Cura back to school

Back to school round-up

Summer is over and school is starting again! Here are a collection of resources to inspire your students with 3D printing in the classroom. In this special back to school round-up:

  • Get tips on how to introduce digital fabrication technology in your lessons.
  • Learn how you can easily implement 3D design and 3D printing in your classroom with our teacher-tested lesson plans.
  • Get our top picks for useful tools that you can print for your own classroom to make lessons more effective.
  • Find useful videos that show you how to use your 3D printer.
  • Get the chance to win an Ultimaker 3D printer for your school.

Tips for teachers

At Ultimaker, we are committed to making 3D in the classroom as accessible as possible, and our classroom resources aim to make classroom 3D printing as easy as possible for educators.

Classroom management. Tips on how to organize your 3D printing tools in a classroom.

Prints for the classroom. Ideal objects to print for your classroom.

Lesson starters. Good ways to lead in to 3D printing lessons.

Introductions to 3D printing

Suitable for elementary and middle school students alike, give your students an easy introduction to 3D printing that will impress and inspire. Small, simple objects will have a short printing time, so everyone in the class will get their turn to create their very own 3D objects. If necessary, you can spread lessons into sub-projects over several lessons. Spend one lesson designing, another slicing, and another printing.

Design and print your own key chain

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Ideal for:  Beginners (3rd grade +)

Lesson outcomes:

  • Basic 2D and 3D design skills
  • Learn to create extruded design features
  • Practical introduction to digital fabrication

Students design and 3D print a school mascot key chain. This lesson plan uses Rhino with a pre-made vector image, but it is easily adaptable to use online CAD tools such as Tinkercad. This lesson is contributed by our pioneer Marilyn Proctor-Givens. View the lesson plan here.

3D printed bag tags

Bag tag

  • Duration: 1 hour
  • Ideal for:  Beginners (3rd grade +)

Lesson outcomes:

  • Basic 2D and 3D design skills
  • Learn to create extruded design features
  • Practical introduction to digital fabrication
  • Using 3D printing to make practical objects

In this lesson, students design and print their own bag tags. They can create different shapes, and add their names to the design so everyone knows who’s bag belongs to who. Demonstrate the potential of 3D printing to make practical objects, while educating students at the same time. This lesson is contributed by our pioneers Sarah Rolle and Rurik Nackerud. View the lesson plan here.

3D printing for STEAM education

STEM education (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) is more important than ever today, and a 3D printer is a powerful tool to aid STEAM-based lessons.

Reverse engineering with Lego

  • Duration: 2 to 3 weeks
  • Ideal for: Engineering students

Lesson outcomes:

  • Introduce the value reverse engineering
  • Learn design skills, such as measuring vital features and designing parts to fit

Reverse engineering Lego

In this lesson, create Lego-compatible shapes and introduce the concept of reverse engineering to create custom-fit objects. This lesson is contributed by our pioneer Brian Yarborough. View the lesson plan here.

Designing collaborative parts

  • Duration: 1 to 2 weeks
  • Ideal for: Engineering students

Lesson outcomes:

  • Learn basic engineering design principles

With this lesson plans, students can learn about designing to fit, tolerances, and other engineering and physics concepts. This lesson is contributed by our pioneer Adam Schaeffer. View the lesson plan here.

Make your own fidget spinner

  • Duration: 1 to 2 hours
  • Ideal for: Technology students (8th grade +)

Lesson outcomes:

  • CAD design skills
  • Basic mechanical principles and components such as bearings
  • Physics principles such as centre of gravity, momentum, etc.

Be the coolest teacher in the playground by teaching students how to design and make their own fidget spinners. This lesson is contributed by our pioneer Tim Cooper. View the lesson plan here.

3D printed pattern stamps

  • Duration: 1 to 2 hours
  • Ideal for: Middle school to 8th grade

Lesson outcomes:

  • Learn about historical printing methods
  • Learn about repeating patterns

3D printed stamps

Design and print pattern stamps that can be used to decorate clay boxes. This lesson is contributed by our pioneer Young Kim. View the lesson plan here.

Block printing and mold making

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Ideal for: 3rd grade +

Lesson outcomes:

  • 2D and 3D design skills
  • Learn about early block printing methods

Start with a 2D drawing, turn it into a mold, then cast copies. A fun and interesting craft project! This lesson is contributed by our pioneer Lizabeth Arum. View the lesson plan here.

