The Frog Dissection Kit

by MakerBot, published

The Frog Dissection Kit by MakerBot Mar 3, 2014

Featured Thing!

50 Share
Download All Files

Thing Apps Enabled

Order This Printed View All Apps



Liked By

View All

Give a Shout Out

If you print this Thing and display it in public proudly give attribution by printing and displaying this tag.

Print Thing Tag

Thing Statistics

55687Views 12343Downloads Found in Learning


The MakerBot Frog Dissection Kit is the first 3D printable curriculum unit for teachers and their students to download and 3D print in the classroom. Now you can teach students about basic anatomy without having to deal with the yuck factor of dissecting a real frog!

This Frog Dissection Kit includes a lesson plan for teachers, digital files to 3D print a large, life-size frog body, and six 3D printed organs that fit together like puzzle pieces. Download the files, let us know how it prints, and stay tuned for more enriching educational experiences from MakerBot Academy.

Don't forget to check out the Instructions tab for a sample lesson plan!


Frog Dissection Kit
How does the frog's anatomy relate to its habitat?


Class periods

Students will understand the following:

  1. The importance of frogs in their local ecosystem.
  2. Why a frog is uniquely suited to its habitat.
  3. Concepts of adaptation and natural selection

Students will work in groups to research their frog, acquire background information, conduct student-driven dissections, record their observations, and think critically about the relationship between anatomy and habitat. Students will then communicate what they learned to their classmates with diagrams.

Students will research their frog and its habitat, dissect the frog, and consider how its anatomy adapted to its environment. They will consider how observations made provide evidence for evolution.


  1. One computer with connection to the Internet; one MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer.

  2. Five Frog Dissection Kits (Frog_Body.stl, Organs_Combined.stl)

  3. Handouts (Frog_Dissection_Kit.pdf)

  4. Paper, pencils, poster boards, markers

Lesson Plan Procedure
This lesson is designed to complement units on human anatomy. A discussion can also be used as a review of human anatomy and to assess what students know about non-human animals.

Capturing their curiosity
Curiosity can be captured by introducing the MakerBot 3D printer, showing the 3D print files, and then having the students watch videos of virtual frog dissections online.

Student-driven inquiry
Student groups do a student-directed dissection of their 3D printed specimen.

Students can be assessed by the amount of data they collected about local frog species, the accuracy of their diagrams, and how well they explain their findings to their fellow students.

DAY 1: Introduction

  1. Introduce the concept of adaptation and explain how organisms that are best adapted to their environment will have more offspring and over time the population will have more individuals with those beneficial traits. Stress that these changes do not occur on an individual level, but within a population over time. Individuals do not develop changes because they need them, instead, over time, those individuals best suited to the environment have more offspring causing changes in the population. Ask students what they think will happen if the environment changes ”like another ice age or extreme warming event. Students should be able to predict that populations will have to adapt or go extinct.

  2. Introduce the 3D printed frogs.

  3. Divide the class into groups and provide each with a model.

  4. Within each group, each student picks an organ for which they will be the group expert. This does not mean that the student examines only that organ, just that they will be responsible for explaining that organ to their group and making sure their group members understand its function.

DAY 2: Students research the animals online

  1. Have students research frogs online to learn about their habitats and their anatomy. Make sure the students understand that this background knowledge will help them recognize what the structures look like in real life. Discuss with the students the importance of looking at the source of the materials to evaluate the trustworthiness of a site. Diagrams can be printed from these sites.

DAY 3: Dissection

  1. Students dissect their frog, identifying organs as they go. Each group should have access to the Frog_Dissection_Kit.pdf to help students identify the organs.

  2. As the groups are dissecting, the instructor can walk from group to group, asking what organs they have identified so far. By the end of the class, all students should be able to point out the six major organs.

DAY 4: Diagramming

  1. Students examine the specimens they dissected the previous day and diagram the structures in their dissected specimens. Each student is the expert on a particular organ and should verify that his/her group-mates have those structures correctly identified. This is a good time to walk around to different tables, observing the diagrams and making sure that the students have correctly identified organs.

  2. Each group prepares a poster identifying organ functions and the elements of the frog's habitat.

*DAY 5: Presentations and discussion**

  1. Students present their group posters, sharing their findings with the rest of the class.

  2. Teacher leads discussion to encourage critical thinking.

*Sample discussion questions

  1. Explain the frog's role in the food chain. What would happen to the food chain if frog populations were to decline?

  2. Discuss what makes a suitable habitat for a frog. Describe your location and explain why it's a good or poor frog habitat.

  3. Currently, frog populations all over the world are in decline. Make hypotheses as to why frog populations are decreasing.

  4. A decline in the world's frog populations is often described as an early warning sign for the environment. Debate whether or not this is an accurate statement.

