Students are often assessed based on a single attempt on a class project. Pass or fail the class moves on to a different topic. By incorporating iterative design into projects, students have a chance to reflect on their own work and make a series of changes and improvements. Iterative design is a key component to Learning by Making and leads to deeper understanding.

The creation of the new Printrbot Learn logo is a great example of iterative design.

The process started by looking at the existing Printrbot logo. One of the key elements of the font used for the word Printrbot is that it is a constant line width. The font looks like it could have been made by a single pass of a laser cutter, CNC router or a 3D printer.

Printrbot logo-wide-black

I mocked up a quick design by choosing a similar style font using free graphic design site

PB Learn Mockup

David Goebel, Creative Strategist for Printrbot, put together a design that incorporated the Printrbot Logo and added a lightbulb graphic. In this case, David was trying to capture the concept of creativity in the design.

Printrbot Logo Design 1

The common use of a lightbulb to represent ideas and creativity also makes it feel a little generic. In addition, I was familiar with an education company that used orange as their company color and another education hardware company that used an orange lightbulb design. Looking at the lightbulb, I thought it resembled an extruder on a 3D printer. I asked David if he could tweak the design and he quickly came back with a new iteration.

Printrbot Learn Logo 2

The new design made the light bulb look more like a 3D printer extruder printing out the logo. Unfortunately, the graphic looked less like a lightbulb and created a asymmetric look to the overall design. I sent David a sketch with the middle part of the extruder removed. He returned the awesome new Printrbot Learn logo.


The Printrbot Learn logo shows the concept of turning an idea into reality with 3D printing.

Printrbot Learn Logo Lightbulb 3D Printed on Metal Simple in 2 colors.

Printrbot Learn Logo Lightbulb 3D Printed on Metal Simple in 2 colors. Note 10% hexagonal infill.

Workflow to 3D print the Printrbot Learn Logo lightbulb

  • David exported the design from Adobe Illustrator as an SVG file. (Inkscape is a free open source design software that can also export svg files.)
  • I imported the lightbulb portion of the design into Tinkercad to create a 3D model.
  • I created a base for the lightbulb.
  • I downloaded the STL for 3D printing.
  • I sliced the file using Slic3r.
  • I printed the file on a Printrbot Metal Simple using Repetier-Host
  • I paused the print when the base was complete and switched filament colors.

Let us know what you think of the Printrbot Learn logo design by sending us a tweet @PrintrbotLearn. We’ll arbitrarily pick someone to receive a Printrbot Learn sticker.