In the first lesson, students will learn about different gear ratios. They will also design and 3D print their own gearing system. In the second lesson, students will use a simulator to test the various effects on a gearing system’s rotational speed when changing the number of cogs in a gear. Using the simulator, students will design their own 3D gearing system to reduce the rotational speed of a gear by a ratio of 60:1.
MathematicsDesign and Technology
Years | Grades
13th Grade | 18-19 years10th Grade | 14-15 years11th Grade | 15-16 years12th Grade | 16-18 years
Lesson 1: 45 minutes Print time: ~ 30 minutes Lesson 2: 45 minutes

gearing up trailer
Play 0:56


  • Extend knowledge of ratios
  • Use ratio notation, including reduction to the simplest form
  • Combine gears of differing gear ratios to achieve a desired ratio

Tools and equipment

  • Introduction video
  • 1 x laptop/computer with mouse and internet access
  • 1 x pen/pencil and planning worksheet
  • 1 x 3D printer and PLA filament
  • 1 x laptop/computer with mouse, internet access and DeeControl layering software for the BE3D eDee 3D printer
  • 3 x demonstration models (STL files provided in lesson materials)

Skill requirements

To participate in the lesson, students should be able to:
  • Design in TinkerCAD® or similar CAD on a beginner level

Gearing Up Walkthrough
Locked 13:22

3D models overview

  • Total print time 8 hours 20 minutes
  • Total filament 20.91 m
  • Additional non-printable components
  • Printed all at once
  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • 10.67 m
Compound gear system
  • 4 hours 50 minutes
  • 10.24 m
Note: Values are calculated for one set of models.

Lesson resources

  • Lesson plan
  • Worksheet
  • Walkthrough
  • Walkthrough video
  • Presentation
  • 3D models
  • 3D print instructions
  • Curriculum Alignment: ISTE standard compliant