recently (late 2014) reviewed 26 printers and came out with 10 "Standouts" - find them here.

How long does it take to print something in 3D?
It depends on how much filament is used. Small flat key chains may take 10-20 minutes. Large objects can take hours. Most printers would take 5+ hours to print an object at the maximum size of the print bed.

Settings that affect print time include:

1. Quality – you can adjust the height of each layer between about 100 to 500 microns (that’s 1/10th to ½ millimetre). The thinner layers take longer but produce better quality, smoother prints; and

2. Infill – solid objects can be ‘honeycombed’ rather than filled up. This speeds up the print and saves filament. 

Note that one of the most time consuming parts is setting up a print – unlike paper printing, jobs cannot be sent to the printer and queued up as each job must be removed from the printer before the next one can start. This is why wifi printing is not all it's cracked up to be!

Can I print more than one item at a time?
Yes. If your students each create a small object they can be laid out and printed all in one go – this can be left overnight to be finished by morning.

On small print beds -- 14cm x 14cm e.g. Up/Afinia -- you might be able to print six students’ work at a time. On larger print beds -- 28cm x 15cm e.g. MakerBot -- you might be able to print 8-10 objects at a time.

A whole class’ work could be printed overnight by running 3-4 printers simultaneously.

What are genuine or ‘premium’ filaments and are they worth it?

Many printers have 'premium' or genuine filaments that cost more. These are similar to the genuine HP ink jet cartridges you get for paper printers – they cost more per unit but give you a better quality print.

We’ve experimented with many types of genuine and non-genuine filaments and have concluded that non-genuine filaments can be problematic because: 

1. The filament has not been made with a tight enough tolerance – i.e. its diameter varies too far from the 1.75mm or 3mm it is meant to be. This can cause jammed or blocked printers which are very frustrating and time-consuming to fix; and

2. They melt at different temperatures than what your printer is used to leading to poor quality prints.

We expect these non-genuine filaments to improve with time but at the moment we'd prefer to spend a little bit more on genuine filaments and get a more reliable print. 

Where should we store our printer?
School libraries are great places for 3D printers for the following reasons:

  • The 3D printers can be put behind glass and protected from casual knocks and accidents;
  • A librarian can ‘adopt’ the printer, make sure it is running OK and replace filament as required;
  • There is usually a teacher in or near the library; and
  • Everyone in the school can easily access it.


How do I know if somebody else has already taken the name I choose for my new account?
If the name has been taken already, the app will ask you for a password. If this happens, go back and choose another name.

What happens if a student forgets their password?
Login to the Teachers Portal and reset the students password.

What firewall settings do I need?
Please allow through: * (wildcard) and

Sometimes my 3D designs do not appear straight away, why?
3D designs are being saved continuously in real time and therefore it may take a few moments for the image of your 3D design to display.

How do I download my 3D designs?
You can view your 3D designs and then send the 3D design file to yourself via email. The 3D design file (STL) is a common file format for 3D printing.

How do I download my entire classes 3D designs?
Login to the Teachers Portal. Select the class and then the students’ designs. Then download them in just one click!

We use a proxy, how does this work?
See Windows setup here for more information about installing msi's and Group Policy.

Please ensure that you can get to the following links with a web browser:

If you cannot get to these links you may need to whitelist these addresses.
If your proxy allows wildcard's try adding this: http*://**
If you see the below image, you have not whitelisted our servers:
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I am a 3D Printer distributor or Education Service provider and I would like to offer the primary schools in my country an all-in-one 3D printing solution. Can I partner with Makers Empire?
Yes. Makers Empire is looking out for energetic and customer-focused 3D printer distributors or education service provider who would like to bundle our learning program with their 3D printing hardware or professional learning and provide local support and maintenance to schools in their country.

We can provide a commission for each sale to a school. Contact us to arrange a partner agreement today:

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