3D Printer for Kids: A Tutorial on Enhancing Children’s Education

Welcome to the fascinating world of 3D printer for kids! I am thrilled to present this comprehensive guide on how 3D printers can revolutionize the learning experience. In this article, we will embark on a journey to explore the incredible potential of 3D printers as powerful tools for fostering creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills in children. Join me as we delve into the captivating realm of 3D printing and uncover the endless educational possibilities it offers.

1. Introduction

In this digital age, education is evolving, and innovative tools like 3D printers are revolutionizing the learning experience for children. 3D printers offer a hands-on approach to education, enabling students to bring their ideas to life in a tangible and interactive way. From designing prototypes to creating complex models, 3D printers provide endless opportunities for exploration and creativity.

2. Understanding 3D Printer for Kids

3D printing is an exciting technology that allows us to turn digital models into real, physical objects. It’s like having a mini-factory right in your home or classroom! To help kids and beginners understand 3D printers, let’s break down the key concepts:

What is a 3D Printer?

Unlike traditional manufacturing that cuts away material, 3D printing adds material layer by layer to create an object. This process is known as additive manufacturing. 3D printers can create objects with height, width, and depth, just like a toy, a sculpture, or even parts of machines.

How Does a 3D Printer Work?

  1. Designing 3D Models: The first step in 3D printing is to have a digital design. This design is a 3D model created on a computer using specialized software. It’s like drawing a picture, but in three dimensions.
  2. Slicing the Model: Once the 3D model is ready, it’s processed by another software called a slicer. This software divides the model into thin horizontal layers and creates a path for the printer to follow.
  3. Printing Process: The printer then builds the object layer by layer. It follows the path set by the slicer, adding material where the design says it should go.

Types of 3D Printers for Kids

  • Kid-Friendly 3D Printers: These are designed to be safe and easy to use. They often come with features like enclosed printing areas, lower temperature nozzles, and easy-to-use software.
  • Materials Used: Most kid-friendly 3D printers use materials like PLA (Polylactic Acid), which is a biodegradable plastic made from plant starch. It’s safe and comes in many colors.

Safety and Tips for Kids

Always have an adult supervise the printing process, especially when handling hot parts. Encourage kids to experiment with different designs and see their creations come to life. 3D printing opens up a world of creativity and learning for kids. It’s not just about making cool objects; it’s a fun way to learn about technology and engineering. Remember, safety first and let the imagination soar!

3. Benefits of 3D Printers for Kids Education

The integration of 3D printers into educational settings has opened up new and exciting avenues for learning and creativity. Here’s a detailed look at how these innovative tools are reshaping the educational landscape for children:

Hands-On Learning Experience

3D printers turn abstract concepts into tangible objects, making learning more interactive and engaging. They help in visualizing difficult concepts in math, science, and engineering, making them easier to understand.

Enhancing Creativity and Design Skills

Children can design and print objects for art projects, fostering creativity and artistic skills. Working with 3D printers introduces kids to basic design principles and engineering concepts at an early age.

Development of Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills

As kids face challenges in designing and printing, they learn to troubleshoot, think critically, and develop solutions. Learning to refine and iterate designs teaches persistence and the importance of continuous improvement.

Collaboration and Teamwork

Group projects with 3D printers teach children to collaborate, share ideas, and work towards a common goal. Discussing designs and solving problems together enhances communication skills.

Real-World Applications

  • Link to Future Careers: Exposure to 3D printing opens up potential interests in fields like architecture, engineering, and technology.
  • Understanding Manufacturing: It provides a basic understanding of how objects are designed and manufactured in the real world.

Boosting Tech-Savvy Skills

Operating 3D printers and design software increases digital literacy, a crucial skill in today’s technology-driven world. Early exposure to advanced technologies like 3D printing prepares kids for future tech advancements.

Inclusivity in Learning

3D printing is beneficial for various learning styles, including visual and kinesthetic learners. 3D printed models can be especially helpful for students with disabilities, providing tactile learning aids.

4. Factors to Consider When Choosing a 3D Printer for Kids

Selecting the right 3D printer for children involves balancing safety, ease of use, and functionality. Here are key factors to consider to ensure you choose a printer that is both safe and suitable for young users:

Safety Features

  • Enclosed Frame: Look for printers with an enclosed frame to prevent accidental contact with hot parts.
  • Cool-to-Touch Parts: Some printers have parts that remain cool during printing, reducing burn risks.
  • Automatic Shut-Off: A printer with an automatic shut-off feature can prevent accidents when not in use.
  • Non-Toxic Materials: Ensure the printer and its filament are made of non-toxic materials, safe for children.

User-Friendly Design

  • Intuitive Interface: The printer should have a simple, user-friendly interface that children can easily navigate.
  • Easy Setup and Maintenance: A printer that is easy to set up and maintain is crucial for a hassle-free experience.
  • Reliable Software: The accompanying software should be straightforward, with user-friendly design tools suitable for children.

Build Volume and Print Quality

  • Build Volume: The size of the print bed determines the maximum size of the objects that can be printed. Choose a size that matches the intended projects.
  • Print Quality: High print quality ensures detailed and smooth finished products. Look for printers that can print at high resolution.

