Toy Workshop - Digital Promise Global

Toy Workshop

Objective: Students will create a toy of their choice to develop the necessary skills for using joints and sockets to create complex multi-piece models.

Tools/Materials Required: 3D Printer, computer

Depth of Knowledge: Skills and Concepts

Teacher’s notes are in purple. For the student’s version, see Toy Workshop Student Guide.


Prepare: Learn about the key ideas in this project

As your designs get larger and more complex it will become harder and harder to print them in one piece. For example, what if you wanted to build something bigger than the printer itself? Using joints and sockets, you can create interconnecting pieces to build objects limited only by your imagination.

In this lesson we will learn to create small, interconnecting parts and use them to create a toy. By the end, you will not only have an awesome toy, but the skills to create objects of any size!


Practice: Try as many activities to as you would like to build your skills

Complete the project Custom Cookie Cutter as an introduction to 3D printing and TinkerCAD skills.

Make a spinning top and a toy car to learn how to create objects that require the design of separate parts.

Practice using human-centered design with the Five Chairs project to help you make your toy for a specific user.

Make a toy! Now that you’ve had some experience with interconnecting pieces, build your own toy using stiff joints, loose joints and ball joints.


Produce: Dig into the project and make it your own!

  1. Customize the toy for someone you know –a friend, sibling, or a student from a younger grade at your school. Interview your user and use a Design Thinking routine determine what sort of toy they would like.
  2. Make a prototype first out of modeling clay, cardboard, or other easily accessible materials and have your user give feedback before you move on to the final version.
  3. Make your final version in TinkerCAD, print it, and give it to your user.

**REMEMBER: If you want a cylinder to rotate in a hole (loose joint), make the diameter of the hole 0.5 mm larger than the cylinder’s. If you want the cylinder to stick in the hole (stiff joint), make the hole only 0.3 mm larger.**


Produced by Digital Promise Global, with thanks to the Open Educational Resources listed throughout this guide. Distributed to Learning Studios schools as part of HP, Inc. and Microsoft’s Reinvent the Classroom.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. You may share this project or modified versions of it under this same license.

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