Tidal Defenses

The Tidal Defenses lesson introduces students to  tidal defenses and how shorelines and riverbanks are protected from hydraulic erosion. Students begin  by studying what tidal defences are and how they work. This is followed with a quick pop quiz to check student’s knowledge retention and rationalize their learning with real world situations. In the hands-on section of the lesson, students research, prototype, design and 3D model their tidal defense solution before 3D printing a scale model of their chosen design . This scale model will be inserted in a wave box and tested to study its effectiveness.
Design and TechnologyScienceHumanitiesMathematicsComputing
Years | Grades
9th Grade | 13-14 years10th Grade | 14-15 years11th Grade | 15-16 years
Lesson 1: 90 minutes Print time: ~ 30 minutes Lesson 2: 30 minutes

Tidal defenses trailer
Play 0:37


  • Be able to describe the purpose of tidal defenses
  • Be able to explain how recurved walls and rock armor tidal defenses work
  • Design and 3D model a tidal defense solution
  • 3D print and test a tidal defense solution

Tools and equipment

  • BE3D eDee printer with PLA filement
  • Computer with mouse, and CAD software
  • Art supplies for sketching prototypes
  • Set of 3D printed example wall models
  • 3D printed wave box
  • Printed lesson resources

Skill requirements

To participate in the lesson, students should be able to:
  • Carry out simple online research and navigate the Internet safely
  • Use TinkerCAD, Fusion 360 or similar CAD software at a beginner/intermediate level
  • Be comfortable using DeeControl software including adjusting print settings
  • Use the BE3D eDee printer

Tidal Defenses walkthrough
Locked 4:08

3D models overview

  • Total print time 17 hours 30 minutes
  • Total filament 53.5 m
  • Additional non-printable components
  • Printed all at once
Wave Box
  • 8 hours 30 minutes
  • 35.6 m
Example wall 1
  • 2 hours
  • 5 m
Example wall 2
  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 5.3 m
Example wall 3
  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • 3.8 m
Example wall 4
  • 2 hours
  • 3.8 m
Note: Values are calculated for one set of models.

Lesson resources

  • Lesson plan
  • Example wall models
  • Wave box model
  • Worksheet
  • Walkthrough
  • Walkthrough video
  • Presentation
  • 3D models
  • 3D print instructions
  • Curriculum Alignment: ISTE standard compliant