Creating with a 3D Printer

printerMegan and I were so excited when our wonderful Chief Information Officer, Greg, arrived at our Library door with a gift of an Aldi 3D Printer ………….. I had seen it advertised for $500.

I immediately got to work unpacking and assembling it by following online instructions. When it got too technical I asked another IT colleague to help balance the plate and feed through the filament. I was in for lots of learning….

We were delighted with our first prints from the files provided, naturally the first had to be given to Greg ….a robot!robot

After asking around about software to use to design I decided on Tinkercad, it was free and by using Autodesk: Project Ignite I was able to set up a class group. I also encouraged one of our lovely library assistants, Sarah, to familiarise herself with the 3D printer and Tinkercad to help with the girls’ designs and printing. It was such a help.

IMG_0484Sarah created a charm with St Aidan’s star and even rings to hang on a necklace! I was very impressed with the capability of the printer.

Students designed and printed a container to hold make-up which could be used by teenage Nepalese girls to uplift their spirits after last year’s earthquake in their Geography study which incorporated working in our Makerspace. More information here.IMG_8943

During Book Week Maker Faire some Year 6 girls designed in Tinkercad and printed elephant legs after listening to the story of Mali in ‘One Step at a Time’. IMG_9618

Whenever we have the 3D Printer working and visitors are in the library they become fascinated watching it print…..its quite mesmerising.

I was delighted when our very talented Graphic Designer, Annie, mentioned the idea of 3D Printed Christmas decorations for school board members. A few girls took on the challenge and we selected four to print (one being the ring)IMG_0501


The students worked hard designing, then re-designing and altering a number of times to fit the size, adding holes, changing width and thickness. Eventually things came together.

Annie organised different filament, one in white and another with a wood effect. I think my face showed the shock when I heard we needed 50….50, oh my gosh!

The printer is still working as I write this……I have had to adjust temperatures to suit new filament and then prints were lifting so Sarah and I had to do some problem solving eventually printing with a brim! Just a few little hiccups!IMG_0488

It means more work peeling excess but it is working! It has certainly been a wonderful learning experience for myself, Sarah and the girls.

We are very happy with the end result….ChristmasAnd finally on the gifts for our board members!FinishedWell done TEAM…..3D printing rocks!!!

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Jackie Child
Jackie Child has been teaching primary aged students for 40 years in a number of countries. She is passionate about how children learn through constructivist pedagogy. She is a Teacher Librarian at St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School and a sessional tutor at Griffith University for pre-service teachers. Jackie doesn’t believe in standing still, there is always plenty to ‘do’ and learn!