Filament Compatibility

  • Material Types: Consider printers that are compatible with child-friendly filaments like PLA (Polylactic Acid), which is biodegradable and non-toxic.
  • Flexibility in Projects: Filament compatibility can determine the range of projects possible with the printer. More options allow for more creativity and learning opportunities.

Additional Considerations

  • Cost: Balance the cost of the printer with the features it offers. More expensive printers often have better quality and more features but may not be necessary for basic learning and projects.
  • Community and Support: A printer with a strong user community and good manufacturer support can be invaluable for troubleshooting and learning.
  • Future-Proofing: Consider a printer that can grow with the child’s skills, offering more advanced features for use as they become more proficient.

5. Step-by-Step Guide: How to Use a 3D Printer for Kids Education

Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of using a 3D printer for kids education. Follow these guidelines to ensure a successful and rewarding experience:

Selecting the Right 3D Printer

  • Research and compare different 3D printer models suitable for children’s use.
  • Consider factors such as safety features, user-friendliness, build volume, print quality, and filament compatibility.
  • Choose a printer that aligns with your budget and educational goals.

FLASHFORGE 3D Printer Adventurer 3 Pro2


  • Automatic Bed Leveling: Simplifies setup and ensures consistent print quality.
  • Quick Detachable High-Speed Nozzle: Facilitates easy maintenance and customization for different project needs.
  • Enclosed Structure: Enhances safety and temperature control for precise prints.
  • Advanced Filament Detection: Reduces print failures and material waste.
  • Efficient After-sales Support: Offers peace of mind with robust customer service.


  • Learning Curve: Might be slightly complex for absolute beginners.

CoLiDo Kids 1.0 3D Cartoon Printer


  • Child-Friendly Design: Ideal for kids aged 6-14 with a focus on safety.
  • One-Button Printing: Simplifies the printing process, making it accessible for young children.
  • Extensive Library of 3D Models: Encourages creativity and exploration.
  • Quiet Operation: Minimizes distractions during family time.
  • Good Customer Service: Lifetime technical support for any issues.


  • Limited Build Volume: May restrict the size of projects.
  • Plastic Build: Might not be as durable as metal or carbon fiber printers.



  • Wireless Printing: Offers convenience with Wi-Fi connectivity.
  • Fully Assembled: Easy to start printing right out of the box.
  • Enclosed Design: Prioritizes safety, especially for families.
  • Silent Operation: Ideal for shared spaces.
  • Eco-Friendly: Uses PLA filament for sustainable printing.


  • Price: On the higher side, considering it’s targeted at beginners.
  • Size and Weight: Could be bulky for some home setups.

Creality 3D Printer Ender 2 Pro


  • Quick Assembly: Easy to set up, suitable for beginners and kids.
  • Portable Design: Lightweight and easy to move around.
  • Resume Printing Function: Adds convenience during power interruptions.
  • Silent Mainboard: Reduces noise during operation.
  • Built-In Power Supply: Increases safety and reduces setup complexity.


  • Small Build Volume: Limits the size of printable objects.
  • Metal Body: While durable, it could be heavier than plastic models.

Fully Assembled Mini 3D Printer by Asani


  • Complete Starter Kit: Includes everything needed to begin printing.
  • Auto Leveling: Simplifies setup and ensures quality prints.
  • Wi-Fi Capable: Offers versatility in software compatibility.
  • Compact and Lightweight: Ideal for small spaces.


  • Limited Filament Compatibility: May restrict the types of projects possible.
  • Smaller Build Volume: Could be limiting for larger projects.

Monoprice Voxel 3D Printer


  • Quick Change Nozzle: Facilitates easy maintenance.
  • Heated, Flexible, and Removable Build Plate: Enhances print quality and convenience.
  • Auto Leveling: Ensures easy setup and consistent printing.
  • Auto Feeding with Filament Sensor: Simplifies filament loading and monitors levels.


  • Higher Price Point: May not be the most budget-friendly option.
  • Bulkier Size: Could be an issue for those with limited space.

Each of these 3D printers offers unique features catering to different needs and skill levels. For children and beginners, safety, ease of use, and customer support are crucial. The FLASHFORGE Adventurer 3 Pro2 and AOSEED X-MAKER stand out for their advanced features but come with a higher price tag. The CoLiDo Kids 1.0 and the Mini 3D Printer by Asani are more budget-friendly and specifically designed for young users. The Creality Ender 2 Pro and Monoprice Voxel strike a balance between features and ease of use. Choosing the right one depends on specific requirements such as budget, desired features, and the user’s age and skill level.

Preparing the 3D Printer

  • Familiarize yourself with the printer’s user manual and safety instructions.
  • Set up the printer in a well-ventilated area, away from flammable materials.
  • Install the necessary software and ensure it is compatible with your computer or device.
  • Calibrate the printer’s bed and nozzle to ensure proper printing conditions.

Designing or Downloading 3D Models

Setting Up the Print Job

  • Import the 3D model file into the slicing software that prepares it for printing.
  • Adjust settings such as layer height, print speed, and infill density according to the desired results and material being used.
  • Generate the G-code, which is the set of instructions that tells the printer how to print the object.

