Make a Functional Wrench

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

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Lesson Overview

In this 4 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 an ergonomic wrench to fit the nut and bolt allocated to them! The project focuses on the engineering design process, combined with inquiry-based investigations on ergonomic design.

Subject Areas

The lesson can be incorporated into the study of design technology, computing, physics and maths. The material can be adapted for ages 8-16. 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.

In this project students will:

  • Develop an understanding of the nut and bolt mechanism, including the effects of friction and torque

  • Generate inquiry questions based on ergonomic design and use their findings to inform design ideas

  • Develop an accurate CAD model of an ergonomic wrench to meet certain design criteria and constraints

        • Use specialist tools in the form of 3D printers to manufacture a functional tool

        • Test and analyse their 3D printed wrenches, before making improvements in an iterative process

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