This lesson provides a great activity for introducing students to 3D printing, it’s applications and benefits to society. In this lesson students are set a design challenge to design what they would make if they had a 3D printer.

Learning Objectives

  • To understand some of the applications and benefits of 3D printing to society.
  • To design a 3D printable item that will benefit an end user or society in general.

The lesson resources include a lesson plan, a student design ideas worksheet and a lesson presentation with teacher guidance notes.

This activity was delivered to 120 Year 5 pupils at a STEM event organised by the Create Education Project. Visit our blog to find out how they got on and to see our favourite designs.

In The Classroom

Many students when faced with designing something to 3D print immediately come up with ideas for toys, characters and throwaway items such as key rings. This lesson is designed to introduce the wider benefits of 3D technology in society. Throughout the activity, students should be encouraged to think about how the technology can solve real problems faced by individuals, society in general or specific groups of people for example the physically impaired or elderly. Encourage students to have a specific problem in mind, perhaps something they themselves or someone they know encounters on a day to day basic.

This activity will produce a wide variety of design ideas from the students. Perhaps to follow on from this activity, a few of the ideas can be selected and students can work in pairs or small groups to research and develop an idea further to produce a product prototype.

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