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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need any previous CAD (Computer Aided Design) experience to use Makers Empire?

No – Makers Empire 3D is the world’s easiest to use 3D design software. We think it is the most fun, too! Users as young as 4 years old can get started designing in 3D in minutes.

What are the benefits of using 3D printing in the classroom? 

From 2017-18, Macquarie University in Sydney undertook a pioneering research study on primary school makerspaces based on the use of Makers Empire in three schools. The research study revealed makerspaces can be highly effective at developing children’s creativity, critical thinking, design thinking and digital skills. We’ve also listed other benefits here – see 7 benefits of using 3D printing in education.

Do I need a 3D printer to use Makers Empire?

No – Makers Empire uses 3D design and printing to teach crucial Design Thinking skills to K-8 students. 3D printing is a fantastic way to make that learning tangible, but using Makers Empire provides endless, engaging learning opportunities even without a 3D printer. If you are interested in trying or buying a 3D printer, we can help you out.

I’m interested in 3D printing but I want to try before I buy. Can you help me?

Yes – Makers Empire offers both a free trial of Makers Empire and an affordable print service. You can contact our team for more details of our print service and to purchase print credits.

Aren’t 3D printers expensive?

Not any more. Makers Empire offers schools software + printer packages with top brands and models based on their quality, suitability and affordability in a school setting.

I’ve never used a 3D printer before – are they hard to set up and use?

Makers Empire provides easy-to-follow setup guides and troubleshooting guides for every 3D printer so we’ll make sure you get your 3D printer up and running. It’s not as difficult as you might think and the machines probably look more complicated than they are. Plus, all our plans come with our unrivalled support service: our responsive team will help you manage any technical issues to minimise inconvenience and downtime.

How much does Makers Empire cost?

It is free to download the Makers Empire 3D app – get it now. We have whole school subscriptions for $1,999 per year that include access to all the resources and support available in the Makers Empire Teacher’s Dashboard. We are also doing limited trials of a single class subscription. If you would be interested in this, please let us know.

I’m new to Design Thinking – what is it?

Design Thinking is a methodology for creative problem-solving. Mandi Dimitriadis, Makers Empire’s Director of Learning, explains it as follows: “Design Thinking is a way of thinking and working that helps us to define and solve problems. It is a non-linear, iterative and human-centred process that helps us to reframe problems as opportunities.” See What is Design Thinking? A Handy Guide for Teachers.

Why should we teach Design Thinking?

Design Thinking helps students identify and solve real-world problems and develop the most valuable and sought after skills in the 21st-century workplace: Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration and Communication. Anyone and everyone can benefit from Design Thinking, especially young learners. See Why Schools Should Teach Design Thinking.

How do I teach Design Thinking?

Design Thinking is embedded throughout the Makers Empire app and all our teaching resources. All Makers Empire subscriptions include the high-quality tools and professional development you need to introduce Design Thinking to your school with confidence.

Do you have examples of how teachers are using Makers Empire in the classroom?

Yes! Browse 100+ teacher interviews/school case studies on our blog or read our teacher testimonials.

How many people use Makers Empire?

As of June 2019, Makers Empire is used by 850,000+ students, 16,000+ teachers and 1,000+ schools in forty countries. Students use Makers Empire to create 50,000 new 3D designs a day.

PRODUCTS

How much does Makers Empire cost?
Makers Empire 3D software is free for individuals. You can download it here. For elementary, primary and middle schools, a one-year subscription to Makers Empire for all teachers and students at the school is $1,999. Learn more.
Is there a single class subscription option?
This is something we’re currently trialling. If you would be interested in this, please let us know.
Why should I choose Makers Empire over free 3D Design software?
Makers Empire is different from free 3D software for a number of reasons:

