Students Design, Draw and Create 3-D Puzzles

Project Lead the Way (PLTW) is the Engineering program we began last year as part of our K-12 district STEM initiative. Over the course of four years, students learn how to apply STEM knowledge, skills, and habits of mind to make the world a better place through innovation.

The foundation course of the PLTW Engineering program is our PLTW Design and Drawing for Production (DDP) class.  This class introduces students to the engineering design process and problem solving through the design, creation, and testing of prototypical solutions to unique problems. Students dig deep into the engineering design process, applying math, science, and engineering standards to hands-on projects. Models of product solutions are created, analyzed and communicated using 3D modeling software and classroom machinery. Students document their work and communicate solutions to their peers. Presently, sections of this course are taught by Mr. Thomas Storck and Mr. Patrick Hurley.

Recently, the class has completed our puzzle design project.  To begin this project, students had to create isometric concept sketches of pieces containing three, four, five and six   ¾” hardwood cubes.  They created two sample puzzle prototypes to follow using 27 snap lock cubes of the same size.  The next step was to create their chosen puzzle (whichever one was more challenging) and model it in 3D using AutoDesk Inventor.  The students created a part file for each piece then brought them all together in an assembly drawing.  Once their assembly drawing was complete, the students made an animation and a package design.  The students that finished the project early even got to 3D print their puzzles!

Thank you to Mr. Storck for a description of the project and the photos below!

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