3D Printing Microfossils

Beverly Owens, Cleveland Early College High School
Molly Ludwick, Kings Mountain Middle School


This resource provides a number of stl files that are a result of IODP and Joides Resolution coring and recovery efforts. These files can be 3D printed to provide students with a tangible example of something that is microscopic, and found in sediment cores.

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This resource can be used with any content area, but classes studying the ocean, geology, or fossils would benefit the most.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students only need observational skills.

How the activity is situated in the course

This resource can be used in an inquiry activity, as an exploration, or in art projects.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Students will have a better understanding of what microfossils look like.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Students will make observations about the microfossils.

Other skills goals for this activity

Description and Teaching Materials

Each slide in this document provides an image of a particular microfossil, as well as a link to an stl file on MakerBot's file repository, Thingiverse. The stl can be downloaded and 3D printed for students to use in making tangible examples of microfossils using clay, or even colored with markers to make microfossil stamps.


Teaching Notes and Tips

The teacher will need to have access to a 3D printer.


This resource can be used in a variety of ways. It is meant to be exploratory, to provide a tangible example of a microscopic fossil.

References and Resources

Stl files are produced from svg files of images from Joides Resolution and IODP

Learn more about theInternational Ocean Drilling Program (IODP)

See moreresources for educators from IODP