  1. Makers Empire 3D is the world’s easiest to use 3D design software, with built-in challenges and 3D game creators.
  2. Makers Empire was included in Common Sense Education’s Best Edtech of 2018 List.  Moreover, out of 180 EdTech products considered for this list, Makers Empire was ranked second overall, an incredible achievement.
  3. Makers Empire has been independently proven to work by a reputable university – from 2017 to 2018, Macquarie University’s Department of Educational Studies partnered with the NSW Department of Education, three schools and Makers Empire for a research project on maker pedagogy in primary schools and their effect on student learning based on three primary schools implementing Makers Empire. The research study report revealed that Makers Empire can be highly effective at developing children’s creativity, critical thinking, design thinking and digital skills. Students were highly engaged with the 3D technology, and the idea of solving genuine design challenges – it helped boost their confidence and resilience when dealing with setbacks, particularly for those less capable students.
  4. It’s not just 3D design software. Our school packages include professional development for teachers, 150+ curriculum aligned lesson plans, implementation guides/school roadmaps, class management systems, built in student assessment, resources, training and ongoing support. We provide everything you need to integrate 3D technology into your teaching practise successfully and efficiently.
  5. Makers Empire has been designed specifically for grade K-8 students so kindergarten students from 4YO can use it.
  6. Makers Empire is compatible with all computers, devices and tablets. Many students, especially younger students, prefer tablets/touch devices as they find them easier to design with.
Do you offer discounts?
We offer discounted packages for small schools and not-for-profit institutions as well as special offers from time to time. If you’re interested, please contact us.

TEACHING WITH MAKERS EMPIRE

Do I have to be a 3D printing expert to teach with Makers Empire?
No. We strongly believe that you shouldn’t have to be an expert to be able to successfully use Makers Empire in the classroom. The wonderful thing about hands-on, maker-based learning is that it allows every student and teacher a chance to shine and contribute. Your students will surprise you by how quickly they grasp concepts and master challenges, and how well they start working together and helping each other.

With Makers Empire, we expect teachers to be learning alongside their students. So when you’re using Makers Empire think of yourself more as a facilitator or session leader rather than an instructor. For your students, seeing you learning alongside them can be very powerful  – you’re showing them how to be life-long learners. By demonstrating your ability to learn and master a new skill, you are leading by example and inspiring them to develop a Growth Mindset towards their learning.

Check out this post: How A 30-Year Veteran Teacher Went From 3D Printing Novice To 3D Printing Guru

Is Makers Empire suitable for students with special needs?
Yes! Teachers tell us that their students who have special needs love using Makers Empire and that it lets them succeed and shine in the classroom. Check out this interivew with a teacher re: how Makers Empire helped him level the playing field for his special needs students, this post about Japanese special needs students using Makers Empire and this interview with a teacher about how she teaches vision and hearing-impaired students with Makers Empire. We’re in the process of putting together more teacher interviews like this and are also pursuing options regarding university research focused on using Makers Empire to teach students with special needs. If you’d like to learn more please do get in touch.
What resources do you provide for teachers?
Our resources for teachers include 150+ curriculum-aligned lesson plans, a teacher’s dashboard with class management and student assessment tools, an 11-part professonal development video series, guides, tutorials, training and ongoing support.
How do I give tokens to my students to motivate them?
Students use tokens to buy design items in the Makers Empire shop. Students earn tokens by completing tasks in the Makers Empire app and levelling up. Teachers can also give students more tokens to motivate them.
I'm preparing to teach my first class. What do I need to do?
We recommend doing the Onboarding Guide in the Teacher’s Dashboard. This will take you through all the steps you need to do to teach your first class, including familiarising yourself with the app and doing the professional development video series. We also suggest reading this Installation Guide for Schools.

MAKERS EMPIRE 3D APP

How do I download the app?
Get it here.
Do you have tutorials for students?
Yes! The app comes with built-in challenges and tutorials.
How do I set privacy settings?
See this help article.
How do I group objects together?
How do students 'cut holes' in their designs? (boolean)
See this help article.
How do I disable comments?
See this help article.
Is Makers Empire compatible with Tinkercad?
No. Makers Empire and Tinkercad are competing 3D design software. We’ve summarised the differences here.

THE TEACHER’S DASHBOARD

How do I add teachers to the dashboard?
See this help article.
How do I: add / import / merge / archive students?
See this article re: adding students via a class list (.csv). See this help article re: moving students from one class to another. See this article re: archiving a class.
How does Makers Empire integrate with Google Classroom?
See this help article.
How do I move students from one class to another?
See this help article.
What are class codes and when do I need them?
See this help article.

