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3D Printing and Design With TinkerCAD: A Primer for Every Teacher

Pennsylvania Convention Center, 115A

Explore and create: Exploratory Creation lab
Preregistration Required
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Technology Integrator/Teacher
Elisabeth Morrow School
Samantha Morra is an educator with 25+ years of experience as a teacher, technology coordinator, administrator, staff development specialist, and educational consultant. She teaches middle school, is the school technology coordinator, and is a university professor. She is a Certified Apple Learning Coach and a Google Certified Innovator. She has written articles for magazines and contributed to books, newspaper articles, and TV shows. She is a globally-recognized educator for her work on digital storytelling. She is also known for STEM/STEAM, makerspaces, 3D printing, and using technology to develop empathy. She believes that technology has the power to transform education.

Session description

Does your school have a 3D printer or are you considering getting one? Now what? 3D printing is a powerful tool in education that can be used across all curriculum areas. You will be amazed at what you and your students can create and print on a 3D printer!

Purpose & objective

Participants will have a deeper understanding of the potential of 3D printing. 3D printing can be intimidating, especially when it comes to creating designs. Many teachers fall back on pre-made designs which are a good way to start but limit the creativity, problem-solving, and innovation skills we want to develop in our students. Participants will acquire the skills and confidence to create 3D designs. They will leave with ideas that they can implement in their school and provide students with the opportunity to design and create 3D prints. We will even explore how to create a 3D print from any drawing. This has some great applications for younger students and students with special needs. 3D printing skills can open doors for our students.

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Intro - 10 minutes
Quick overview defining 3D printing and design
Shown examples of 3D printing across the curriculum

Creating - 60 minutes
Sign in to TinkerCAD and learn the fundamentals of navigating and create
Create a flat object like a keychain
Create taller object
Learn how to create a 3D print from an image including a hand-drawn image
(Wonderful for those working with students with special needs or younger students.)

Concluding and saving work- 20 minutes
End the workshop with at least 3 different files that are ready to be printed.
Future thinking about the implications of 3D printing in education

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Supporting research

Gimbel, E. (2019, June 10). The Resurgence of 3D Printers in Modern Learning Environments. EdTech Magazine. Retrieved September 30, 2022, from

Hull, C. (n.d.). 3D Printing and Education. ResearchGate. Retrieved September 30, 2022, from

Mak, J. (2014, July 29). ISTE. ISTE. Retrieved September 30, 2022, from

Morra, S. (2016, February 1). 3D Print From Any Image – Transform Learning ~ written by Samantha Morra. Transform Learning ~ written by Samantha Morra. Retrieved September 30, 2022, from

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Session specifications

Online tools, apps & resources
Grade level:
Skill level:
Library media specialists, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Attendee devices:
Devices required
Attendee device specification:
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Participant accounts, software and other materials:
Create an account on TinkerCad
Subject area:
ISTE Standards:
For Educators:
  • Foster a culture where students take ownership of their learning goals and outcomes in both independent and group settings.
  • Create learning opportunities that challenge students to use a design process and computational thinking to innovate and solve problems.
For Students:
Innovative Designer
  • Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.