Dissolvability - Lesson Plan

Grade Level: 9 - 12

Subject Area: Science

Learning Objectives: Students will learn about the dissolvability of different types of materials and how dissolvability slows over time. 

Materials Needed: One computer, one Micro or Micro+ 3D printer, one 250ft PVA 3D Ink filament spool, one 250ft PVB 3D Ink filament spool, water, rubbing alcohol, and 4 beakers per 2-5 students. 

Brief Description: Students will find the dissolvability of several types of plastic. 

To Prepare: Students will need a computer that has the M3D software on it. We recommend one printer per every 2-5 students. The Micro or Micro+ 3D printer will need to be plugged into both the wall and the computer. Each printer will need to have a 250ft spool of PLA feeding into the external port. A spool holder is also recommended. 

If you need assistance with any of the above please see our guides at support.printm3d.com. 

Lesson Plan: 

1. Divide students up into groups of 2-5 students. 
2. Ask each group to go to thingiverse.com and find a model of an animal they would like to print. 
3. Groups should print four models each: two in PVA & two in PVB. 
4. After the models have printed, each group should fill two beakers with water and two beakers with alcohol. Mark one alcohol and one water beaker with an ā€œSā€ for short period, and the other two with an ā€œLā€ for long period. 
5. Students measure and record the mass of all the models before attempting to dissolve them. 
6. PVA dissolves in water and PVB dissolves in alcohol. Ask the students to put one model in each of the four beakers. You will want to leave the models in the beakers for different amounts of time, a short period (S beakers) and a long period (L beakers). For example, say 20 minutes in one of the water/alcohol beakers and 40 minutes in the second one. Adjust the times as needed to fit within your class period. 
7. After the short time period, take the models out of the S beakers and measure their mass. Repeat after the long time period for the L beakers. 
8. Students can now use their measurements of the different masses to calculate the dissolvability over a certain amount of time. You can also discuss in class why the materials are dissolvable, the saturation of the dissolving material, and why dissolvability slows over time.