PrintLab Classroom: 3D Printing Chemical Structures

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3D Printing Chemical Structures


Design, edit and, 3D print chemical structures


*This lesson is part of the PrintLab Classroom lesson portal. To purchase one year access to 3D printing lesson plan portal click here.*


In this 3 lesson project, students will learn how to design, edit and 3D print chemical structures using free software. The project involves an introduction to atoms and molecules before students split up into teams. Each team will be allocated a different molecule to research before 3D modelling and 3D printing the chemical structure. By 3D printing and having a tangible object, students can better visualise and understand the molecular world. In the final lesson of the project, each group will present their 3D printed model along with their research. Enrolling in the lesson will give you complete access to the teacher training material and lesson documents. This includes content to help you prepare and deliver the lessons along with design tutorials so you become familiar with the process prior to teaching it in the classroom.


Subject Areas

The lesson can be incorporated into the study of science and can be adapted for ages 7-15.


Learning Criteria

In this project students will:

- develop their basic understanding of chemistry

- understand basic principles of chemical structure

- analyse a variety of molecules and their structure

- research a specific chemical molecule and present their findings

- use chemical drawing techniques to draw molecules

- use CAD software to create chemical models

- develop an understanding of 3D printers and how they operate

- manufacture 3D chemistry models through 3D printing

Equipment List

Each student will require:

1 x laptop/computer with mouse, internet access, Avogadro software and PMV software (see lesson preparation for free download instructions)

1 x pen/pencil

The teacher will require:

1 x large format screen

1 x 3D printer and filament

1 x laptop/computer with mouse, internet access, slicing software for the 3D printer, Avogadro software and PMV software (see lesson preparation for free download instructions)

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