Many 3-D printing companies have developed substantial resources to help teachers [13], [14] with large collections of free learning aid designs [15], [16]. 3D printers can be powerful tools for education as:[1]

  • Open-source 3D printing provides a cost efficient means of STEM education.
  • These technologies can also empower student-driven engaged learning.

Some benefits of 3D printing educational aids include:

  1. provides teachers with 3D visual aids that they can use in their classroom to illustrate challenging concepts
  2. 3D printers are cool so easier to get student interest as compared to 2D pictures
  3. Can enhance hands-on learning and learning by doing by having students make their own learning aids and all the concomitant skills associated with it (e.g. using OS CAD software)

As we know, distributed 3-D printing can often radically reduce costs and make real scientific equipment available even in schools.[2] This is particularly important for schools in developing regions.[3] In this assignment we will leverage basic science and design to help k-12 teachers make any subject easier to teach with learning aids at a low cost.

Assignment[edit | edit source]

  1. Identify an educational/science aid that you would like to design to be an open source 3D printable technology. You can google "educational toys" and find one that you feel you can design and 3D print. Alternatively, talk with Chrissy McAllister (she needs biology models of cells and plant parts) or me (I need manipulatives for engineering courses) for ideas.....
  2. Make sure someone else has not already done it : Yeggi More than one of you can tackle the same technology in a different way. You may also improve upon existing designs if you do so in a significant way.
  3. Design 3D printable components with ONLY OS CAD packages (e.g. OpenSCAD, FreeCAD, or Blender)
  4. (optional) If you wish to participate in the open source community, you may Publish a picture, stl and source code for your design on and make sure to add it to the correct subject and grade level for In the description on MyMiniFactory explain what your device is trying to teach, include theory, equations, links to Wikipedia etc. - whatever is relevant. Include the approximate cost of your print and then compare it to a commercial offering with their price and a hyperlink if available.
  5. (mandatory, graded) Post a picture, stl file and description of your project on your Appropedia page.
  6. Then add picture, link to your Appropedia page, cost savings if any, hyperlink to commercial equivalent in gallery below following the example.
  7. Print education aid and put in bag with your name on/in it - See due dates on syllabus

Grading[edit | edit source]

  • 20% Print quality
  • 30% Documentation
  • 25% Design (design for printing, plastic minimization)
  • 25% Function - Does it work? (e.g. could it actually help teach someone something)

Automatic reductions:

  • 50% no source or the use of non-OS software
  • 10% per day for late

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Add your image and link the gallery below in a single line after the last one in the list

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Chelsea Schelly, Gerald Anzalone, Bas Wijnen, Joshua M. Pearce, (2015). Open-source 3-D printing Technologies for education: Bringing Additive Manufacturing to the Classroom.Journal of Visual Languages & Computing. 28(2015)226–237. DOI: 10.1016/j.jvlc.2015.01.004 open access
  2. J.M. Pearce, “Commentary: Open-source hardware for research and education”, Physics Today 66(11), 8 (2013); doi: 10.1063/PT.3.2160
  3. J. Gwamuri, Joshua M. Pearce, "Open source 3D printers: an appropriate technology for building low cost optics labs for the developing communities", Proc. SPIE 10452, 14th Conference on Education and Training in Optics and Photonics: ETOP 2017, 104522S (16 August 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2269852; open access
FA info icon.svg Angle down icon.svg Page data
Authors Marie Farson
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Related 0 subpages, 2 pages link here
Impact 599 page views
Created October 5, 2019 by Marie Farson
Modified June 8, 2023 by Felipe Schenone
Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.