In our recent Tech Tuesday event, we welcomed Mike Smutok, Engineering and Technology Instructor at Uxbridge High School. He walked us through his classroom to show us 3D printing STEM projects and designs his 9th through 12th graders have worked on using their Stratasys F170, MakerBot Replicator+ and MakerBot SKETCH 3D printers.
Here are 6 3D printing STEM project ideas that he shared with the group:
1. Remote learning activities with Thingaverse designs - When you have students who are new to CAD or they're virtually learning, browse and search the Thingaverse site. Download files that students can make small edits to and send to the printer, like a VEX robotics battery charging holder.
2. Real-world projects - Give your students real-life projects the school will use. Find out if school staff members need materials for their office, like a name plate, and challenge students to design one. 3D print the name plate holder and add an acrylic laser engraved nameplate.
3. Build robot jigs and fixtures - Whether you have a DOBOT or Universal Robots collaborative robot, you'll need accessories for the robot to interact with. Design items for pick and place routines.
4. 3D printing classroom challenges - Have fun in the classroom by creating project-based challenges for students. At Uxbridge High School, more advanced engineering students are focused on programming robots. Their instructor incorporates a 3D printing challenge. Students program robots to sort marbles and they are tasked with 3D printing at least one part of their marble sorting design.
5. Team projects - Include 21st-century skills in your projects by grouping students to work collaboratively to create an autonomous factory system. Challenge them to incorporate robotics programming, sensors, pneumatics, and 3D printing.
6. Art projects - 3D printing isn't just for engineering. Art teachers can use 3D printers for projects. If students are also taking engineering, they will have experience designing and can make mini chairs, tables, and plants for dioramas!
We love seeing all of the innovative ways students experience 3D printing and design. Thank you to the Uxbridge High School team for your participation!