An Imaginative Surface using Concepts from Multivariable Calculus

Contributed by
Kristen R. Schreck

Subject: Multivariable Calculus
Download a PDF of this lesson.
Duration: one week


Student work

In this project, students will:
  • Use Tinkercad, Fusion 360, 123D Design, Google SketchUp, or similar 3D modeling programs to design an imaginative surface that illustrates the concepts studied throughout the course.

  • Become familiar with 123D Catch to learn how a 3D scanning app works.

  • Use a 3D modeling and design program to create a surface with dimensions between 100mm – 150mm for length, height, and/or width.  When considering an object to model, students should identify a concept studied in Multivariable Calculus and think outside the box when designing the surface.

  • Learn how to use 123D Catch, a 3D scanning app.  Choose a suitable object that meets the specifications of the program for scanning and use the app to generate a 3D scan of the object.  A URL of your scan will be generated by the app.

Final Product:
  • Presentation of your surface and results of your 3D scan to the class.Explain how the design of your surface relates to Multivariable Calculus - include helpful modeling and printing tips. Provide a discussion of your experience with 3D scanning and show the output.

  • The file/URL of the sketch from the 3D design program used to create the surface, the STL file for the surface, and the URL for the 123D Catch image that was scanned.  Photos of your surface, before and after supports were removed (if applicable). All files/URLs should be uploaded to our course management website.

    Student examples of scanned items:

  • Your 3D printed surface with dimensions between 100mm – 150mm, for length, width, and/or height.  Note:  Thoroughly check your surface in Cura for viable printing and modify the settings where necessary before saving.

  • If you successfully print your surfaces and provide clear instructions, the instructor will be post your work on YouMagine.    

Grading Criteria:

CriteriaInstructor Comments Based on CriteriaPoints Earned
Presentation of surface and 3D scan
Files and URLs uploaded to course management system for surface and scanned object
Successfully printed 3D surface