3D Printing

Virtual Lab Tour

Our very own Lauren Fridman explains how 3D printing is used in the STEAM 3D Makerlab.

An Introduction to 3D Printing

What is 3D Printing?

Additive Manufacturing –> The term to describe technologies that build 3D objects by adding layer-upon-layer of material. This could be plastic, metal, concrete or prospectively human tissue (Additive Manufacturing, 2016). This allows products to be 3D printed for minimal costs and time as compared to more traditional methods.

Curriculum Connections

Primary (Grade 1 – 3)

Grade 1

–> Understanding Structures and Mechanisms: Materials, Objects, and Everyday Structures

– 3.2 – Describe structures as supporting frameworks.

– 3.5 – Identify the materials that make up objects and structures.

– 3.7 – Describe the properties of materials that enable the objects and structures made from them to perform their intended function.

–> Understanding Earth and Space Systems: Daily and Seasonal Changes

Grade 2

–> Understanding Life Systems: Growth and Changes in Animals

– 3.1 – Identify and describe major physical characteristics of different types of animals.

–> Understanding Structures and Mechanisms: Movement

– 3.4 – Describe how each type of simple machine allows humans to move objects with less force than otherwise would be needed

– 3.5 – Identify simple machines used in devices that move people.

Grade 3 

–> Understanding Life Systems: Growth and Changes in Plants

– 2.2 – Observe and compare the parts of a variety of plants.

–> Understanding Structures and Mechanisms: Strong and Stable Structures

– 3.3 – Identify the strength of a structure as its ability to support a load.

– 3.4 – Identify the stability of a structure as its ability to maintain balance and stay fixed in one spot.

Junior (Grade 4 – 6)

Grade 4

–> Understanding Structures and Mechanisms: Pulleys and Gears

– 3.1 – Describe the purposes of pulley systems and gear systems.

–> Understanding Matter and Energy: Light and Sound

– 1.2 – Assess the impacts on society and the environment of light and/or sound energy produced by different technologies, taking different perspectives into account.

–>Understanding Earth and Space Systems: Rocks and Minerals

– 3.4 – Describe the characteristics of the three classes of rocks.

Grade 6 

–> Understanding Life Systems: Biodiversity

– 3.2 – Demonstrate an understanding of biodiversity as the variety of life on earth, including variety within each species of plant and animal, among species of plants and animals in communities, and among communities and the physical landscapes that support them.

 –> Understanding Structures and Mechanisms: Flight

– 3.1 – Identify the properties of air that make flight possible.

– 3.2 – Identify common applications of the properties of air, such as its compressibility and insulating qualities.

–> Understanding Earth and Space Systems: Space

– 3.4 – Identify the technological tools and devices needed for space exploration.

Intermediate (Grade 7 – 8)

Grade 7

–> Understanding Life Systems: Interactions in the Environment

– 1.1 – Assess the impact of selected technologies on the environment.

– 3.8 – Describe ways in which human activities and technologies alter balances and interactions in the environment.

–> Understanding Structures and Mechanisms: Form and Function

– 2.2 – Design, construct, and use physical models to investigate the effects of various forces on structures.

– 2.3 – Investigate the factors that determine the ability of a structure to support a load.

Grade 8

–> Understanding Life Systems: Cells

– 3.3 – Compare the structure and function of plant and animal cells.


Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 10.30.14 PM

Tinkercad is a free online computer aided design (CAD) software. It allows users to use simple drag and drop technology to create a 3D print file (.stl) which can then be printed on most 3D printers on the market. Tinkercad can be utilized for any curricular subject, the only limit is the creativity of the user.


Additive Manufacturing. (2016). AM basics. Retrieved from: http://additivemanufacturing.com/basics/ 

Kostakis, V., Niaros, V., & Giotitsas, C. (2015;2014;). Open source 3D printing as a means of learning: An educational experiment in two high schools in greece. Telematics and Informatics, 32(1), 118-128. doi:10.1016/j.tele.2014.05.001

People’s Daily (2015), “China taps 3D printing consumer market”, available at: ht tp://en.people.cn/n/2015/0908/c202936-894 7367.html (9 September 2015).

http://morphosource.org/index.php/Browse/Index – MorphoSource also includes other lesson plans that have been created using the library’s 3D printer based on a collaboration of students, educators and scientists working with a collection of fossils and bones

Information for this page provided by Laura Dobos & Brendan Oldman