The advances in 3D printing technology have an enormous potential to impact how designers learn and develop practical knowledge during the design process. The purpose of this research study was to investigate the potential of 3D printing as a tool for meaningful making. Through investigation of handmade objects and their qualities, this study set out to determine how designers can invent 3D printed objects that make sense to stand alongside handmade objects. Data for the study was obtained using both ethnographic and design research methods, including: an observation, experimental studies and a survey. Results showed that 3D printing has a potential not only to develop meaningful outcomes, but also to drive design processes that make sense to designers. Through engagement and understanding of 3D printing machine, designers can develop not only practical knowledge, but also an understanding of the meaning of their making.