3D Printing for teachers

On my 40th birthday my lovely husband bought me a 3D printer. It was one of those gifts that I would have never thought of to buy myself but I LOVE it! It has now joined my Cricut obsession as one of my favourite fun time wasters creative tools.

As I have been teaching myself how to use TinkerCad online and the software that came with the printer, my mind keeps going back to the old teacher brain that can’t turn off thought of ‘what can I make that would be useful in class?’ The best part about 3D printing is that whatever I make can be used repeatedly and will stand the test of time. (If you’d like a copy of the 3D printing files I made so you can create your own, scroll to the bottom of the blog!).

The first ever thing I made were personalised keyrings for my kiddos bags for the first day back at school. They were a HUGE hit!

I’m a big user of hands on equipment and Math manipulatives in my classroom. Students need to make it, see it and experience it before they can record any new thinking.

The first thing I made was a set of ten frames. We use these in class a LOT! Flip tiles fit into the square spaces perfectly and are a wonderful tool when decomposing numbers. I have used them in multiple ways for making 10, 20 and subitising. They are one of those tools that I’ll use year after year again.


I also made the ten frames in a smaller size to use with those super cute mini Erasers from Kmart.

We’ve used them for partitioning 10 in 2 different parts

Partitioning 10 in 3 and 4 different parts

Incorporating other hands on equipment to show different ways of making 20


Continuing our unit of Number, I designed and created the hundreds chart cut outs. I’ve always used the cardboard versions but they get damaged so incredibly easily. My design uses both the numerical and word value, with two small stars located at the top to show students which way around it needs to be. The starting number is placed in the middle and students use the guides aroudn the edge to explore one more, one less, ten more and ten less to help familiarise themself with a hundreds chart.

My next creation – Pentominoes! I 3D printed each set of 12 in multiple colours so that I had a whole class set. They are a HUGE class favourite!!!

For storage I keep them all in one big, clearly labelled tub.


Want to 3D print some of these yourself? Get your copy of the .STL and .OBJ files by clicking on the images below.

Check out our Pinterest board for more fun ways to use the 3D printer in the classroom!

✏️❤️ Katie