Telfor & Wrekin School 3D Printing Project

Wrekin View School 3D Printing

School 3D Printing

Wrekin View Primary School in Wellington Telford Wrekin View Primary School in Wellington Telford

MakerBot 3D Printer project January 2018

MakerBot Replicator+ MakerBot For School 3D Printing- Ideas in the Making

Long Term Demonstrator Installed December 1st 2017

In September 2017, during meetings with Telford & Wrekin Council, Wrekin View Primary  was identified as a school who would be willing to participate in a project to establish how  a primary school can integrate 3D printing into curriculum.

By December 2017, the 3D printer had been installed and the staff trained in the use of the hardware, the software and in TinkerCAD (CAD design software)

Staff Trained:

  • Mark Williams
  • Vicky Jones


Visit 9th January – MakerBot software had been deleted – 3D Printer moved to different WiFi – inaccessible - Reinstall required – complete re-calibration of device

Further staff trained

  • Steve Coulson (IT)

Outcomes & Review – Visit 15th February

To 15th February aprox. 1.5 kilo of filament used in production of 3D Prints for the project and also for other after school clubs in School 3D Printing.

MakerBot 3D Printer PLA filament costs £46 + VAT per 900g.

A small model like the Taefl pieces designed by students uses approx.: 1g of filament and printed individually takes only 8 mins to print

These included Human body parts for Adrians group (Heart; Eyeball; Brain) and Minecraft models for the Friday Minecraft club.

  • Mike Williams & Adrian Pembleton

Mark found after training provided that the device was easy to use for School 3D Printing and gave the following feedback:


Wrekin View yr 5 are studying the Anglo-Saxon era in Topic.

Mark found the 3D Printer and CAD software allowed for true cross curricular activities in:

English / Writing
Topic (Geography & History.)
Persuasive Advert 3D printer in School 3D Printing Persuasive Writing for a 3D Printer Advert

The students wrote to persuasive arguments:

Persuasive argument for a 3D printer

Sell their Taefl Board game (as an Anglo-Saxon)


To Design and 3D print a Taefl Board and pieces

Board dimensions and piece sizes were set at the beginning of the project.


All students were engaged using the CAD software (TinkerCAD) and thoroughly planned and researched their project

Taefle Cyningtaefl or Kings Table otherwise known as Taefle - a Saxon board game

More able students mentored less able, and students on the autistic scale were engaged due to the process involved.

Learning areas:

Research; Problem solving; IT skills; 3D Modelling; Manipulation; Geometry using primitives; mathematics; involved measurements; saving and preparing 3D Models for School 3D Printing.

The individual designs were varied and all were tested to check whether they were within the scope of the modelling brief (size & printability)

TinkerCAD TinkerCAD is easy to use, and enables design from scratch and customisation or existing designs

Students produced many designs based upon their own research


MakerBot Replicator+ Taefl 3D prints Some of the many designs 3D printed by Wrekin View students as part of the project in School 3D Printing

MakerBot Print software & MakerBot Replicator+

Students gained knowledge through experimentation on how to position and 3D Print their own designs.

MakerBot Print Slicing models with MakerBot Print is intuitive and students grasped the concept of 3D printing via the 3D Print animation and print estimate tool

By printing their own designs, they learned about the viability of design in the process.

Through trial and error, they learned about support and overhangs and how the 3D Printer needs to be programmed for these.

Mike took extensive pictures of students engaged in the process.

MakerBot Learning Points

Some staff tried to use the machine without training and had mixed results.

The positioning of the MakerBot Replicator+ had benefits and drawbacks. It was good that all students had close access to the machine. The low and slippery surface of the worktop meant the machine was constantly knocked, and led so some machine errors on:

  • Filament slipping
  • Build Plate levelling
  • Z-axis offset calibration requirement
  • Smart Extruder fan cowl removed causing cooling issues

The above led to some print failures, but this was a good learning experience.

Mike realised that some of the print failures were due to print settings and lack of support material.


Andy Pembleton - Wrekin View Head Andy Pembleton - Wrekin View Head

Andy Pembleton sees the value of School 3D Printing and a MakerBot 3D Printer at the school and used it in his own after-school club. He found that he was able without design to 3D Print human body parts as teaching resources and bring his subject to life for students engaging them even more in the topic.

Andy would like to utilise the machine in an even more open area like reception so that all students, parents and prospective pupils can see the device operating and share in the experience.

Andy suggested that with a quotation provided he will consider Operating Lease to acquire a MakerBot 3D Printer for the school, or make a Lottery Fund Bid to purchase which takes approx. 2/3 months

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