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PrintLab & PrintCity Launch Free Covid-19 3D Printing Lesson Plan

3D Printing Lesson Plan
3D Printing Lesson Plan
Above: PrintLab and PrintCity Collaborate to launch Free Covid-19 3D Printing Lesson Plan/Image Credit: PrintLab

PrintLab, the 3D printing curriculum developer from UK, and PrintCity, a 3D additive and digital manufacturing centre based at Manchester Metropolitan University, have today released a free 3D printing lesson plan to support the fight against Covid-19. The fully-resourced 3D printing project teaches students about the rapid transmission of viruses such as Covid-19 on surfaces, before challenging them to design unique products to limit the spread of infectious droplets onto fingertips.

3D Printing Lesson Plan
Above: Hands-free device to open doors or drawers by using arms rather than the palm/Image Credit: PrintLab

The inspiration for the 3D printing lesson plan stemmed from Armie, a hands-free device by Print City that promotes the user to use their arm to open doors or drawers instead of their hand – reducing the risk of viruses entering the body by people touching their eyes, nose and mouth. PrintLab and Print City are now challenging students to develop additional devices that can be attached to other surfaces.

3D Printing Lesson Plan
Above: The new Covid-19-centric lesson plans titled Pandemic Products are released for Free/Image Credit: PrintLab

The 3D printing lesson plan, titled ‘Pandemic Products’, provides a whole range of teaching materials for use in the classroom but also advice on how to adapt the materials for distance learning. During the project, students will:

  • Learn about virus transmission on surfaces via an animation explainer video
  • Assemble and analyse their own hands-free Armie device
  • Use Tinkercad or Fusion 360 tutorials to improve the design of Armie to suit handles in their home or school
  • Storyboard their daily routines to identify objects that have the potential to spread viruses, before prioritising them and selecting an object to design a unique solution for
  • Use research, simulation and measurement to generate a list of design criteria and constraints
  • Generate multiple sketch options and gather feedback on them from potential users
  • Use 3D design and 3D printing in an iterative process to make functional solutions that limit the spread of viruses on surfaces
3D Printing Lesson Plan
Above: A Growing number of teachers are using their 3D printers to manufacture personal protective equipment for hospitals/Image Credit: Printlab

Jason Yeung, Co-Founder at PrintLab spoke about the project by saying, “It’s been fantastic to see the growing number of teachers using their 3D printers to manufacture personal protective equipment for hospitals. We’re now giving students the opportunity to join the fight against Covid-19 by using their creativity to keep key workers safe. We’re confident in the ability of students to step up to this design challenge and we’re excited to see their innovative solutions come to life!”

Mark Chester, Innovation Development Manager at PrintCity added, “Over the last couple of weeks it’s been inspiring to see how quickly designers, engineers and manufacturers have responded against the short-term impacts of Covid-19 through the production of PPE and ventilators. We feel this free resource provides a fantastic platform for students to learn new skills around design and additive manufacturing which they can apply to the current pandemic”. 

The free project is now available from the PrintLab Classroom platform – Pandemic Products

About PrintCity: PrintCity is an innovative hub of additive and digital manufacturing at Manchester Metropolitan University. Working with a variety of businesses and individuals, ranging from students and researchers to small businesses and staff looking to upskill, they offer strong on-site support and industry connections within and beyond the University.


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