If you haven’t seen it before, Purple Mash is 2Simple’s creative online space for primary school teachers and learners. It is a cross-curricula resource packed with open-ended creative tools and themed curriculum resources. Many of the tools are brilliant for very young children, and give them an easy route into being creative using technology.

One of the many tools inside Purple Mash is called 2Design and Make. This lets children design a simple model in 2D which can then be turned into a 3D model.  They can create cars, trucks, houses and more!

The software is very easy to use. Just move the dots around to change the shape, then colour it in.

Purple Mash 2Design and Make - 3D Print

I’ve played with this before, and printed out 2D nets that can then be cut, folded and glued to make the 3D object. But what I didn’t realise, until the other day, is that 2 Design and Make will now also let you send this model to a 3D printer.

This is a very cool development, and means that KS1 children can design objects that can then be 3D printed. All you need to do is click on the STL icon on the toolbar.

Having recently got a 3D printer, we just had to try this out at home.

So we did 🙂

Purple Mash 2Design and Make - 3D Print

One thing we noticed wasthat the 2Design and Make STL export feature outputs a .txt file. Our 3D printing software wants .stl files and wouldn’t open it with the .txt extension. It was a simple matter of changing the file extension from .txt to .stl and we could then open and print it out.

Here’s the finished car.


Purple Mash 2Design and Make - 3D Print

It’s great that Purple Mash can act as entry-level 3D printing tool. Once the children are older, they can investigate more complex tools such as TinkerCAD, but this is a great way to get them interested in being able to 3D print objects.

Some parts of Purple Mash can be freely used without any purchase, but to get the full use of Purple Mash you need to have purchased a license. Personal licences can also be bought by parents to use at home. 30 day trials are also available.

If you are interested in Purple Mash training then please get in touch, I’d be happy to come to your school, or put you in touch with a more local trainer.

For more about 3D Printing, take a look at these other blog posts.