The focal point of a lens is directly related to its shape and radius of curvature as well as its material composition. In this activity, students will design and cast their own set of lenses. By changing the shape, radius of curvature, or material composition of the lenses, the effect of each variable on lens focal point can be experimentally determined. Using 3D printing to develop customizable lenses enables students to be actively engaged in building lenses of different shapes, dimensions, and materials. As a result, students will be able analyze trends between focal distance and lens dimensions and predict the lens dimensions necessary to produce a specific focal distance and vice versa; study the effect shape has on focusing light; and study the effect materials have on lens focal distance.!

Subjects: Physics, Science

Duration: 3 Lessons

Included Files: 

  • 1: Lesson PDF
  • 2: Instructions for Making
  • 3: Worksheet Only
  • 4: 40 mm Convex Lens.stl
  • 5: 50 mm Convex Lens.stl
  • 6: 60 mm Convex Lens.stl
  • 7: 70 mm Convex Lens.stl
  • 8: 80 mm Convex Lens.stl

All lesson plans are courtesy of Tinkerine Studios Ltd. and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License


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