The 3D printing process

Beginners Lesson 2 – The 3D Printing Process

In this lesson ‘the 3D printing process’ students will learn the key concepts of how 3D printers work based upon X, Y and Z coordinates. They will also learn about the key components of getting a design from a computer to a 3D printer and key terminology such as ‘computer aided design’ and ‘computer aided manufacture’

Recommended age range 11 – 13

Lesson resources include;

  • Lesson plan
  • Lesson powerpoint
  • Lesson task with answer sheet
  • Homework task with answer sheet
  • Examples STL files to print

What teachers say….

“The easy to follow lessons allow pupils to develop their understanding of 3D Printing and experience the science behind it and the application.” Paul Bowyer, Head of Technology, Sandbach Boys School

“I have used the lesson plans and resources in lesson observations with fantastic results” John Donnelly, Leader of Design and Technology, St James C of E school

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The 3D printing Process

Lesson 2 follows on from ‘an introduction to 3D printing’ and is part of the beginners course in 3D printing. In this lesson students will learn the process behind how 3D printers work, how the machines move in X,Y and Z directions based upon co-ordinates that are created from 3D models. This acts as a great link to Maths concepts. Your classes will also learn the difference between 2D and 3D shapes along with a basic overview of how models are prepared for 3D Printing e.g. design and export the file, slice the file and send to the 3D printer. Your students will also learn the difference between CAD and CAM and also the different ways of transferring files from a computer to a 3D Printer. As part of the lesson tasks there are exercises teaching your students how to draw 3D objects so they can understand how creating models for 3D printing involves visualising in 3D.

This lesson is a perfect follow on to the tinkerCAD modelling task in the previous free lesson and encourage students to think about the process involved with designing for 3D printing. We offer two options for teachers and schools, either buy a copy of the files to download, this will give you complete editing control over the files, or subscribe to access. Subscribing allows you to teach the curriculum from our teacher portal and download worksheets and STL files and gives you the latest updates to the curriculum.

The lesson task and homework task are designed to be self assessed or peer assessed. Answer sheets are clear and easy to understand allowing students to deepen their learning by engaging in assessment for learning. This also free’s up your time as a teacher. It is recommended that you base the lesson around the 3D printer and also relate the content back to the previous CAD modelling tutorial as they key images in the lesson powerpoints are based on TinkerCAD.