Teacher Maker Marketplace


This is when I was really getting into digital fabrication and exploring how it can make learning more hands-on and accessible.

The idea was to connect educators with ideas with skilled designers to create learning aids that can be manufactured locally with digital fabrication tools. The designs would be open-source and the finished product sold in the marketplace. This would generate innovation in classroom equipment and learning aids as educators could quickly modify existing open source designs and order them from a local manufacturing shop.

Teachers + Designers = Makers

The Dream Makers idea competition I started was partly done to test this concept and resulted in 67 designs being submitted with two products being created and posted on Thingiverse.

Twin Cities Startup Weekend EDU 2014 idea (didn’t pitch)

Cutting edge technology, lack of skills and time to fully utilize them.  Pay for the designs, not the object.  Teachers hire designers to turn their idea into a design they can manufacture at school.  Creates an ecosystem of modifiable designs tailored for the classroom. Speeds up evolution of classroom equipment to best meet student and teacher needs.  Revolutionize lessons in ways not possible before.

My old proposal:

1. a store to sell education equipment

2. a source for original and currated open source designs

3. a new way for educators to learn how to make the things they want

Schools purchase the tools already

Teachers have the desire

site fills the gap between the ideas and the final design

Teacher’s idea + Professional designers = perfect product

An example is a teacher wanting to teach students about countries in the US.  A teacher finds a free svg of the united states and etches it on a whiteboard.  He posts the design and a copy of the lesson he used with it and a photo of the finished product.  

Another teacher finds it and wants to turn it into a puzzle so she looks at tutorials on my website and learns how to do this and makes the necessary changes. 

A teacher find the puzzle design but wants students to learn about states and their state bird so he pays a designer to modify the puzzle so it has circle inserts with state birds.  Students assemble the puzzle and then match the bird with the state.

A kindergarten teacher loves the puzzle idea but wants to make a large foam puzzle for her classroom floor.  She find a local person with cnc experience who modifies the design and cuts it out for her.  

Last, a geography teacher likes the puzzle but wants to teach students about the relation between landforms and borders.  He has the puzzle design file and an elevation map of the us, but doesn’t know how to turn that into a 3d printed elevation pieces.  He pays a designer to create the 3d printer design files which is sent to the teacher who can print them out with his school’s 3d printer.


  • Classroom Makers
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  • Teachers + Designers = Makers
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  • Designers + Teachers = Makers
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  • creating custom teaching equipment
  • turning teacher’s ideas into reality

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