Getting Started with 3D Printing


3D printing is a wonderful way to get kids excited about learning and technology.  Not only will learning how to 3d print something engage students with math and science in a new way, but it will also teach them a new 21st century tool that could be their ticket to a career in the STEM field.

3D modeling and printing can be introduced to students as young as 1st grade! The success of these projects depends on how familiar your students are with working on a computer, how strong their spatial reasoning skills are and how willing they are to struggle with a project and try to improve their work.  The projects below are geared towards students in 3rd grade or higher.  Many can be differentiated for the subject matter being covered in your class.  Reach out to the MFL team to discuss details for your students.

3D printing in your classroom is a great way to improve student interest and engagement with content and school!  The CMSD Fab Lab has 3D printers available to borrow to use in your classroom from the Lending Library.   Follow the steps below to familiarize yourself with 3D printing before bringing one into your classroom:  

INTRO to 3D Printing 

1. Watch this short general intro to 3D printing video form youtube.  (3mins)

2. Watch this recorded CMSD Fab Lab 3D Printing Workshop (1hr) Here are the slides from the workshop

3. Log into Tinkercad, or make a free account. If you are new to Tinkcad- watch this 10 minute video overview of tinkercad . Next complete the Tinkercad Practice

Youtube Eunny has TONS of how to tinkercad videos, check them out! CUG Labs also has a great youtube channel with a few awesome step by step tutorials

4. Once you’ve watched the videos, completed the practice and set up a tinkercad classroom, email Sarah at to set up a time where you can borrow a 3D printer.

Other Useful links:

Intro to 3D printing google slides for STUDENTS.

MFL Giant Project List (this list has projects for 3D printing as well as laser cutters and vinyl cutters)

How to set up and use your Flash Forge Finder or Inventor

Additional CMSD Fab Lessons +Resources.

Makerspace Playbook

Makerbot 3D Printing Lessons

Thingiverse Education