Designing to the Max: Intro to 3D Printing & Modeling

Grades 6 – 8

Science, Technology

3D printing technology is utilized in many industries, from aerospace and construction to fashion and medical. But how does it work? Where do the designs come from before they're printed? Can any 3D model be 3D printed, or do some work better than others?

Franklin Institute's Tech Studio

About the Course:
This introductory course explains the fundamentals of 3D printing from designing an idea, printing it out, and everything in between.
Participants will gain an entry level understanding of 3D modeling a design specifically for 3D printing through several hands-on activities and group discussion. All participants will receive a 3D print after completing the course.

Participation in this class includes a free general admission pass to visit the museum and pick up your 3D printed object!   

Expected Outcomes:
Participants will:

• Discover the 3D printing process
• Learn how to use an introductory Computer-Aided Design (CAD) program
• Determine efficient ways to design and prepare a model for 3D printing
• Practice thinking like an engineer while collaborating with a group of peers
• Receive a 3D printed object after completing the course

Additional Information:

Students will need access to a computer, a mouse, and wifi.
Students must create a account to use for participation in the 3D modeling activities.

For information, please email Blythe Tarbox at or please call 215-448-1271.

Subject Matter:

Science, Technology

Targeted Age Group(s):
Middle School (Grades 6-8)

Class Size:
15 Students

Date / Time Offered:
Course Duration:
3 classes/ 60 minutes each

September 11 – 25, 2021
Saturdays, 2:00 – 3:00 pm (via Zoom)

October 2, 2021
Saturday, Between 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Visit the museum and pick up 3D printed piece from course.

*Those who are not able to come to the museum that day must provide a mailing address where their 3D printed object will be sent to*

SI YES Partners Franklin Institute
About the Franklin Institute: Located in the heart of Philadelphia, The Franklin Institute is a renowned and innovative leader in the field of science and technology learning, as well as a dynamic center of activity. As Pennsylvania’s most visited museum, it is dedicated to creating a passion for learning about science by offering access to hands-on science education. For more information, visit

About the Educator: Max Santangelo
Max oversees the daily operation of The Franklin Institute’s Tech Studio exhibit, which features stories of everyday engineering and technology. He has led many workshops for museum visitors on topics like 3D printing, 3D modeling, introductory coding, and design challenges.

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