Introduction: How to Design the Best Boat - Testing Provided Designs

About: MyStemKits develops K-12 curriculum for standards-driven instruction and 3D-printable manipulatives to create an end-to-end STEM solution. Our focus on real-world, hands-on learning has been designed to promot…

First you'll start off by using our pre-designed boats.

Step 1: Prepare Your Models for 3D Printing

You will need to download our pre-designed boats so you can 3D print and test them as part of the lesson plan associated with this project. The Model Guide with part information and the .stl files are available here for you to download. There is also an .stl file of all four boats together in case you choose to print them all at once. These models have been altered from their original Tinkercad format. They have had supports added to them so they are ready to 3D print. You can view the original Tinkercad file here.


  1. Download and save the models to your computer.
  2. Open the files in you preferred slicing software and arrange them to fit on your printer.
  3. Use the following considerations when setting up your slicer settings so that your boats are watertight: print the models relatively slowly and make sure you set the same amount of infill for all boats so that their density is comparable. For the ramp, set the layer height to 0.4mm/layer and 5% infill. For the boats, set the layer height to 0.3mm/layer and 35% infill. If you are printing using PLA, you should not need a brim, raft, or supports.
  4. Continue to the next step.

Step 2: 3D Print

Once you've prepared your slicer settings, begin your print. Depending on your printer, you may be able to print directly from the software if the printer is connected to your computer, or you may need to transfer your slicer-generated files onto a USB or SD card to print them. Refer to your 3D printer's documentation.


  1. 3D print all models.
  2. Break off the supports and any rafts, brims, or supports you/your printer may have added.
  3. Continue to the next step.

Step 3: Follow the Model Guide and Lesson Plan

The Model Guide provides step-by-step instructions on assembling the 3D printed parts.


  1. Follow the instructions in the lesson plan for how to test the pre-designed boats. In the next steps, you will design and print your own boats to test and improve the design.
  2. Continue to the next step.