Definition: The action or process of making a physical object from a three-dimensional digital model, typically by laying down many thin layers of a material in succession.

DOI2T uses 3D printing as an way to teach learners about computers, measurement, computer assisted design (CAD), project planning, and advanced contemporary technology. While printing times are vary greatly (our shortest print is about 20 minutes, average is about 2 hours, and longest was over 40 hours), the actual time needed to learn the 3D printing process and then send a print to printer is usually very quick, about 30-60 minutes.

We also often use a technology called 3Doodlers as a soft introduction to 3D printing. A 3Dooder is a small handheld 3D printer, essentially a glue gun, that let's users create 3D designs without using a computer.

Introduction Video to 3D Printing


Household size 3D printers have been around since the 2000s, and therefore the market has birthed hundreds of 3D printing brands and models.

  • The best (most reliable, professional, user-friendly, bang-for-buck) brand in the industry is MakerBot. While their hallmark model, the Replicator+, cost about CAD $2,500, it is well worth the price. Makerbot is also the industry leader for 3D printing education, so even if you do not own a Makerbot printer, it's worth exploring their website for teaching material and free lesson plans. makerbot also owns and runs Thingiverse and Tinkercad.
  • We also have a fleet of smaller, simpler 3D printers from M3D: the Micro+ and Pro models.


Introduction to the M3D Micro+

Most of our DOI2T partners possess the M3D Micro + printer. This printer is small and simple, great for teaching learners the basics of 3D printing, and okay for printing basic objects.


Here is Sioux Lookout, we utilize our one Makerbot Replicator+ printer all the time. We have been printing 50-100 hours per week since we purchased it in 2018 (and all this with only printer errors). The printer is the most reliable and professional unit we have tried. Visit our Completed Projects page to see some of the complex prints it has completed.

Introduction to the Makerbot Replicator+


So you have a 3D Printer. Now what? Start by watching an introduction video for the printer you possess (if it is an M3D Micro+ or Makerbot Replicator+, see the videos below), and then you should be ready for these next steps:

  • Find free pre-designed 3D printed objects here: Thingiverse.com. 3D printers work best when using OBJ or STL files, which is all that Thingiverse has. If searching online for 3D Objects, look only for these file types.
  • Design custom 3D objects here: Tinkercad.com. Probably the easiest CAD program to use, though 3D design can still have a slow learning curve for many learners. Stick with simple shape or lettering projects to start. Watch the short tutorial video below to learn more.

Thingiverse Tutorial

Tinkercad Tutorial

3D Printing LBS Tools

This lesson plan was developed in 2019 by our practitioners at the Sioux Lookout Learning Centre. This lesson plan is nice and short, and has simple links to videos and OALCF components.

This lesson plan was developed in 2018 by our practitioners at the Sioux Lookout Learning Centre. Note: the plan is very detailed, and should be used more as an outline for your own unique teaching scenario.