4. Students Combining 3D Printing and Arduino

3D Printing & the Arduino Board

A desired outcome is a container that will perfectly fit an Arduino Uno R3 board, along with a push-button and LED light that both fit flush with the lid and are operational.



NGSS: 4-PS3-4.Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another

 Standards for Mathematical Practice:

CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP1 Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP4 Model with mathematics.
CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP5 Use appropriate tools strategically
CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP6 Attend to precision.
CCSS.MATH.PRACTICE.MP7 Look for and make use of structure

Learning Objectives:

Students will design and produce a container for an Arduino Board
Students will design and produce a lid for an Arduino Board box with holes for a push-button and LED light
Students will use the Arduino board and push-button switch to power an LED light


Group Size: 2 to 4 students, depending on how many variations you would like students to compare within the class setting. For a smaller class, groups of 2 would be ideal.
Class Size: up to 36 students

Materials Required:

At least one computer per group, loaded with Google Sketchup or Tinkercad

Paper and pencil for drafting
Arduino Board http://www.adafruit.com/products/170
Arduino button
Arduino LED light
Airwolf 3D Printer
Download this free 3D printing lesson here: 4. 3d printing and arduino

Download the free STL models here:
.SKP file for the box and lid
.STL file for the box and lid

Video for creating the container and lid in Sketchup: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIsGfP059Tk

Video for creating the container and lid in TinkerCad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UIXPIHAzr8

Questions to Ponder:

What were some of the challenges in designing the container and lid?
What did you learn during the project?
Can you think of other projects for students combining 3D printing and Arduino?
Did it come out the way you had planned and what did you learn about tolerances?
Did you know that the circuit board on the Airwolf 3D printer can be programmed in Arduino? 

Students Combining 3D Printing and Arduino

 Other Resources:

Download handout “Creating Arduino Board Case with Google Sketchup

Download handout “Creating an Arduino Board Case in TinkerCad

TINKERCAD: Go to Tinkercad and sign up for a free account here:  https://tinkercad.com/ Make sure that you can log in. After you login, you will be prompted to follow the “My First Lesson” tutorial. This is highly recommended, as it will show the user how to use the basic functions of Tinkercad. After completing the tutorial, experiment by trying out different tools and functions of the software. You can even go as far as creating your own part if you feel comfortable. There is nothing to download, everything is designed on the cloud.

SKETCHUP: Download and install the free version of SketchUp Make (http://www.sketchup.com/download) for educational use. Once downloaded, double-click on the installation file (.exe). Follow the instructions on the installer. During the installation, you will be asked to choose File Associations. Check all three boxes. Now click “Next.” Once installation is complete, double click the Sketchup Icon on your desktop. You will now be asked to choose a template. Choose “3D Printing – Millimeters.” A new document will open, and you will get a box that says “Replicator 2.” Click on the box to highlight it in blue, then press delete to remove it from the document.

STL IMPORTER/EXPORTER: In order to export a file from Sketchup for 3D printing, we must be able to export STL files. We need to install a plugin for this. In the top menu, go to “Window.” Click on “Extension Warehouse.”  A new window will now open. There will be a menu on the right side of the window. Click on “Sketchup STL.” Click the large red “Install” button on the right side. You will now be prompted to login to your Google account. After logging in, you will have to Click “Install” again. Accept the terms and click “Confirm.” You must now click “Install” for a third time to start the installation. A window will come up and warn you that this extension will have access to the file system on your computer. Click “yes.” Sketchup will now tell you that the Extension has been installed properly and that it is ready to use.

Content & Instruction Developed by:
John Stevens – Airwolf 3D STEM Consultant
Instructional Coach – Technology
Chaffey Joint Union High School District
CUE Rockstar Faculty & Organizer
Google Certified Teacher
TwitterBlogResourcesAuthor (Flipping 2.0)