South East schools back 3D printing program

Schools in the region have been trialling 3D software in the classrooms as part of a statewide project, and they are now seeing results from their work.

Students from Naracoorte Primary, Mundulla Primary, Padthaway Primary, Frances Primary and Alllendale East Area Schools took on the unit throughout term one and unveiled their models at a recent exhibition.

Naracoorte Primary School teacher Stacey Wirper said it was an interesting process for the students to go through and was quite new to them.

”It was an app they’ve never used before so it took them a while to get used to looking and working with the 3D application,” she said.

Using software created by Makers Empire, students designed models, made prototypes and then printed material.

Makers Empire is an Adelaide based company which works with primary school teachers to get their students familiar with 3D designing and printing.

Mrs Wirper said the students enjoyed using the program and seeing their final designs.

”I think ultimately they’ve enjoyed using it and particularly seeing their products or what they’ve designed being 3D printed has been the highlight for them,” she said.

Makers Empire director of learning Mandi Dimitriadis said the software is primarily designed for young students.

“Unlike high-end CAD software, this is aimed at the 4-14 year-old age group so it’s very intuitive and user friendly,” Mrs Dimitriadis said. “A lot of the complex calculations you have to do with CAD software are happening behind the scenes.”

Mrs Wirper was impressed with the models at an exhibition at Naracoorte Primary on June 9.

”It’s always nice to see something professionally printed for us and I think the students are very happy with the way it has worked out,” she said.

Mrs Dimitriadis believes the program is teaching the students practical industry skills which them may use in a professional careers.

“It’s equipping students with the actually skills but also they way of thinking they’re going to need to be successful in the changing future.”