image of 3D printer with materials and a laptop next to it

Beginners Lesson 6 – Basic materials and slicing

Age range recommended 11 – 13

In this lesson your classes will be taught about the main materials that are used in 3D Printing and the advantages and disadvantages of these materials. Students will also learn about ‘Bio-plastics’ and why they are used in certain types of 3D Printing materials. The lesson content also includes facts on melting points of different types of materials and sustainability issues with Bio – Plastics.

Students will also learn how to slice a model for 3D Printing using CURA slicing software and the basic settings needed for a successful 3D Print.

Resources include;

  • Lesson plan
  • Lesson powerpoint
  • Lesson task with answer sheet.

What people say….

“Learnbylayers is the only educational content that links directly to  curriculum Key Stages and walks the member of staff and the student through designing from beginner to advanced with lesson plans, presentations and example STL files as well as design advice.” Kevin Askew, GoPrint3D, supplier of 3D printers to schools.

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Ever thought about the wider impact of 3D Printing beyond the machine and designing? Topics such as what type of materials 3D printer use is covered in the lesson.  Students will learn the difference between ABS and PLA and  basics of how material use effects the environment when 3D printing. Also there is a brief over view of the potential benefits and pitfalls of using Bio-plastics in 3D Printing.

In this lesson your classes will also use CURA to ‘slice’ the models they completed in the design challenge (lesson 5). This will create the gcode that can be sent to a 3D Printer to enable the printing of the design. Cura is an open source slicing package that allows for easy model preparation and is widely used by over 2 million 3D printing enthusiasts.

It’s extremely easy to use and can be added to school networks. In the lesson content there is step by step instructions, with images of how to prepare and slice the model for 3D printing. Topics covered include importing the STL file into CURA, deciding on layer thickness of the model and how much infill (density) you want to print the design at and then finally how to send the sliced design to the 3D printer.

As with the other lessons, all resources are fully editable to the needs of the students. This is the last lesson before the end of module assessment (lesson 7).