Next semester, I am going to teach a small section of advanced high school students a class of Multivariable Calculus (it's about 3-4 students that have completed AP Calculus BC). Multivariable Calculus is usually a 1 semester college course, but I have the advantage of being able to teach the material over the entire school yea, which is two semesters. So I am looking for project ideas to help fill some of the time but also give the students some practical applications of calculus. I also have the great advantage that the school I work at has access to 3D printers.

I feel lucky to be in the position to work with a small and dedicated group of students and have plenty of time to get through the material and great resources to take advantage of, but on the other hand, I am relatively inexperienced with Multivariable Calculus (I know the content, but I don't know any good ideas for a projects) and I have no experience even using a 3D printer. So, what are some good project ideas for Multivariable Calculus that hopefully don't require too much of a learning curve if using the 3D printer?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You might be able to mimic what was done here, though I haven't read through their list of publications to see if they provide any of the learning tasks. $\endgroup$
    – Nick C
    Jun 1, 2022 at 19:29

1 Answer 1


I have 3d printing as an extra-credit option for some projects, which are usually framed as a (fictional) business person looking for math equations to use specifically so they can then 3d print their products. My favorite is focused on Spirograph-style earrings!

The project is basically something like “I found these equations online, can you explain to me how they work and make a computer widget so I can play with them to make pretty designs?” The students turn in a report and a Mathematica file, and for extra credit they can also made prototypes using a 3d printer.

I’d be willing to share my materials if it would be helpful.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.