Hope you had a great holiday and are ready for another round of 3D printing goodness!

We left off last term with everyone’s printer working and this term is about the software and business of 3D printing – and just having some G3ECS fun.

Have a look at the planner below and let me know if the dates don’t work for you.

You can also bring friends – the rest of the course is open to anyone with an interest in the topics covered. Please just RSVP ahead of time if you bring guests.

The final one on 27 August (or maybe Friday the 29th) is a party – or at least a boerie braai. We’ll invite the media and headmasters and so forth to come check out what you made. Please keep that night open in your diaries if possible.

See you on Wednesday!

Week Module Description Outcomes

9 April

Introduction to 3D printing with RepRap An overview of the 3D printing scene, explaining the industry jargon and going over each part in the RepRap kit in detail. Delegates will have an understanding of this fascinating area of science and engineering. This will encourage them to do their own further research and create support for technical fields of learning.

16 April

Build the frame Getting the frame right is critical to a well functioning printer.In this module, the delegate will be assisted in assembling the frame step by step. It is surprising how little attention is given to physical engineering skills today. The learner will be given step by step construction instructions and introduced to tools like a wrench, allen keys, callipers and a square. 

The outcome is the ability to do basic construction and the confidence to continue tackling their own projects.


23 April

Build the controller board In this module we will assemble the electronic controller board. 

If you don’t know how to solder, you will learn today!


Assistance is at hand to ensure you will have a working board at the end of the class.

Electronics is an integral part of manufacturing technology today. It is important to understand the basics of this hardware and get hands-on experience assembling it. 

The learner will get an understanding of the major components in a typical robotic control system and basic soldering skills to assemble such circuitry.


30 April

Final assembly & calibration The printer consists of many parts and getting them to work together is a challenge in itself.In this module we will assemble the printer and calibrate it for the first print. There is a lot of science and engineering behind these printers. It is not a toy. 

The learner will be introduced to the concept of quality control and precision and calibration to understand what it takes to take a machine into production.




7 May

Tools of the trade: 123D, Sketchup, OpenSCAD, Slic3r, Repetier and Pronterface 3D printing works hand in hand with Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM). 

This module will introduce the most popular tools actively used to make creations and operate the printer.

The technical tools used can be daunting, but once the delegate understands the basics, they will have confidence to continue learning and experimenting.The demand for skills in this area is great and highly valued.


The outcome is to spark interest in the software side of engineering.


14 May

Using 123D to draw 3D models Demonstrating the capabilities and basic techniques using AutoDesk 123D. CAD skills are and will become in even more demand. People think it is complex and out of reach, which is not the case. 

Autodesk is making great efforts with their 123D range to introduce amateurs to the fascinating and challenging field of solid modelling.

  We are Here

23 July

Using Sketchup to draw 3D models A more advanced class in using Trimble Sketchup to design complex 3D models. Sketchup takes a different approach to 3D design in the form of Surface Modelling. This is popular with graphic artists, and architects. 

The outcome here is to spark interest in the creative design area for those that have a more artistic flair and want their products to look good as well as be functional.





30 July

Using OpenSCAD to design parametric 3D models An alternative approach to 3D modelling using a programming language and math. Don’t be scared though… this is addictive once you get the hang of it. Math and Engineering go hand in hand, but many people are put off by the math aspect. 

OpenSCAD is a modelling language where you tell the computer what to draw by means of instructions and mathematical operations. The beauty of OpenSCAD is the interactive aspect where you can immediately see the results of your instructions and calculations. It is a highly motivational way to introduce people to geometry and programming at the same time.


6 August

All together… from design to printed model In this module the delegate will be assisted to design their own 3D model and finally print it on their own printer. The outcome of this module is a working 3D printer to take home and become productive with it. 

The delegate will have received knowledge, skills and an opportunity to apply it.


13 August

Other rapid prototyping technologies 3D printing is but one of the many methods that can be used to develop prototypes or creations. 

Local businesses from the area will introduce the class to Laser cutting, CNC machining and model making.


We will also talk about some of the fascinating projects people in the area are working on.

It is important to create connections between people in the engineering community and widen their perspective on what is possible with the technology available. 

It is expected that new relationships will form and some delegates will start engaging with local businesses for engineering work. It is also an opportunity for local employers to scout potential future talent.





20 August

Making money with your 3D printer and skills A hobby can become a profitable business.This module will introduce the delegate to entrepreneurial skills and ideas on how to use the knowledge and equipment for profit. The outcome is a basic understanding of the value chain in this field of science and engineering. People are making good money with these skills and some have started entire businesses from it. The hope is that some delegates will see this opportunity and enter into further mentorship programmes.

27 August

Show and Tell All delegates will bring their printers and creations for Show and Tell and a photo opportunity with the sponsors and mentors. This concludes the course and is an opportunity to celebrate the successes and showcase the achievements to interested parties and the press.
Share →