The life of a teacher can be a busy one, so finding the time to create a new 3D printing lesson can feel almost impossible when you’re in a rush. Whether you’re a newcomer to classroom 3D printing or just strapped for time, there are over a hundred free lessons on Thingiverse Education.


The lessons are fun, fast and easy to complete, they include a full lesson plan that’s approved for a variety of learning standards. These free lessons make teaching with a 3D printer easier and more effective for a variety of levels and subjects. It also provides a community where educators can exchange best practices or remix projects.


On Thingiverse Education you an search by Subject, Age and Collection. The collections include ‘Quick Projects’, which are fun STEAM (science, technology, engineering art and mathematics) projects. These projects teach students real world skills and many of the projects also have a grading rubric, reflection questions and requirement sheets. See below some examples of a few of the ‘Quick Projects’ available.



Speedy Architect Project



With this ‘Quick Project’ you will be able to challenge your students to design their own buildings, in this lesson your students will create buildings that meet critical design requirements. Students will connect 3D printed connectors to drinking straws to create final structures and they’ll team up to build the tallest building they can with a limited amount of materials and time. This project will ensure students are given the opportunity to become familiar with being creative under professional design constraints.


The project only takes 1 or 2 lessons for students to plan their designs, create models on TinkerCAD and 3D print their final structures. This lesson is a fun preview of more advanced science, engineering and technology concepts.


A Fox, a Goose and a Bag of Beans Logic Riddle

This project entails your students helping a farmer complete a puzzling mission. In A Fox, a Goose and a Bag of Beans Logic Riddle students will use deductive reasoning to figure out how a farmer could carry his items safely across a river. Your students will 3D print models of the farmer, the fox, the goose and the bag of beans to help them act out possible scenarios and solutions.


In about 25 minutes you can challenge your students to think deductively, which will help them tackle proofs in the future. The projects creator has suggested to introduce this project on the first day of school to reintroduce students to mathematical thinking.


Art Connector Set SVG Conversion Project




This project will transform your students’ sketches into complex art sculptures, students will start by drawing shapes within the circles provides, then they’ll photograph their drawings to upload them to their computers as .jpeg images. Once the photographs are uploaded they’ll convert their images into SVG files. They can then import their SVG files into Tinkercad, where they’ll design and finalise their 3D print files. After 3D printing their circles they’ll connect each print to form a unique art piece.


You can also achieve the same results in fewer steps, teachers can use the ShapeMaker feature on the MakerBot PrintShop iPad App. All students would have to do is take a photo of their drawings or upload their files on the iPad and then ShapeMaker converts them into CAD files that you can customize, resize and print.


This project can be completed in 2-3 lessons, it’s a good introduction to advanced STEAM thinking. This project provides students with the opportunity to elaborate on artistic ideas and devise multiple approaches to a design problem. Teaching students how to visualise and convert 2D sketches into 3D objects primes them for the work they’ll encounter in design, digital manufacturing and engineering jobs in the future.


Cryptography: Sending Secret Messages



Introduce young mathematicians to cryptography and ciphers with this project, your students will learn how to use ciphers to encode and decode message on a 3D printed decoder ring. Students will discover why the Vigenere cipher works better than the Caesar cipher, as they send and decode secret classroom messages! This is a 1 day project for solving maths problems and using tools strategically.


Book Report Keychains



In this project students are asked to design and print 3 keychains, one for three different characters from a recently read book. Each keychain should possess one or more lements of the character’s personality, motivations, challenges or important relationships in the story.


This project is great because it’s an interesting, engaging way for students to express their reading comprehension. This project lasts 3-5 lessons and students will enhance their retention, build key 3D design skills and enjoy 3D printed keepsakes that are unique, eye-catching and fun!


If these projects look interesting to you and you think they will enhance your classroom and engage your students then there's plenty more projects and lessons available at Thingiverse Education!