Students apply the Engineering Design Process to create a design for a 3D printed keychain. Students interview the client, create a design brief, create a prototype, print and evaluate the prototype, make changes to the design and print a final product.
Overview and Background
Students in middle school STEM classes will be learning the Engineering Design Process. As a part of the process they will be creating an item that can be easily printed and used. By adding the 3D prototyping aspect to the lesson, students are able to make changes and see the results in real-time.
Oregon NGSS Engineering Standards Grade 8
MS-ETS1-1. Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems
§ The more precisely a design task’s criteria and constraints can be defined, the more likely it is that the designed solution will be successful. Specification of constraints includes consideration of scientific principles and other relevant knowledge that are likely to limit possible solutions. (MS-ETS1-1)
ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution
§ Although one design may not perform the best across all tests, identifying the characteristics of the design that performed the best in each test can provide useful information for the redesign process—that is, some of those characteristics may be incorporated into the new design. (MS-ETS1-3)
MS-ETS1-2. Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
6-8.WHST.2 Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes. a. Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories as appropriate to achieving purpose; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension. b. Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples. c. Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts. d. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic. e. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone. f. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
How do criteria and constraints apply to an engineering design challenge?
Why is it important to brainstorm, plan, and sketch out a design before constructing a prototype?
Lesson Plan and Activity
Provide graph paper for students’ use.
Discuss the Engineering Design Process steps with the class, give examples of a client interview and have students partner and interview each other as “client” and “designer”.
Prepare a “client needs” list for the class. (Example)
The client requires a keychain to identify classroom keys.
The keychain must have the following:
A properly sized hole for a keyring
Must have rounded edges
Must be no larger than 2”x2”x1/2”
Must have a decorative design that reflects the client’s interests.
May not be printed in orange.
Must be designed in 3 class periods
Client needs to see initial sketch, first prototype, and final product.
Using the client interview take notes on the second page of the Engineering Design Brief
Using the client interview notes, complete the Engineering Design Brief.
Using graph paper, brainstorm and sketch at least 4 different design ideas
Examine each of your design ideas and answer the following questions:
Does this design meet all of the criteria for the project?
Is the design easy to print? (no small features that are easily broken? No need for supports? No small text that will not be clear when printed?)
Using Tinkercad, or the 3D software of your choice, create a model of your design.
Export your design as a .STL file and upload your file into the Google Classroom.
Once your initial prototype is finished, evaluate your prototype by answering the following questions:
Is the design the correct size? (2”x2”x1/2” or smaller)
Can you get the keyring though the hole?
Are all of the features/designs clear and neatly printed?
Is any part of the keychain delicate or easily broken?
If you answered no to any of these questions make changes on your design to address any of the issues.
If you answered yes to all of the questions, take a look at your keychain. Find one thing that can be improved. Make that change to your original design.
Turn in your improved design to the Google Classroom.
Turn in your design brief to the Google Classroom
Complete a reflection paragraph about this project including the following: What was one thing that surprised you about the Engineering Design Process and the keychain design? What was one thing you found easy to do in this project? What was one thing you found difficult to do and why?
Computer or Chromebook
- Engineering Design
Rubric and Assessment
Students will complete an Engineering Design Brief before developing a prototype.
Students will evaluate their designs (using the criteria and constraints) in a summary paragraph after the completion of the first prototype.
Students will complete a reflective writing paragraph at the conclusion of the lesson.