Rethinking Disposable Plastics

Students are challenged to rethink and redesign a disposable plastic product to eliminate waste - available to subscribers of The PrintLab Classroom

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Project Overview

In this project, students will be challenged to rethink and redesign a disposable plastic product to eliminate waste. After a lesson starter video about plastic and its effect on the environment, students will be split into teams to go through a design workbook. Exercises include product life cycle research, interviewing people to create audience profiles, defining design criteria based on human feedback, ideation, sketching and participating in a 3D design video tutorial to gain the necessary skills to create their own unique prototypes. **Activities and templates inspired by LUMA Institute’s system of human-centered design methods. (

Curriculum Details

The lesson can be incorporated into the study of maths, biology, design technology, geography, citizenship and computing. 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.

Resources Included in Project:

  • Example 3D model of a circular economy toothbrush concept (STL)

  • Design workbooks and activity templates (PDF and Google Docs)

  • Plastic toothbrush journey video (hosted on PrintLab's student portal)
        • Video design tutorials in Tinkercad and Fusion 360 (hosted on PrintLab's student portal)

        • Assessment rubric (Google Docs and PDF)

                        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.

                        Inspire the Next Generation.