Lesson Idea: The 3D Printed Foldable Cube

Foldable Cube Design on Thingiverse

Foldable Cube Design on Thingiverse

Here are more than 20 lesson ideas for using a 3D printed Foldable Cube, http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:75093, in the classroom. Follow the link to download the 3D file for the foldable cube and find information about the design. The hook for student engagement is that this manipulative can be 3D printed in the classroom. The lesson ideas can also be done with any cube shape including a Rubik’s Cube or a paper cube (search foldable cube template).

-Practice math vocabulary such as top, bottom, horizontal, vertical, sides/faces, vertices, right angle, length, square, cube, edges, symmetry, millimeter, area, perimeter, intersect, parallel, point, line, etc.

-Count the sides, edges and vertices.

-Measure the length of each side.

-Measure the angles of the cube.

-Calculate the perimeter of a side/face of the cube.

-Calculate the area of a side/face.

-Calculate the volume of the cube.

-Calculate the length of the diagonal of the square.

-Measure the length of the diagonal of the square.

-Calculate the percent error between the calculated and measured diagonal.

-Calculate and measure lengths/angles of 2 internal triangles. (Use any cube that are broken and have only 3 sides left.)

-Based on your measurements, is the assembled cube really a cube? (Optional discussion of margin of error and manufacturing tolerances.)

-If the cube isn’t really a cube, how could this information be used to calibrate the 3D printer.

Challenge: Challenge student to create their own cubes of a set size.

Design: Have students Design a cube. Don’t skip this step. Students can hand sketch a cube with measurements and angles. This is also a great getting started step to learn to use a 3D CAD program and quickly move on to more complex design later.

Make: Make a cube. Cube can be made out of paper, clay, legos, 3D printed, etc. Bonus points for using recycled materials.

Share: Students can share photos and instruction on how to build their version of a cube. Students should share measurements of their cube. Is it really a cube? Would the student recommend this construction technique to others? What improvements could be made when building future cubes?

What do you do with all the cubes afterwards?

3D printed foldable cube.

Foldable Cube in action.

-Create 3D bar graphs with each cube representing a single student choice. For example, each student could color their cube their favorite color and the results could be stacked by color choice.

-Sample containers for rocks on environmental science walks.

-Make LED lights with the cube as a housing and learn about basic electronics.

-Mini-geocaches for outdoor GPS activities.

-Pixels for 8-bit art projects.

-Journal/write about ideas for the best uses of their cubes.

LED Cube Light

Please share your ideas for using a 3D Printable Cube or other 3D printed manipulatives in your classroom either in the comments or on Twitter @designmaketeach #foldablecube #manipulatives