Tuesday, 22 December 2015

3D Printing Experience at Keys Academy

3D Printing Experience at Keys Academy

Natalie and I attended a workshop on 3D printing at Keys Academy. It was a new and interesting experience. First of all, the 3D technology is widely used. For example, Hershey uses this technology to make beautiful chocolate designs. There are even 3D printed concrete castles. 

A 3D printed Hershey Chocolate. 

A 3D Printed Concrete Castle

Anyway, what fascinated me the most was the concept in which Keys Academy was build upon. The academy was built on an open concept. The place is really spacious and all the rooms are built with glass.

Hence, it gave a feeling that I have walked into an office of a big company rather than a school. The classroom and its furniture gave a feeling of a meeting room. As I spoke to the staff, i realised that the feel was deliberate. The owner wanted to create an authentic learning experience. Even the workshop was carried out as if the children were being trained to be entrepreneurs.   

The introduction of the 3D printing workshop was more about how to start a business.

For our workshop, the children were asked to start a business selling key chains. They were taught to think like entrepreneurs, do market survey and then design and attempt to sell their key chain. So this 3D printing workshop was more than what i expected it to be. 

Natalie is doing a market survey by asking a lady what she is looking for when buying a key chain. 

The trainer consolidated the children's findings during the market survey. 

After that, each child was given a laptop to design their key chain. 

However, Natalie  encountered great difficulty designing the 3D key chain with the software. I have to admit that its difficult for an eight year old to envision a key chain in 3D in her head and then to design it out on a computer. The software was not as user friendly as i expected it to be. Well, the children spent more than 2 hours designing a simple key chain. We had to get the breadth, depth and width right for each part of the key chain. Anyway, Natalie wanted to design a light saber shaped key chain. But designing a light saber was simply too technical and hence, this is the best she could do. 

Finally, it was time to print it out.

Natalie standing next to the 3D printer. 

This is how a 3D printer looks like. 

The printing area.
Printing in progress.

Top view

The key chains took about an hour to be printed out. 

Our final product - the light saber key chain.

Natalie tried selling it to me, but of course, I wanted to make things even harder for her and i refused to buy it. Finally, Natalie thought of a great way to make her product more valuable and sell-able - she wrote "Natalie loves Daddy very much" and tried to sell it to her father. In the end, although she failed to sell it at the price that she wanted, she did make a sale. 

Natalie making a sale pitch. 
Overall, it was a good learning experience for Natalie and me. Natalie had her first experience with 3D printing. She learnt that designing a product is not simple. Moreover, she had to overcome the difficulty and frustration in designing the key chain. It did train her resilience. And finally, she had her first taste at entrepreneurship. 

Key academy offers a range of workshop. For more information, please visit Keys Academy's website

Disclaimer: No monetary compensation is received for this post. The workshop was sponsored but all opinions are mine. 


  1. The information that you provided was thorough and helpful. I will have to share your article with others.
    3D Printing Singapore

    1. Thanks. Indeed, 3D printing is a new experience for many. The concept is so interesting.

  2. This is my first time i visit here and I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially it's discussion, thank you.
    3d printing