Melting Temps

Subject Area: Science

Learning Objectives: Students will learn about how different materials melt at different temperatures.

Materials Needed: One 250ft PLA 3D Ink, one 250ft Tough 3D Ink, one 250ft ABS-R 3D Ink, and something to melt the plastic with, soldering irons and thermocouples.

Brief Description: Students will melt three different types of plastic to measure and compare the different melting temperatures.

To Prepare: Students will need a computer that has the M3D software on it. We recommend one printer per every 2-5 students. The Micro or Micro+ 3D printer will need to be plugged into both the wall and the computer. Each printer will need to have a 250ft spool feeding into the external port. A spool holder is also recommended.

If you need assistance with any of the above please see our guides at

Lesson Plan:

1. First, divide the students into groups. Each group will need some of the 3 different types of ink, a soldering iron, and a thermocouple.

2. Hook the soldering iron up to the thermocouple so you can measure the temperature of the soldering iron.

3. ABS-R has the lowest melting temperature (120°C) so start with that and have students slowly turn up the power on the soldering iron until the plastic starts to melt. Ask them to write down the melting temperature they measured.

4. Do the same for the PLA 3D Ink (160°C) and finally the Tough 3D Ink (175°C).

5. After each group has recorded melting temps for all three kinds of plastic, compare the findings of the class with the temperatures listed above.

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