Solving Real World Problems with 3D Printing in the Classroom

Solving Real World Problems with 3D Printing in the Classroom

One of our favorite parts of being invovled in the global 3D printing community, is seeing how the next generation of change makers are using this technology to make a difference by solving real world problems with 3D printing in the classroom.

Whether students are learning about human centered design, empathy or 3d design, the e-NABLE project has been a part of thousands of classrooms for over 10 years and educators have been sharing and creating curriculum based on this global community's work.

Below, you will find some fantastic courses available through our shop to bring into your classroom, along with links to free open-source curriculum that teachers have volunteered to share with their fellow educators.

3D Printing Prosthetics to Teach Engineering, Anatomy, and Empathy (in Collaboration with e-NABLE)

In this course, we will cover how you can integrate digital humanitarianism, tech, biology, and social, emotional, learning into your classroom through e-NABLE’s empowering 3D printing prosthetics program. We will share lessons on activating student empathy to enhance understanding, connecting this work to your human anatomy and biology studies, as well as ways to integrate the language arts through opportunities to compare and contrast and create a personalized note with your completed prosthesis.

Prototyping with Purpose: Human-Centered Engineering Design Challenges (with e-NABLE)

This online course features a series of seven challenges that engage students in the positive power of engineering and human-centered design. Lessons are designed to make it easy for grade 4-8 teachers to deliver remotely and include instruction as well as videos that can be assigned directly to students.

Centered on the work e-NABLE has done to bring 3D printed prosthetics to people all around the world, students will learn about the Engineering Design Process, the power of empathy in design, anatomy, and simple machines. The culminating challenge gives students the opportunity to create an initial prototype of an upper limb prosthetic.

e-NABLE Education Space

The e-NABLE Education Space is a growing, open source site developed by educators and e-NABLE professionals for educators interested in global collaboration, utilizing and designing technology integrated curriculum, with an e-NABLE focus, aligned to the rigor of the Next Generation Learning Standards.
Here you will find lesson plans and curriculum to teach empathy, social engineering and social studies, and STEM in grades k-12 as well as university level learning.

e-NABLE 3D Printed Hand Kits

Join thousands of students worldwide participating in the e-NABLE Community 3D printed hand project to make functional 3D printed assistive devices for those in need.

Students of all ages will learn how 3D printing can be used to make a difference in the lives of others and get inspired to start creating their own designs to assist others through this global service-learning project.

This is a beautiful human-centered design project that K-12, as well as University level students, love to participate in! These e-NABLE educational maker kits are being used all over the world, in over 100 countries and counting!

This assembly materials kit includes all of the materials needed to assemble any of the following four Phoenix Hand designs, created by the e-NABLE volunteer community but does not include the 3D printed parts:

e-NABLE Phoenix Hand v3
Phoenix v2
Unlimbited Phoenix
Phoenix Reborn

This kit also includes sufficient materials for producing the Unlimbited Arm, except that additional velcro straps will be needed.

e-NABLE volunteer John Diamond has prepared an assembly manual for the Phoenix v2, which is available here. He also produced a great video tutorial for the assembly process, which can be found here.

If you're undecided about which Phoenix design to make, 3D Universe recommends starting with the e-NABLE Phoenix Hand v3. This design is the easiest to print and to assemble. Check our Assembly Tutorial here:

For more information about the e-NABLE Community, information on how to volunteer or if you are in need of a device of your own, please visit

A discount is available on these hand kits for e-NABLE members who are actively involved in the charitable fabrication of these devices. Email for more details.

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