Design of a 3D Printable Mechanical Time Simulating Solar System Model for use in STEM Education
Moffett, Mark Bedford
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The use of designed tools to assist with relating abstract ideas to reality is now a possibility with the use of the modern manufacturing method of 3D printing. The inner four planets’ natural orbital periods with respect to Earth were modeled in SolidWorks and then fabricated using 3D printing. A 3D printable mechanical time simulating solar system model used in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) could assist with the user’s understanding of the history of science, planetary orbital mechanics, gearing ratios, 3D printing, and systematically constructing a project using instructions. This paper describes the design of a 3D printable time simulating solar system model and how it’s construction could be used to teach the history of mechanical engineering and the abstract idea of the solar system. The combination of these two ideas could inspire users to learn, pursue coursework and, eventually, a career in a STEM field.