This image shows a worksheet titled "What is 3D Printing?" It shows a matching activity with vocabulary and definitions. The text reads "3D Printer Parts: Lesson and Activities."

STEM Made Tangible: Teaching 3D Printer Parts to Middle Schoolers

Introduce your middle school students to the fascinating world of 3D printing and teach them about 3D printer parts. This practical STEM lesson will engage their curiosity and allow them to explore the exciting possibilities of this innovative technology. Watch as their interest soars and their understanding of deepens through this engaging exploration of 3D printer components.

Short on time? Grab the no-prep 3D printer lesson here.

This image shows a graphic organizer titled "What is 3D Printing." There is a hand writing on the worksheet. The image text reads, "Introduction to 3D Printing."

Introduction to 3D Printing and its Applications

3D printing is a revolutionary technology that has the potential to transform various industries, from manufacturing to healthcare. By teaching middle school students about the different parts of a 3D printer, you can introduce them to the basics of 3D printing and its wide range of applications. 

This engaging lesson will not only spark their curiosity but also prepare them for future 3D printing projects. Get ready to witness their excitement as they delve into the world of 3D printing and discover its limitless possibilities.

Thoughtful Class Discussion

The lesson starts with exploring your students’ prior knowledge and misconceptions about 3D printing. Have students complete an independent opinion survey and mark how much they agree or disagree with various statements about 3D printing, such as “You can 3D print anything,” and “3D printing is environmentally friendly.” 

Then you’ll have the students share their ideas through a class discussion or in a “human barometer” activity. This will help you measure your students’ background knowledge and identify any misconceptions they may have about 3D printing.

This image shows a graphic organizer titled "What is 3D Printing?" There is a hand writing on the worksheet.

Understanding the Different Parts of a 3D Printer

Before your students can begin dreaming and creating on the 3D printer, it is important they understand basic concepts and vocabulary. After sharing their background knowledge about 3D printers, students will engage in independent research to discover the history of 3D printing, the parts of a 3D printer, and how they work. Students will use the provided websites to research the answers to different questions about 3D printers and additive manufacturing. Then they’ll record their findings in a graphic organizer.

By breaking down the components and explaining their functions, students will gain a deeper understanding of how this innovative technology works. From the extruder to the print bed, each part plays a crucial role in the printing process. 

Master 3D Printer Components and Other Important Vocabulary

To help students solidify their understanding of important 3D printing vocabulary terms, students will participate in a hands-on matching activity. They’ll match 3D printer parts and other key vocabulary terms with their definitions. This activities will help students become familiar with the terminology associated with this technology. By making the learning experience tangible and interactive, students will be able to grasp the concept of 3D printing more effectively.

Lastly, students will reflect on their learning and demonstrate their mastery of basic 3D printing concepts by completing an Exit Ticket. Students will answer 4 questions to show what they’ve learned about 3D printing throughout the lesson.

This image shows a cut and paste worksheet titled "What is 3D Printing?" Vocabulary words such as filament, extruder, and 3D printer are cut out and matched with the definitions.

Get the introduction to 3D printing lesson here!

You’re a busy teacher with a long to-do list. Let me help you cross some items off the list. Grab this no-prep 3D printer parts lesson today! You’ll save your planning time and your students will love learning about this cutting edge technology.

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