To print something on the 3D printer, a student needs to design it in 3D modeling software like SketchUp or Tinkercad. Files that are ready to print can also be downloaded from Thingiverse, like the robots above. When the file is ready, we connect the printer to a computer and run makerware, which allows us to tell the printer what size, where, and in what direction the thing will print.
We’ve had a couple classes with 3D modeling so far, but SketchUp has been frustrating for quite a few students. Now that we understand how we can use SketchUp for printing objects, it might be easier to understand.