Homeschooling with a 3D Printer

Why a 3D Printer could be the best resource you purchase for home schooling this year?

Almost Plug and Play DIY 3D Printer

Living on a single income to home school can be a challenge to say the least and the cost of resourcing your child’s education isn’t cheap but still we do it for ideological reasons, or because of our child’s particluar needs, or for our family’s sake – intending to live in a remote area of Australia reduces our options for schooling!

How can a 3D Printer can actually REDUCE your resources budget?

I am guilty like many mums of scouring the net and getting excited about the wonderful resources that are out there. I had never heard of Montessori 12 months ago but have fallen in love with many of the kinesthetic learning aids they provide.

My heart sinks at the cost of the beautiful educational resources that are out there but are difficult to justify on a single income!

However, since I allowed my husband to talk me into buying a 3D printer and eventually launch into business selling them,

I confess I now scour the net with excitement to see what educational resources I can replicate with my 3D printer :-) I just LOVE the fact that I can make almost anything AT A FRACTION OF THE RETAIL PRICE!

Here’s a few resources that I’ve made my own.

Montessori Sandpaper Letters

Montessori Sandpaper Letters

My 2 year old loves these Montessori sand paper letters. We match up with Montessori miniatures with the letters we know. My favourite is when she pulls of the ‘f’ and tells me its for “FOOT!” and stands on it, and “FEET!” and then bends over with both feet on the letter and finds a little place for “FINGERS!”

Montessori Fraction Circles

Montessori Fraction Circles

I saw a set of fraction circles that used a ring to self correct for the child. I took that idea and made a primary school aged game called Frac Stac. It is all the fractions from 1/2’s to 1/10. It’s a great game for finding equivalent fractions. My little girl uses them as a puzzle at the moment but is on her way to grasping halves, thirds and quarters.

Cool Maths Resources – The capacity to make almost anything!


I’m sorry but I found this today and am just too excited at the thought of making a 3D printed version of this for myself. I just can’t justify the $219 price tag though. That’s where a 3D printer comes into its own.

About the 3D Printer Plus DIY 3D Printer

Almost Plug and Play DIY 3D Printer

My husband and I started our business 12 months ago selling these babies. They have changed our family in so many ways and with every new creation we kind of look at each other and do a mental calculation of how much we actually SAVED because we invested in one of these.

The Prusa I3 in a nutshell

We sell 2 models of the very popular Prusa I3 DIY 3D Printer

Cost: $469 for the Standard Build and $599 for the Dream Build. (The Dream Build is for those not super saavy with DIY or soldering and electronics. We basically do the hard bits for you.) The Standard Build is a kit similar to what you would find elsewhere but with a load of extras and a construction manual written by an Australia – trust us, its a big deal!!!) My engineer husband took 3 months to build his first kit because of the manual quality and poor quality control on parts)

Build Size: A max of 19cm x 19cm x 19cm

Print Material: PLA and ABS Plastic

No of Colours: 1 at a time

Cost of Filament (plastic): $30-40 a roll (it goes a long way and it comes in lots of colours!)

Software: All freeware – Google Sketch Up, Repetier Host… we provide it all

Homeschooling parents LOVE DIY and one of my favourite parts about selling these printers is seeing people realise not only what they CAN DO but that there is now a way to get into 3D printing at a NON RIDICULOUS PRICE for a single income family.

Feel free check our website and contact us at 3D Printers Plus www.3dprintersplus.com.au. We love questions!

3D Logo Artwork FINAL Low Res-01

Montessori Sandpaper Letters

How to make 3D Printed Montessori Sandpaper Letters

Home Schooling with a 3D Printer -How to make Montessori Sandpaper Letters 

If you have been thinking that a 3D printer would be great for the kids – here’s yet another reason to get one. These Montessori Sandpaper Letters are super easy and super DURABLE! The rough indented letter makes a wonderful path for little fingers to trace the shape of letters as they learn to write.

Here’s how I made mine.

  1. In Google Sketch Up – Draw a 8cm by 5cm rectangle and extrude it by 3mm.
  2. Select 3D font (I chose NSW foundation font) and set the size of the letter to 7cm and extruded by 1mm.