More from Learning

view more

All Apps

Auto-magically prepare your 3D models for 3D printing. A cloud based 3D models Preparing and Healing solution for 3D Printing, MakePrintable provides features for model repairing, wall thickness...

App Info Launch App

Kiri:Moto is an integrated cloud-based slicer and tool-path generator for 3D Printing, CAM / CNC and Laser cutting. *** 3D printing mode provides model slicing and GCode output using built-in...

App Info Launch App
KiriMoto Thing App

With 3D Slash, you can edit 3d models like a stonecutter. A unique interface: as fun as a building game! The perfect tool for non-designers and children to create in 3D.

App Info Launch App

Print through a distributed network of 3D printing enthusiasts from across the US, at a fraction of the cost of the competitors. We want to change the world for the better through technology, an...

App Info Launch App

Quickly Scale, Mirror or Cut your 3D Models

App Info Launch App

Treatstock is an online platform that offers decentralized manufacturing services such as 3D printing and CNC machining for clients all over the world. We offer free and instant access to comparati...

App Info Launch App

3D print your favourite design with NinjaPrototype, a professional 3D manufacture with consistent quality and speed.

App Info Launch App

I am very appreciate your design, it is the first one of my Replicator plus and it was great.

Great! to stop killing real frogs. Also with simulations and other videos it is not necessary and also unethical

Man this thing is awesome. Everything just has this one spot where it slips right into place. Well done.

(PS, Makerbot, they have these cool websites where you can fix bad meshes really easy. You ought to check it out.)

Any chance you can add files of individual organs? I cannot get the organs to print at 70% as a group.

omg that's sick!!!!!!! :P disgusted face!!!!

Hi. I read comments about print the frog to scale 50%, 75%... so I have uploaded frog's body cut by the middle. I think it is more easy to print two parts and paste them, that to resize all pieces.

Frog's body in two parts
by JevyanJ

Try printing the organs on blue tape at 30ºC...

I've successfully printed the frog at 200microns, 50% scale with no issues. The organs however, are another story.

No matter what I try, I can't seem to get the organs to stay on the bed. After 6 attempts at various resolutions, with and without raft, with and without brim, they just pop off every time. I am using a Printrbot Metal Plus with heated bed. The organs just refuse to stay attached.

Any ideas?

I use ST3DI's axis sheets on both my ST3DI and Builder printers. Not one single fail so far, much better than any other solution in my opinion,

Uggh... what is up with the non-manifold faces along the bottom edge of one of the organs? I've already printed the frog, and now I'm struggling to repair the mesh for one of the organs. I would have thought that MakerBot would only rep a clean mesh.

I am having problems with the file size/geometry of the Organs. Would really like to have the organs broken into 3 to 6 files. I can not get them open with the few pieces of software I have access to.

Here are the seperated entrails for your printing pleasure: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:815036

Frog Guts
by drPete

There are free versions of programs such as Cura that will allow you open the file, break it down and save the organs into separate files. Not endorsing this software, just using it as an example that I am aware of. I'm sure there are others. Hope this helps.

Comments deleted.

Glad we can trade the smell of formaldehyde for ABS or PLA...

I printed the frog and organs separate...

I scaled it down to 75% to fit on my print bed. The frog printed great but the organs keep breaking loose of the bed after about 15 minutes. Have any suggestions. By the way, the Biology teacher at my school was pretty excited about the print!

Print the organs with a raft.

Is that the same thing as printing with supports? A raft is a new term for me.

No, a raft is a printed base underneath the print to help it stick to the build plate.
eg. http://makerbot-blog.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/nut-and-bolt_700x467.jpghttp://makerbot-blog.s3.amazon...

I scaled each down to 50% and they printed/fit fine. Did you fit both the frog and the organ onto the same build plate or do two separate prints? (I did the latter).

I also scaled down to 75% to fit on the build plate; one print for organs (raft and no supports) and one print for frog body. Having some difficulty getting all organs to fit.

Hi - I'd like to use an image of the frog dissection kit in an article I am writing for a science magazine. If you can supply a high-res image can you please contact me kathkovac(at)gmail(dot)com, thanks

thinking about printing this. should I use supports for the organs?

Please tell me not that this is a scan

No frogs were harmed in the design of this model. :]

Hard to do the electric muscle twitch experiment with this though. Also we got bonus points for getting the brain out of the skull intact.

in the near future 3d print will replace many animal experiments.

Love the model! We had a great time picking it apart!

my avatar approves this.

Awesome use of 3d printing.

This is a great gift for somebody at my work.. Thank you...

Great model BTW...Very good desk conversation piece.

Scanned by the Makerbot Digitiser? Yuck!