Robots on Mars

This lesson will introduce students to one of many challenges Earth engineers face when building a permanent base on Mars. Students will design a tool or piece of equipment that will mount on the “Mars Innovation” rover which aids in the extraction of resources from the planet’s regolith.
MathematicsDesign and Technology
Years | Grades
10th Grade | 14-15 years11th Grade | 15-16 years12th Grade | 16-18 years13th Grade | 18-19 years
Lesson 1: 50 minutes Print time: ~ 3 hours 40 minutes Lesson 2: 50 minutes

robots on mars trailer
Play 1:03


  • Understand the challenges faced when colonizing other worlds
  • Design a 3D model of a tool or piece of equipment that mounts on the “Mars Innovation” rover
  • Manufacture a mount for the “Mars Innovation” rover suitable for 3D printing

Tools and equipment

Each student workgroup needs:
  • Laptop/computer with mouse and internet access
  • Set of example bolt .STL files
  • Pen or pencil
  • Robots on Mars worksheet

Teacher needs:
  • 3D printer and PLA filament
  • Laptop/computer with mouse, internet access and DeeControl software for the YSoft be3D eDee 3D printer
  • Set of example bolt and block .STL files

Skill requirements

To participate in the lesson, students should be able to:
  • Develop their own idea for the tool or piece of equipment
  • Use TinkerCAD® or similar CAD software at a beginner level
  • Enter correct 3D print settings in DeeControl layering software
  • Use the BE3D eDee 3D printer

Robots on Mars walkthrough
Locked 11:43

3D models overview

  • Total print time 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Total filament 6.7 m
  • Additional non-printable components
  • Printed all at once
Mars Rover
  • 2 hours 45 minutes
  • 6.2 m
Drill for Mars Rover
  • 30 minutes
  • 0.5 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