Create an interactive night light

  • Duration: 1 week
  • Ideal for: Middle school

Lesson outcomes:

  • 3D design skills
  • Electronics design

Students design, build and program a 3D printed computer programmable night light. This lesson is contributed by our pioneer David Held. View the lesson plan here.

3D printed puzzles

Set a design challenge for students to improve their logic and design skills.

3D print a puzzle

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Ideal for: Intermediate designers and high school students

Lesson outcomes:

  • CAD design skills - accuracy, tolerances, etc.
  • Logical thinking skills

3D printed puzzle

When all the puzzles are made, you can get your students to swap them around and see if they can complete each other's. Adapt this lesson plan to make simple puzzles for younger students. This lesson is contributed by Brian Wetzel. View the lesson plan here.

Design a penny trap

  • Duration: 3 to 4 hours
  • Ideal for: High school students

Lesson outcomes:

  • Learn basic design skills
  • Develop logic skills
  • Learn programming principles to create geometric shapes

Design a puzzle that will only cost you a few pennies. This lesson can be extended to use several CAD tools which makes it suitable for middle school and higher education.

Extend the project to use OpenSCAD, a free and open source code-based design tool.

Using this software is an excellent way to teach programming principles to express geometric shapes. These lessons are contributed by our pioneer mathgrrl.

Design with Tinkercad

Design with OpenSCAD

Quadratic surfaces with Maple

  • Duration: 1 week
  • Ideal for: High school students

Lesson outcomes:

  • Mathematical principles
  • Algorithms
  • Design
  • Geometry

This project introduces students to the modeling component of 3D printing using the mathematics software program, Maple, to plot several quadric surfaces in both implicit form and parameterized form.  Students will learn how to export their Maple code as an STL file which can be uploaded to Cura to create a 3D print. This lesson is contributed by our pioneer Kristen Schreck. View the lesson plan here.

3D printable tools for teachers

Get the most out of your 3D printer with our picks of practical 3D printable tools for around the classroom.

DIY erase marker caddy. Keep your board markers tidy with this handy 3D printable caddy.

Balance scales. Printable scales, Ideal for science and maths lessons.

Stationery. Students forgetting their stationery? There’s no excuse now - you can print them new ones on the spot!

Science demonstration models. Create teaching concept models for engineering students, such as differentials. Clearly demonstrate concepts for the best educational potential.

Biological demonstration models. Clearly demonstrate biological concepts with engaging models for the best educational potential.

Engineering demonstration models. Teach engineering principles such as gear ratios.

Construction kits. Construction kits for kids to demonstrate concepts.

Bookmarks. Handy 3D printable bookmarks for libraries.

Single pulse motor. Create a working pulse motor to clearly demonstrate concepts. Ideal for physics lessons.

Stave drawing tool. Ideal for music lessons - easily draw a stave on a whiteboard using this handy tool.

3D printing video resources

Use these videos to demonstrate the workflow of 3D printing, or justify the purchase of a 3D printer for your school or college.

How 3D printing works. This video shows the workflow of 3D printing from idea to physical object.

Cura 2.7 quick start guide. Cura is the most powerful slicing software available. Best of all, it’s free! Learn how to slice a 3D model using our quick start guide.

Pioneer announcements

Ultimaker education challenge

Calling all educators! There's still time to enter our contest that gives you the chance to win a 3D printer for your school!

The new Ultimaker education challenge is your chance to develop a lesson plan that incorporates 3D printing for enhanced learning and win a 3D printer for your school.

In addition, the winners will be invited to join Ultimaker’s Pioneer Program, and the winning projects will be uploaded to our Education platform to inspire and support other teachers around the world.

Pioneer students

Read more about the challenge here.

Deadline - September 15th 2017!

Please note: this competition is for the following countries only: Australia, India, New Zealand, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan.

Introducing the Ultimaker design engine starter pack

The Ultimaker Design Engine Starter Pack is a game created to provoke, inspire, and entertain students, educators, 3D designers, artists, and engineers of all experience levels! Developed by The Ultimaker North America Community Team, put the power of design back in your hands.

Ultimaker design engine starter pack

In collaboration with our North American reseller partners, Ultimaker will offer a free Ultimaker Design Engine Starter Pack for every new machine ordered from September 1st to December 31st, 2017.

Read more about the Ultimaker design engine starter pack here.

Please note: This offer is exclusive to customers of our North American resellers. Available while stocks last.

If you try any of these lesson plans or if you have any comments or feedback on the plans presented, please let us know on our forum!

Find out more about our Ultimaker pioneer program:

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