Rubber Band Plane

In this 2 part lesson, students work in groups to design and 3D print wings and horizontal stabilizers for a rubber band-powered plane.
During the first lesson, students are introduced to basic theory of flight principles and simple aerofoil designs. The aircraft design challenge is then introduced and students are provided the fuselage and propeller assembly for their plane. Students must decide on the style of wing, designing and printing a 3D model of the components.
During the second lesson, students assemble and test their designs. A teacher-led class discussion evaluates the different designs, considers what was learned, and what improvements could be made if the students were to design and print again.
Design and TechnologyScienceMathematicsComputing
Years | Grades
8th Grade | 12-13 years9th Grade | 13-14 years10th Grade | 14-15 years11th Grade | 15-16 years
Lesson 1: 50 minutes Print time: ~ 2 hours Lesson 2: 50 minutes

rubber band plane trailer
Play 0:57


  • Know the different types of aircraft wing designs
  • Understand the fundamentals of flight
  • Use TinkerCAD® software to design a rubber band plane optimized for 3D printing
  • Design and manufacture a rubber band plane capable of flight

Tools and equipment

  • BE3D eDee 3D printer
  • Set of example models
  • Internet-enabled computer and TinkerCAD®
  • Paper pad and pencil
  • Printed lesson resources

Skill requirements

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

Rubber Band Plane Walkthrough
Locked 4:12

3D models overview

  • Total print time 4 hours
  • Total filament 7 m
  • Additional non-printable components
  • Printed all at once
Rubber Band Plane
  • 4 hours
  • 7 m
Note: Values are calculated for one set of models.

Lesson resources

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