September 2012

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The meeting we had scheduled with the director before the first break was unfortunately postponed, and we wanted to keep the energy and interest alive. To do this, we created this short promo video (complete with an out-take at the end!) to help explain the 3D printer club idea. The kids in the video wrote the script and even planned out the “Easter egg” scenes. (Click the “CC” button if you don’t see the closed captions — it may make it easier to understand.)

The video was shot and edited entirely with an iPad, and so we didn’t have a lot of detailed control over the sound.


This is the original brief proposal (redacted, edited, and reformatted) that we were asked to submit to submit to the school director with the goal of starting an official “3D Printer Club” at the school. You can use it as a starting point for your program.

3D Printer Club Proposal

WHAT: A club to build a 3D printer for [school].

WHY: 3D printers are an exciting new technology just starting to gain a foothold in schools. Once built, a printer facilitates many creative endeavors and links to math, science, art, and more.

Building a 3D printer is a great project for a school like [school]. Students will have to both integrate STEM skills and work as a team. The students who build the printer will really understand how it works and will be able to adjust and repair it (or know who to contact in the maker community for help).


  • Faculty Sponsor: [Faculty Sponsor]
  • Parent Volunteers: [Parent Volunteers]
  • Students: About six to 10 students in second through fifth grade who are willing to focus and work hard and who want to build something great for their school. We hope for teacher and parent participation in selecting the students.

WHERE: Meet after school at [school] once a week (or perhaps biweekly), hopefully starting second quarter. Time frame to complete build: 2 quarters (see proposed schedule below).

COSTS: Supplies will cost approximately $350–$400, and additional fundraising will be part of the club.


    1. Session 1: Demonstration, general overview, requirements of club members, goals of club, funding requirements, and describe teams and roles.
    2. Session 2: Review parts and part categories, including RP (printed) parts, hardware parts (vitamins),
      electronic parts, and mechanical components. Create a bill of materials using working printer.
    3. Session 3: Finalize bill of materials, begin sourcing and ordering parts, and develop develop build plan.
    4. Session 4: Build the frame.
    5. Session 5: Build the extruder.
    6. Session 6: Build the Y axis.
    7. Session 7: Build the X and Z axes.
    8. Session 8: Build the X and Z axes.
    9. Session 9: Electronics and wiring.
    10. Session 10: Calibrate.
    11. Session 11: Test print.
    12. Session 12: Pay it forward. (Help another school do the same thing.)

Here’s a cute google eyes bookmark we made for the kids. It’s a pretty quick print and would probably made a great 3d printer demo print. It was created entirely using OpenSCAD.

You can find the STL here on thingiverse: