Collaborative Parts/Components

Contributed by
Adam Schaeffer

Age group: 6th grade and up
Duration: 1 hour

Objective: Students will be able to express a basic understanding of additive manufacturing and 3D model design.

Warm up: (10 minutes) Have students create TinkerCAD accounts on computers. Make sure to use OpenGL compatible browser (Chrome, Firefox)! A brief overview of Additive Manufacturing:

“Additive Manufacturing: Additive manufacturing is the official industry standard term (ASTM F2792) for all applications of the technology. It is defined as the process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing methodologies.”

When students have finished creating TinkerCAD accounts instruct them to each complete the TinkerCAD tutorial (5 minutes)

Main Activity, Part 1 (30 minutes) Divide the students into teams as best allowed by the size of the class. Each team will design a part of a larger model robot. For example, if the class has been divided into four teams, team one will create the head and neck, team two will create the arms and hands, team three will create the legs and feet, team four will create the chest. Student designs are only limited by one criterion, the part must have a function. For example, if team three decides to create tank treads instead of legs and feet, that is fine but they must have a function in the overall design.

When all student groups have finished, they will each take turns showing their completed part, explaining the design choices.

Main activity, Part 2: (15 minutes) Instructor will ask students to share their component files. The instructor will take all parts and upload them to a blank TinkerCAD document. The instructor will then put the parts together (students should be able to see and comment on the process). The instructor will download assembled model robot file and open it in Cura. The instructor will then very quickly explain the different settings they select for the print. The instructor will start the model on the printer.

WrapUp/Reflection: Informally quiz students about the additive manufacturing process while they are watching their model start to printing. Ask students to imagine different applications or uses for additive manufacturing.

Computers with internet, enough for 1:1
Projector (helpful, not required if classroom is small enough)
TinkerCAD accounts for each student
3D Printer and filament
Cura slicer software

Helpful Links:
Wiki for 3D Printing
Ultimaker Cura