Montessori Sandpaper Letters

3. Place on the rectangle and use the subtract  button to make the indent of the ‘a’ on the rectangle.
Montessori Sandpaper Letters

4. Use whatever 3D software you use to turn the 3D model into a model that can be printed.


6. Paint the indented letter with craft glue.

7. Use your child’s little fingers to help by tipping sand over the top and shaking off the excess.

8. Leave to dry.

Montessori Sandpaper Letters

I got my husband to make a display board for our letters and was delighted by my 2 year old’s response when she saw it. “What’s mummy made?” She then proceeded to take all the letters and start stacking them on the shelf in random order. Later in the day I pulled out the label maker and put the Upper and Lower Case letter label on the display board. She came back after her sleep and pulled off the letters and started matching them to their right place. It was great! It was now a game. Pull out the Montessori miniatures and my 2 year old was having ball with letters, sounds and toys.

My next favourite part of this game was to see what price these Sandpaper Letters sell for on the internet. In Australia we are looking at around $70.  This project was rather heavy on plastic and would have been around the $12 mark to print.  Compared to $70 retail though I am more than happy!

I often tell that to the homeschooling families we sell our printers to. It’s not the cost of the printer, its what you save in the resources you don’t have to purchase.

Feel free to check out our printers on our website or find more ideas on how you can use a 3D printer to support your child’s education. As an teacher and educator myself – I’m convinced they are brilliant!




Homeschooling with a 3D Printer – Mathematics

Homeschooling with a 3D Printer – There are 100’s of ideas to make mathematics come to life. 

If you haven’t yet invested in this brilliant tool, let me show you some easy ways to make homeschooling with a 3D printer come alive. The secret is in solving real problems – its even better when there is a tangible object to create. As a teacher – I see Maths applications with a 3D printer for ALL ages of kids – from the the little ones (where my daughter is) to the bigger ones who love the question – What’s the point of Maths? The beauty of homeschooling with a 3d printer is that you have the time and freedom to get your kids using Maths while creating and inventing. 

Lets look at the Mathematics in designing a 3D model.

Starting in Google Sketch Up – It is super homeschooling with a 3D printer.easy to create all of your basic geometric shapes.

Maths Task 1 – Design a Cube/Pyramid/Sphere you name it – with X dimensions. You now have a tangible model for the rest of your tasks. Everyone loves holding something.

Maths Task 2 – Put those formulas to good use! Work out the area of a face.

Maths Task 3 – Work out the volume.

Here’s some Real Life Applications
  • How much plastic would we use if we printed this item as a solid?
  • How much would it cost us in plastic?Homeschooling with a 3D printer.
  • Percentages – How much plastic would we use if we printed this item as with a 10%  or a 20% inflill (This is done in the slicing program)
  • What is the new cost in plastic?
  • What’s the saving? Subtraction

Maths Task 4 – Scale – Send them pack to Google Sketch Up to scale their item by 1.5 or 2. Print. Repeat the process.

Extension – Real Life Application

Task – Create a product for sale on Etsy

(Or select a cool item to print from Thingiverse like these Linklins)Homeschooling with a 3D printer.

  • How much plastic does it use?
  • What does it cost in plastic?
  • How many of the items could you get out of a roll of filament? Division
  • What price would it need to be if you have to make 30% profit? Percentages


Throw in there a spreadsheet and extend your Maths lesson.

What about extending it into an English lesson and create an advertisement for their model they want to sell.

We love our 3D printer and we use all the time. Our little knows all her geometric solids and loves the items we have printed for counters, her Montessori Fraction Circles and her Montessori Pink tower. The high school teacher in me just knows that there will be many many more uses in the years to come as we do our homeschooling journey together. Homeschooling with a 3D printer.

I am blessed to have an engineer husband who built a DIY 3D Printer for us. After 3 months of struggling through with a lousy manual and little quality control – we decided that we’d love to sell the same printer. Our heart was to enable homeschooling with a 3d printers affordable by doing lots of the pre-build for families. Our printers are almost plug and play so families can avoid the costs of commerical printers but still get the benefits of homeschooling with a 3D printer.

Feel free to checkout our website www.3dprintersplus.com.au

Hopefully you can see that Maths is embedded into every aspect of 3D printing. You can build any Maths lesson around any or all of the stages in designing to printing. And its fun :-)

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