In this project, students were challenged to create a 3D printed microscope using CAD software for use with a smart phone. Their designs were supported by the Design Thinking model. (Empathize – Define – Ideate – Prototype – Test)
Their design criteria was as follows:
- Must be able to support any brand smartphone using minimal plastic
- Lens must be housed
- Microscope must be structurally sound
- Additional supplies will be provided to build your microscope, but you are limited to the following maximums
- 3 carriage bolts
- 6 nuts
- 2 wing nuts
- 1 laser pointer focus lens
Students created plans to support their ideas, brainstorming with their collaborators and conferencing with their teacher.
Then using Tinkercad, they created their designs for printing, redesigning as necessary.
Microscope components were printed, assembled and tested. Redesigns were on-going when necessary.
After printing and testing, students needed to calculate the magnification of their microscope.
Curriculum Connections: This task, when modified, can have possible connections to many areas of the Alberta Program of Studies. For example:
- Grade 7 Science – Structures and Forces
- Grade 8 Science – Cells and Systems
- Grade 9 Math – Shape and Space
- Language Arts – Communication and Technical Writing
Special thanks to Heather Scott for this project idea!