An Introduction to 3D Printing in the STEM Classroom


  • Evelyn Sander Mathematical Sciences
  • Christopher A Manon Mathematical Sciences
  • Padmanabhan Seshaiyer STEM Accelerator





This session is designed to introduce the use of 3D printing in a mathematics or science classroom to those with little or no experience with the technology. It will be a hands-on introduction to design of models using two STEM-focused software packages: Mathematica and OpenSCAD. The audience will come away with a knowledge of the entire progression of 3D printing from an in-class design to the technical aspects of printing. The presentation is based on group-based lab materials created for the calculus classroom (funded by a 4-VA innovation grant). This project demonstrates how inquiry-based approaches can be employed to enhance student learning using a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics).

The session will start with a 30-minute lecture, including a demonstration of 3D printing, a review of the types of scientific models available publicly, a discussion of some of the classroom models we have designed, and a summary of the labs given in the calculus classroom. The next hour will consist of a hands on introduction to designing printable scientific models in Mathematica and in OpenSCAD, an open source CAD-based system.

Author Biography

Padmanabhan Seshaiyer, STEM Accelerator

**2011 GMU Teaching Excellence Award-General Educaiton**