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Makers Empire review: the perfect software for teaching the next generation of makers?

on Sep 28 2014 , 08:00:08

3D printing has a steep learning curve. There is a major need for educational resources to teach people of all ages about this technology. One of best resources available at the moment is Makers Empire. This is 3D design software which makes 3D printing fun and easy. It comes with a complete learning program and doesn’t require CAD, making it the ideal software for kids.

[Related: 3D printer design software: review of polygon 3D modeling]

The software includes an easy to manage back-end for educators. This consists of a list of lesson plans and units. They have plans for students from kindergarten to 7th grade. These structured lessons make it easier for teachers to explain the wonders of 3D printing to their students. The back-end also includes a learning management system which teachers can use to track students and their progress.

Will Makers Empire get kids 3D printing?

Will Makers Empire get kids 3D printing?

The great thing about Makers Empire is that it isn’t just for schools. It could, for example, be used to teach girl or boy scouts about this innovative technology. All you need to do is purchase a site license and you can start teaching the next generation of makers about the wonders of 3D printing.

[Related: A Review of 3D Modeling Software for 3D printing]

The software integrates seamlessly with mobile devices and is currently available for Android and iOS devices. This gives students the freedom to create without too much classroom instruction. The application offers four different 3D modeling options. This gives students a good feel for the inner workings of 3D printing. The 3D modeling options include:

  1. Shaper: This lets students create new 3D objects from basic 2D vector shapes and text. Shapes can be imported as needed. The great thing about this option is that it lets you turn basic objects into something more complex.
  2. Character: This feature lets students modify the physical characteristics of one of the available characters. Students can choose to modify a boy, girl or troll. With this feature, you can play with the proportions of the character. For example, you could decide to create a boy with large hands or could change the troll to have a small nose and large eyes. You name it, you got it.
  3. Blocker: This is one of my favorites. It lets you build new objects from simple 3D blocks. Students can also choose from a selection of different colors and block sizes. This gives students a lot of creative freedom. There’s even the option to import an image which can be used as a pattern when building new objects.
  4. Doodler: With this feature you can sculpt preexisting objects. This lets students manipulate and add to objects. For example, a student could put a mustache on an object like an octopus.
Makers Empire in action. Credit: Makers Empire

Makers Empire in action. Credit: Makers Empire

The app also comes with galleries. One gallery is for the student’s own creations and the other is for the creations of the other students who have used the application. This makes it easy to create a great creative library for admiration and inspiration.

Since this is new service, the Makers Empire team are constantly working to improve things. You can expect to see more options and lesson plans as the team responds to feedback and the company continues to grow. We’re excited to see what’s next for this software.

Makers Empire is a great and necessary option in a quickly expanding market. We need to place more emphasis on educating students about this fast-evolving technology. Hopefully Makers Empire will be able to fulfill this space. Only time will tell.

Mike Grauer Jr is a Puget Sound area 3D printing consultant and evangelist for home 3D printing. He has a BFA in Animation and a MBA in marketing. He is active in all areas of 3D printing.

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