Algorithm Art Workshop

3D printing in art

After learning how 3D printing is used for art and sculpture, students design, code and 3D print mathematical mandalas, then construct a 3D printed mobile sculpture.

This cross-curricular workshop combines Computing, Art, Design Technology and Maths at KS2 and KS3 and is suitable for students in Year 5 to Year 7. At the end of the workshop, each student will have a mathematical mandala 3D printed from their own design.

2d to 3d design, design, 3d design, design, 3d print

This workshop:

  • Runs for half a day*
  • With a maximum of 30 students
  • 2½ – 3hrs to work around individual school day timings

This workshop provides:

  • A complete project around a mobile sculpture topic.
  • Resources fully mapped to the relevant curriculum areas.
  • A copy of all the workshop resources, enabling you to run the workshop with other groups of students in the future.
  • A 3D print of each student’s mandala design.

During the workshop’s students will:

  • Learn how 3D printers work.
  • Discover some of the applications of 3D printing.
  • Design and create their own 3D model.

From £300 for a half day workshop (dependent upon location of school).

3D printed coaster
3D printed coaster

In this workshop students will:

  • Learn how 3D printers work and how they can produce 3D object.
  • Understand the 3-stage 3D printing process (model-slice-print).
  • Use blocks programming software (Beetleblocks) to write simple programmes contain repeat loops to create mathematical shapes.
  • Program a mathematic mandala design.
  • See how a 3D model file is prepared for 3D printing using slicing software.
  • Assemble their 3D printed mandalas into a collaborative mobile sculpture (post workshop).
  • Complete a workshop evaluation.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Mandala code including examples of sequence and repetition.
  • Mandala code demonstrating knowledge of angular rotation and calculation of position and angles within different shapes.
  • A 3D printed mandala.
  • A 3D mobile sculpture produced as a group containing examples of each student’s work.
  • Project evaluation.

Key concepts and terminology:

  • Additive manufacturing
  • 3D modelling
  • Slicing
  • 3D printing
  • CAD (computer aided design)
  • CAM (computer aided manufacturing)
  • Algorithms
  • Sequence
  • Repetition
  • Loops
  • Machine Code

KS2 Computing POS

  • To apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies.
  • To design, write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, including controlling physical systems.
  • To use sequence and repetition in programs.
  • To work with various forms of output.
  • To use logical reasoning to explain how some simple algorithms work and to detect and correct errors in algorithms and programs.
  • To use and combine a variety of software on a range of digital devices to design and create a range of programs and content.


  • To develop their techniques, including their control and their use of materials, with creativity, experimentation and an increasing awareness of different kinds of art, craft and design.
  • To improve their mastery of art and design techniques, including sculpture with a range of materials.

KS2 Yr5 Maths POS

  • To multiply and divide numbers mentally drawing upon known facts.
  • To solve problems involving multiplication and division.
  • To know angles are measured in degrees.
  • To identify angles at a point and one whole turn (total 360°)
  • To identify angles at a point on a straight line and ½ a turn (total 180°)

KS2 Design Technology POS

  • To develop the creative, technical and practical expertise needed to perform everyday tasks confidently and to participate successfully in an increasingly technological world.
  • To build and apply a repertoire of knowledge, understanding and skills in order to design and make high-quality prototypes and products for a wide range of users.
  • To generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through computer-aided design.
  • To use a wider range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks [for example, shaping], accurately.
  • To evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work.
  • To apply their understanding of computing to program their products.

KS2 Yr6 Maths POS

  • To draw 2-D shapes using given dimensions and angles.
  • To recognise angles where they meet at a point or are on a straight line.


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