Butter-making artifacts: An exploration of nineteenth and early twentieth-century agricultural tools

Butter-making artifacts: An exploration of nineteenth and early twentieth-century agricultural tools

Butter making artifacts: An exploration of 19th and early 20th century agricultural tools

With downloadable 3D files and activity sheets, students explore how butter was made, shaped and marked in the 19th and early 20th century. Emphasis is placed on making your own butter and creating your own butter stamp.

The 3D printing files can be downloaded individually. Activities and 3D print files for the module can be reproduced as necessary for your classroom.


3D Printing Files

Download and print your very own butter mould and butter churn! These .stl files can be reproduced as needed for your classroom, and can be used in the activities below.

Download butter churn STL files

Download butter stamp STL files

Activity 1: Make your own butter

Have you and your students ever wanted to make butter like they did in the past? In this activity you all will have the opportunity to use a 3D printed butter churn to do just that!


Activity 2: Making a mark on butter

Your students will learn about how a butter mould was used to shape and mark butter in the 19th and 20th century. They'll then have a chance to create their own butter stamp!


Download Editable butter stamp STL file

Download Editable butter stamp SKP file

Want help in designing your own butter stamp? Here's a short video that will help.

Welcome to this guide on how to use Sketchup Make to add a name to the bottom of a butter stamp.

The first thing that you’ll see when you launch Sketchup Make is this welcome page. 

To start the program itself click on the “Start Using Sketchup” Button. The welcome page will close, and Sketchup Make will launch after a few moments.

Once the program has launched, click on the “File” menu in the top left corner of the screen. Then select “Open” and find the Editable butter stamp dot smk file. 

For ease of access we’ve left ours on the desktop.

Now that you’ve opened the butter stamp file, click on the “view” menu and select “Toolbars”.

Make sure that the large tool set option is checked and deactivate any other options. For example, if you’ve just installed the program, the “Getting Started” toolbar is likely checked.

Next, rotate the camera so that you are looking at the bottom of the butter stamp.

To rotate the butter stamp, click on the orbit button, then click and hold on the model you want to rotate and move your mouse back and forth.

Click on the “3D Text” button and move your cursor to the bottom of the butter stamp. A new window should appear.

Type your name into the box, set the height to thirty millimeters, and make sure the filled and extruded are checked in the form row.
Set the extruded value to 5 millimeters.

Press place. You can now move the text to where you want it. A good place would be the bottom left hand corner of the stamp.
To place it, just click the left mouse button. But, before you do, make sure that it says “on face” near your cursor.
This text will appear once you stop moving your mouse.

Don’t worry if the text is not oriented the way you want it, or if it’s too big. We’ll address that in a moment.
If the text is not facing the right direction for you, click on the “rotate” button. 

A protractor like image will appear once your text is in the drawing area.

Move the protractor over the text to the point you want to move the text around. You might see the protractor tool flip between being parallel to the top and side surfaces of the text while you move. This is defining the plane of rotation.

Make sure that the protractor is parallel to the top surface of the text and choose your rotation point.

Once you have chosen your rotation point, click the left mouse button. Your text should now be outlined in blue.

Now you will need to determine the length of the rotation arm. Move your mouse back and forth to vary the length.

A longer rotation arm means that you can rotate over smaller angles, though this is not important for this activity.

Once you have selected your arm length, click on the left mouse button again. You can now rotate your text. 

Move the mouse back and forth until you have found a satisfactory rotation, then click the left mouse button.
Don’t worry if your text is not over the stamp yet.

If you need to move your text, click on the move tool, then click on your name.

The text should now be outlined in blue, and you should be able to move the text anywhere you wish.

Once you have the text where you want it, click the left mouse button to place the text.

If you need to resize your text, click on the scale tool, then click on your name. The text should now be outlined in yellow with green boxes surrounding it.

Click and hold on one of the boxes, then move your mouse back and forth to resize your name. We recommend that you use the square found in one of the corners.

When you’re done, release the button.

Finally, right click on your text, then select “Flip along”. This will bring up another menu.

What you choose next depends on the orientation of your name. You want to flip your name along the axis running vertical to the text. 
In this case, that is the red axis, so we want to select “Component’s Red”.

Your personalized butter stamp is done. Print it off, then use it in the butter mold.


The artifacts collected, preserved, and displayed by Ingenium showcase Canada's rich history of innovation in science and technology. Each artifact tells a story of innovation and illustrates how science and technology have contributed to the transformation of Canada. Learn more about this artifact with this "ArtiFactsheet".

Download butter churn PDF

Download butter stamp PDF

Program Details

Program Location
At Your School