Make a Puzzle Cube

A mathematical lesson where students explore volumes of cubes to create their own puzzle

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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 go through a series of mathematical calculations to help them to design and 3D print a puzzle cube. The puzzle cube is made up of various interconnecting pieces, which when placed together correctly, forms a perfect cube shape. In addition to mathematical calculations, students will also have to use problem solving skills to ensure their puzzle cube is 3D printable and that interconnecting pieces fit together suitably. Finally, students are challenged to create a case for their completed puzzle! 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 maths, design technology and computing. The material can be adapted for ages 8-13. 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:

  • Convert between different units of metric measure
  • Solve problems using division and multiplication to help them determine the constraints of their puzzle cube
  • Use isometric drawing techniques to represent puzzle pieces
  • Use 3D modelling software (Tinkercad) to design a puzzle cube for 3D printing
  • Learn about 3D printing orientation and tolerances to help them prepare their models for 3D printing

Equipment List

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

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

5 x measuring calipers or rulers