3D PRINTING HARDWARE

We have 3D printers at our school but are not sure how to use them to enhance learning. Can Makers Empire help?
Definitely! Makers Empire provides all the tools, resources, support and training so teachers can fully harness the power of 3D technology as an authentic teaching tool. But don’t just take our word for it: read this frank and engaging guest post about 3D printing in schools by a teacher, So you have a 3D printer – now what?
Is Makers Empire Solution compatible with all 3D printers?
Yes! School customers can download 3D designs as STLs to print with any 3D printer.
What printers do you recommend?
We regularly test 3D printers for their suitablity for schools. See The Best 3D Printers for Your School – Australia and The Best 3D Printers for Your School – USA. If you are considering a printer not listed here please contact us and we’ll do our best to advise you.
How many prints can you make with one filament roll?
It really depends on the size of the prints and the extent to which they are filled. As a rough guide, one roll of filament should be enough for say 200 key chain or bag tags, 100 chess pieces or 300 chocolate moulds.
How many rolls of filament do I need per class?
Again, this depends how often you print and the size and volume of your chosen 3D prints. As a rough guide, three rolls of filament should last you at least a semester (two terms).

SUPPORT

What kind of support do you offer schools?
All Makers Empire School Subsciptions come with two hours of online professonal development, installation and implementation guides, teacher resources including 150 curriculum-aligned lesson plans and ongoing, responsive support for both the Makers Empire 3D app and Teacher’s Dashboard. All Makers Empire printer packages and bundles come with full training and ongoing, responsive support. We want you to have a positive experience with 3D printing and will do our best to help you.
Do you visit schools and set up 3D printers?
Generally, no. We do offer detailed, easy to follow setup guides and videos for school customers to ensure you can get your printers up and running.
Can you visit schools for product presentations?
Generally, no. While Makers Empire is a global Australian EdTech company, our team is small so we prefer to provide a mostly online sales experience so we can serve as many schools as possible. However, our sales team can schedule phone or video calls with you and your colleagues to discuss our products – simply contact us to arrange a call.
Can you visit schools to run workshops for staff or provide a custom training webinar for us?
Our enterprise solutions for large groups of schools usually include custom, blended professional development and training for teachers. Our regular school subscriptions generally do not come with any additional training included but this can occassionally be provided at additional cost.
I have a technical issue. How do I get help?
If you’re on our website you’ll see the live chat in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. Click on that to start chatting with someone at Makers Empire. Alternatively you can send us an email about your issue or check out the help articles in our knowledgebase.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

What kind of PD do you offer?

All our school products come with a two-hour 11-part professional development video series so teachers can learn at their own pace and at their own convenience.

Our blended professional development courses, like Learning by Design Course, typically include 20+ hours face-to-face learning as well as the two-hour on-demand video series.

Do you offer custom PD?

For school districts, education departments and state or country-wide deals, we offer customised professional development and training courses – please see our Learning by Design Course and Custom Packages.

FREE SCHOOL TRIALS

How do I try Makers Empire for free?
We offer 2-week free trials. Alternatively, you can go to the homepage and click on the ‘Sign Up’ button in the top right hand corner and select ‘teacher’. 
How long is the free trial?
Our regular free trial is 2 weeks long. If you would like to request a longer trial please contact us.
How many lesson plans can I view with a free trial?
Three – Amazing Mazes, Colourful Bubbles and Chocolate Mould.

USING MAKERS EMPIRE AT HOME

My child is using Makers Empire at school. Can he/she also use it at home?
Yes. He or she can use their same user account at home and school to get the best experience – and it is still free for you. If they forget their login details you can simply ask their teacher for help. Makers Empire school users have access to special features and content which are not available on basic accounts. School users can also share their creations with their teacher and classmates, get feedback from their teacher, and complete design and technology curriculum. See our guide for parents and guardians.
Can I use Makers Empire at home?
Definitely! Makers Empire is free for individuals to use at home – get it now.

ABOUT MAKERS EMPIRE

What is Makers Empire?
Makers Empire is a global Australian EdTech company headquartered in Australia. Learn more.
What do you do?
We help educators teach K-8 students Design Thinking, STEM and 21st-century learning skills with 3D design and 3D printing. We do this by providing elementary, primary and middle schools with high-quality 3D design software, curriculum, professional development, resources, training and support so that teachers can integrate 3D technology into their classroom practice efficiently and effectively.
How did Makers Empire get started?
Who are the people behind Makers Empire?
Do you have a press kit?
Yes – see press kit.

I love Makers Empire. How do I become a Makers Empire Ambassador?

More Questions? Browse the Knowledgebase

 A full collection of detailed help articles can be found at the Makers Empire Knowledgebase.