Layers of the Earth with 3D printing - SCOPES Digital Fabrication

Lesson Details

Age Ranges
Fab Tools
MS-ESS2-1, HSA.CED.A1, Fab-Safety.1, Fab-Modeling.1, Fab-Fabrication.1, Fab-Design.1

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Sarah Wallace
Sarah Wallace
Fablab manager
I run the Cleveland Mobile Fab Lab of MC2 STEM High School.   I work with K-8 teachers in the Cleveland Metro School District to expose young learners to the wonders of Digital Fabrication through fun, artistic, STEM projects.    Previously,… Read More


In this lesson students must complete calculations to create a model of the earth that is proportional to reality using Tinkercad.

What You'll Need

3D Printer

Tinkercad Accounts- completion of starter lessons

Access to computers

Paint and brushes (optional)

The Instructions


Content and Tinkercad

Students should create their own tinkercad accounts and link them to the teacher account and complete all Tinkercad starter lessons to get a basic understanding of the program. 

Teachers should also teach/review the layers of the Earth (this can be done through a video, SOLE, standard instruction, etc)


Solve for the diameters of each layer of the earth's crust.

Students need to determine the values of the layers for their model.  The worksheet in the link can be used to create a model that is 100mm tall. Feel free to copy it and make your own to better fit your students.

Create a Model

Use Tinkercad to create a model of the Earth and it's different layers.

Students can work individually or in small groups to create their models. Each model should include all 4 layers with an internal view and a stand of some sort.


  • (MS-ESS2-1): Analyze and interpret data to determine scale properties of objects in the solar system. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the analysis of data from Earth-based instruments, space-based telescopes, and spacecraft to determine similarities and differences among solar system objects. Examples of scale properties include the sizes of an objects layers (such as crust and atmosphere), surface features (such as volcanoes), and orbital radius. Examples of data include statistical information, drawings and photographs, and models.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include recalling facts about properties of the planets and other solar system bodies.]
  • (HSA.CED.A1): Create equations and inequalities in one variable and use them to solve problems. Include equations arising from linear and quadratic functions, and simple rational and exponential functions.
  • (Fab-Safety.1): I can safely conduct myself in a Fab Lab and observe operations under instructor guidance.
  • (Fab-Modeling.1): I can arrange and manipulate simple geometric elements, 2D shapes, and 3D solids using a variety of technologies.
  • (Fab-Fabrication.1): I can follow instructor guided steps that link a software to a machine to produce a simple physical artifact.
  • (Fab-Design.1): I can be responsible for various activities throughout a design process within a group under instructor guidance.

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  1. SCOPES-DF March 8, 2019
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