3-D Frontiers: Lesson Plan

The new frontier for design and manufacturing is in three dimensions. Additive manufacturing, also known as 3-D printing, opens up a new world of design never before possible.

UNC-TV Media

Engage

Make Your Own 3-D Pen 

Explore

Have students explore additive manufacturing by bringing in toothpaste tubes and creating layers of toothpaste on top of a piece of cardboard or a paper towel.

Explain

Watch the NC Science Now video 3D Frontiers.

Extend

Additional Links:
  • Open for Business: 3-D Printer Creates First Object in Space — NASA
  • Center for Additive Manufacturing and Logistics — NC State University
  • Three Ways to Print in 3-D — National Geographic
  • The Technology That Will Eliminate the Need for Organ Donors — PBS

Evaluate

Discussion Questions:
  1. What is “additive manufacturing,” and how does it differ from traditional manufacturing?
  2. Describe two methods two of 3-D printing.
  3. What is an example of engineering optimization shown in the video?
  4. Critical Thinking: Review the NASA link, and consider the following question: NASA’s International Space Station manufactured and produced the first 3-D object in space in 2014. Theorize three ways in which this advance can impact future space exploration. Are there challenges as well as advantages associated with 3-D printing in space?