Blender is open-source 3D creation software that is free to download. It can be used used for a variety of 3D applications and is often used for 3D animation and special effects, however it can also be used for creating models for 3D printing. One of the benefits of Blender is that it allows models to be sculpted making it easier to create more organic forms than traditional CAD software.
Blender is advanced professional 3D software with lots of features and functionality, so it is more suitable for use at secondary level and beyond. One of the benefits of Blender is that it has a customisable interface, so we recommend the interface is customised just to include the features students require for creating 3D models. Simplifying the interface in this way will make it more accessible to students, particularly new or inexperienced users.
There are a number of online resources available to help teachers and students to learn Blender. Many of these are in the form of video tutorials that students can follow at their own pace.
You can follow a step-by-step getting started tutorial that has been shared with the CREATE Education Community, this speciically shows how to customise the interface to make it simpler for students.
The Blender website contains a wide range of Blender video tutorials these are available for beginners and beyond and cover the full range of Blender functionality.
There is also a complete video tutorial course, specifically for using Blender for 3D Printing that you and/or the students can follow to learn how to use the software and processes for producing 3D models for printing.
Finally the Blender manual also makes a good source of reference to look up any specific features.