Class Tech Tips: Seven 3D Printing Lessons for Teachers

Class Tech Tips: Seven 3D Printing Lessons for Teachers

This year I’ve had the chance to try out a Makerbot 3D printer. I’ve shared some of my thoughts on the potential for 3D printing in education (read the post here) and even how you can print your very own virtual reality headset with a 3D printer (read that post here). Teachers and students are using 3D printers in lots of different ways. If you’re looking for inspiration Thingiverse is full of fantastic resources for educators including 3D printing lessons for a range of classrooms.

The team at Thingiverse Education recently shared some of their spotlight lesson plans for 3D printing. They’ve created a community where educators can create and share 3D printing lesson plans with other teachers. Their goal was to design a space where 3D printing lessons could move beyond the wall of one teacher’s classroom and into learning environments around the world. In the list below you’ll find seven lesson plans for 3D printing including design thinking lessons, math exploration, and humanities connections.

3D Printing Lessons for Teachers

Archimedes Screw
In this lesson, students move different materials up an incline using an Archimedes screw they have 3D printed. Although this project was designed with high school physics students in mind, teachers working with younger students can use elements of the lesson.

Catapult Launch Angles
This lesson was designed to help students respond to questions like, How does gravity affect the projectile? and How does friction affect the projectile? as they build a catapult.

Minecraft Castle
With this lesson, students explore perimeter and area. They will design castles in Minecraft and 3D print their creations.

In this project students design tessellations and print them out using their Makerbot 3D printer. They will create a set of puzzle pieces as they explore this math concept.

Recreating Artifacts from History
I love how this lesson connects history concepts to innovative science ideas. In this lesson students research, design and print icons from history.

Egyptian Heiroglyphics – Making a Cartouche
This lesson helps students learn about hieroglyphics by creating a Cartouche. It even includes a tip for 3D printing in different colors so your students’ Cartouches can be two-tone.

Roman Coin Replica
Designed with upper elementary school students in mind, this fifth grade 3D printing lesson integrates Google Drawing and Tinkercad.

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I want to hear from you! Share your 3D printing stories in the comments below.

The team at MakerBot sent me this printer to try out and blog about :) Learn more

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Monica Burns is a fifth grade teacher in a 1:1 iPad classroom. Visit her website at for creative education technology tips and technology lesson plans aligned to the Common Core Standards.