Monitoring the Printing Process

  • Load the filament into the printer following the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Start the print job and observe the printer as it begins creating the object layer by layer.
  • Ensure the printer operates smoothly and address any issues that may arise, such as filament jams or bed adhesion problems.

Post-Printing Steps

  • Allow the printed object to cool before removing it from the print bed.
  • Carefully remove any support structures if necessary, using appropriate tools.
  • Inspect the printed object for quality and accuracy.
  • Celebrate the achievement and discuss the learning outcomes with the child.

6. Encouraging Creativity and Problem-Solving

Using a 3D printer for kids education is an opportunity to foster creativity and problem-solving skills. Encourage children to experiment with designs, explore different materials, and iterate on their projects. Emphasize the importance of learning from failures and embracing the iterative design process. By nurturing their creativity and problem-solving abilities, you empower children to become innovative thinkers and lifelong learners.

7. Ensuring Safety and Supervision

While 3D printers are safe to use when operated correctly, it’s important to prioritize safety and provide adequate supervision, especially when children are using the printer. Ensure that children understand the safety guidelines, such as not touching hot components and using appropriate tools when handling printed objects. Supervise the printing process and educate children about potential risks and safe practices.

8. Basic Ideas for 3D Printing with Kids

3D printing with kids is not just about creating objects; it’s an engaging way to teach technology, art, science, and mathematics. These projects can be tailored to various age groups, ensuring that learning is always fun and interactive. As kids explore these projects, they develop skills in design, problem-solving, and critical thinking, preparing them for a future where these skills will be invaluable.

Simple 3D Printing Projects

  • Custom Keychains: Design and print personalized keychains, introducing basic design principles.
  • Animal Figurines: Create simple animal models, a fun way to learn about animals and 3D modeling.
  • Nameplates: Print nameplates for kids’ rooms, combining art and typography.

Educational Projects

  • Geometric Shapes: Print 3D geometric shapes to aid in understanding geometry concepts.
  • Historical Landmarks: Create models of famous buildings or monuments, linking history with technology.
  • Solar System Models: Print planets and other celestial bodies, providing a hands-on astronomy lesson.

Creative and Artistic Projects

  • Custom Jewelry: Design and print bracelets, necklaces, or rings, encouraging artistic expression.
  • Fantasy Creatures: Let kids design their own fantasy creatures, boosting creativity and imagination.
  • 3D Artwork: Create 3D art pieces, blending traditional art with modern technology.

Practical Everyday Items

  • Phone Stands: Design and print simple phone stands, introducing practical design.
  • Pen Holders: Create customized pen holders for desks, combining utility with personal style.
  • Coasters: Print coasters with unique patterns or educational themes.

Seasonal and Themed Projects

  • Holiday Ornaments: Design and print ornaments for holidays, exploring cultural themes.
  • Themed Chess Sets: Create chess pieces based on a theme (like animals or historical figures), merging strategy games with creativity.
  • Costume Accessories: Print costume elements for school plays or Halloween, linking drama with technology.

9. Conclusion

Integrating 3D printers into kids education opens up a world of possibilities for enhancing learning experiences. By embracing this technology, educators and parents can empower children to become creative problem solvers and critical thinkers. By following the step-by-step guide, selecting the right printer, and fostering a supportive environment, children can embark on an educational journey that combines imagination, innovation, and hands-on learning.

As you explore the world of 3D printing for kids education, you can search for 3d pens, and remember to prioritize safety, provide guidance, and encourage children to unleash their creativity. With each successful print, children will gain confidence, develop important skills, and expand their horizons.

10. FAQs

  1. Are 3D printers safe for children to use?
    When used under supervision and following safety guidelines, 3D printers can be safe for children. It’s essential to choose printers with built-in safety features and to educate children about proper handling and precautions.
  2. What age is suitable for children to start using 3D printers?
    The appropriate age may vary depending on the child’s maturity and understanding of safety precautions. It is recommended to introduce 3D printers to kids around the age of 8 or older, with close adult supervision.
  3. Can children design their own 3D models?
    Yes, children can learn to design their own 3D models using user-friendly software specifically designed for young creators. There are also online platforms that offer pre-designed models suitable for children.
  4. What are some educational projects children can explore with 3D printers?
    Children can engage in a wide range of educational projects, such as creating prototypes, designing objects related to science experiments, building models of historical landmarks, or crafting artistic sculptures.
  5. How can 3D printers benefit children’s education?
    3D printers promote critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity, and spatial awareness. They enhance hands-on learning experiences, enabling children to transform their ideas into tangible objects and encouraging interdisciplinary exploration.

By embracing the potential of 3D printers for kids education, we can unlock a new realm of learning possibilities and empower the next generation of innovators. Let’s inspire young minds and watch their imaginations soar in the three-dimensional world of creativity and discovery.


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Daniel Brooks

Join me the author of Explore 3D Print, on an exhilarating journey through the captivating world of 3D. Discover the endless possibilities of 3D printing and immerse yourself in a vibrant community of enthusiasts. Explore, learn, and unlock the limitless potential of this fascinating realm.

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