Valentine heart project

Contributed by
Steven Seffinger

This is used as a first project to introduce my third grade students to 3D design and printing.

Level: Beginner




Using graph paper, teach the x-y coordinate system. This is 2 dimensional and to make it 3 dimensional you'll add z coordinates.

Following a discussion on X,Y,Z coordinates, so students understand the concept of 3D design, proceed to get students logged into a Tinkercad account.

The basic work flow is: Tinkered → Cura → Printer



On Tinkercad, have students sign in using their email addresses (we provide them at school with gmail accounts for use with google classroom).

Once students are logged into a Tinkered account instruct students to explore the provided shapes and drag the heart shape into the workspace.

Using a Smartboard with Tinkercad displayed, show students how to size the heart shape. I used 50 x 50 as my preferred size and I try to get students to be accurate. They work on Chromebooks.

Then I demonstrate how to size the z scale to 3.0.

Next, instruct students to grab and drag a text box onto the workplane on place on top of the heart. By grabbing the corner the students can size the box to fit within the heart design. Students then write a word - I use ‘mom’ or ‘dad’ or  ‘love’ or ‘peace’ in a font size that fits into the text box.

Next, have students select the heart and group their text with the heart.


working on chrome books

Students save their project to a flash drive being sure to include their name.

Some students naturally experimented and found ways to create negative space or other design techniques offered in the program. I would call attention to these kids so they could share with the class.

Put your students; projects into CURA slice and export your GCode onto an SD card and transfer to the Ultimaker 2+ printer.

With 21 projects I printed 7-10 at a time using pink PLA since it was Valentine’s day.

When finished I attached a small strip of a magnet to the backs of the hearts so that they could be put on refrigerators at home.

This project took about 3-4 hours of class time spread out over a week or two. I tried to start printing at the end of the day so they could see the printer in action before going home. As we did more projects I was able to print in class without causing a major disturbance.