Make a Functional Wrench

Students design and 3D print wrenches to fit various sized nuts and bolts

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**This lesson is part of The PrintLab Classroom lesson portal. To view details or to get access to the full portal, CLICK HERE**


In this 2 part lesson, students will be designing and 3D printing their own unique wrench. Prior to the lesson, the teacher will use the STL provided in the lesson materials to 3D print nuts and bolts at various sizes. During the lesson, students will measure the demonstration models and create a wrench to fit the nut and bolt allocated to them! Enrolling in the lesson will give you complete access to the teacher training material and lesson documents. This includes content to help you prepare and deliver the lessons along with design tutorials so you become familiar with the process prior to teaching it in the classroom.

Subject Areas

The lesson can be incorporated into the study of design technology, computing, physics and maths. The material can be adapted for ages 8-15. The curriculum is aligned to NGSS, CCSS and UK National Curriculum standards. A comprehensive list of standards met is included in the lesson platform.

Learning Criteria

In this project students will:
  • Develop an understanding of the nut and bolt mechanism
  • Develop an understanding of friction and torque
  • Develop and communicate design ideas using 3D, mathematical and computer-based tools
  • Use specialist tools in the form of 3D printers to manufacture a functional tool
  • Understand developments in technology and explore their impact on individuals and society

Equipment List

Each student will require:
1 x laptop/computer with mouse and internet access
1 x pen/pencil

The teacher will require:
1 x 3D printer and PLA filament (
1 x laptop/computer with mouse, internet access and slicing software (or Polar Cloud) for the 3D printer
1 x demonstration model set (STL provided in lesson materials)

1 x sheet of sandpaper

5 x measuring calipers or rulers