Using 3D printing in your homeschool

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Using 3D printing in your homeschool

199: Using 3D printing in your homeschool with Katie Matteson

Katie Matteson shares how she is using 3-D printing in her homeschool. These show notes are just the bare bones from the episode – listen to the full episode for all the info and tips

First printer/pen?
We started with the 3D pens. They have had their 3D pens for almost 4 years and have created COUNTLESS items.

What brand? Price?
The 3D pen listings are hard to keep up with as the vendors and listings on Amazon change frequently. Use the ratings as a guide. Recently we purchased a 3D printer and we got an Ender3 which is a great top-level beginner’s model. Here is a list for supplies that we used to get started

What software do you use?

  • Cura – slicing software that allows them to print multiple things at once and manage their print size – its free.
  • Thingiverse – for their files
  • Tinkercad – for their design – for their design

What did your children do with the pen?
They started with 2D flat Art while getting used to the pens and then moved on to rings for their fingers, animals to play with, statues, small bridge replicas, spaceships, anything.

With the printer?
They have printed a lot of fun lego pieces, miniature toys, flexi toys, small trinkets for friends, as well as a toilet paper holder, pieces for a Halloween costume, phone stand, oversized lego drones, etc.

How expensive are the supplies?
The printer I have is on discount right now for about $190 and then each roll of PLA filament costs anywhere from $17-30 depending on the color. Most solid colors are in the $17-20 range. So initial startup for a beginner can be as cheap as $300 with a great range of colors.

What age is a good age to start having your kid use a 3D pen or printer?
I would say that with the PEN 6 or 7 is a good age. You cannot use a 3D printer without the ability to download or design builds in the software. There is the designing and preparing of the print file that is done on the computer that then transfers to the printer. I think 10-12 is a good age where their desires, curiosities, attention span, and their capabilities for the activity are well matched.

Where you can find Katie
3D printing supplies list

Take a look at show sponsor, FundaFunda Academy to see what they offer for online classes and web-based unit studies.

Join our Facebook Group especially for the listeners of this podcast! You can ask questions and get advice as you try integrating technology in your homeschool.

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Using 3D printing in your homeschool


  1. This is great! My husband does 3D modeling lessons with our oldest, so it would be great to look forward printing one day.

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