Flooding Fallout

River floods occur when a river bursts its banks and the water overflows onto the surrounding land. Flooding tends to be caused by heavy rain; this can cause major problems for people living close to the river. In this lesson, students will create a 3D flood plain model of an area of their choice, using real-world data. Students will 3D print and test their models by flooding them with water and comparing the results with satellite images to see which areas are most affected by the flooding.
Design and TechnologyComputingMathematicsScienceGeography
Years | Grades
8th Grade | 12-13 years7th Grade | 11-12 years9th Grade | 13-14 years10th Grade | 14-15 years11th Grade | 15-16 years
Lesson 1: 90 minutes Print Time: 5 to 6 hours

Flooding Fallout Trailer
Play 0:43


  • Define flooding as involving heavy rainfall or snow melt
  • Know the human and physical factors that cause flooding
  • Use TinkerCAD® software to design a flood plain model suitable for 3D printing

Tools and equipment

  • BE3D eDee printer
  • Example flood plain models
  • Internet-enabled computer and TinkerCAD
  • Paper pad and pencil
  • Printed lesson resources
  • Jug (filled with water)
  • Camera (optional)

Skill requirements

To participate in the lesson, students should be able to:
  • Use TinkerCAD, Fusion 360 or similar CAD software at an intermediate level
  • Be comfortable using DeeControl software including adjusting print settings
  • Use the BE3D eDee 3D printer

Locked Play 3:22

3D models overview

  • Total print time 9 hours 30 minutes
  • Total filament 26 m
  • Additional non-printable components
  • Printed all at once
  • 9 hours 30 minutes
  • 26 m
Note: Values are calculated for one set of models.

Lesson resources

  • Lesson plan
  • Sample flood plain models
  • Worksheet
  • Walkthrough
  • Presentation
  • 3D models
  • 3D print instructions
  • Curriculum alignment