Assistive Device Academy

A human-centred design project where students create a range of assistive devices for people with disabilities. Developed in collaboration with Makers Making Change. Access this lesson for FREE at the bottom of the page.

Project Overview

The project begins with students learning about affordable, open source assistive technologies through a case study video and example models 3D printed by the teacher prior to the lesson. Following the overview, students participate in a range of skill-building CAD tutorials to design several example devices – providing them with the necessary skills to design their own unique products.

In the main part of the project, students work in teams and are guided by design instructions to develop an assistive device for a real user. The design journey involves human-centred design principles, whereby an individual user is identified before concepts are developed to solve the daily challenges of the user. Finally, ideas are transferred to CAD software before being 3D printed and presented to the rest of the class, as well as the end user.

Curriculum Details

The lesson can be incorporated into the study of maths, physics, design technology and computing. The material can be adapted for ages 10-16. The curriculum is aligned to ISTE, NGSS, CCSS and UK National Curriculum standards. A comprehensive list of standards met is included in the lesson platform.

Included Resources:

  • assistive device case study videos (hosted on PrintLab's student portal)

  • example assistive devices (STL files)

  • tinkercad and fusion 360 tutorials that guide students in designing a range of assistive devices (videos hosted on PrintLab's student portal)

        • assistive technology explainer video (hosted on PrintLab's student portal)

        • editable design instructions worksheet (PDF and Google Docs)

        • editable assessment rubric (PDF and Google Docs)

              Self-Paced Learning Option

              PrintLab's student portal is home to the online learning resources required for each of PrintLab’s lesson plans (CAD tutorial videos, explainer videos etc), but it is also structured in such a way that gives users the option to work through each project online in a self-paced manner without a teacher/instructor. The perfect solution for distance learning, 3D printing clubs, passion projects or self-paced learning at libraries and makerspaces.

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