3D printing the Pyramid of Giza in the classroom. Source: MakerBot
3D printing the Pyramid of Giza in the classroom. Source: MakerBot

MakerBot Academy has created a content pack of the Great Pyramid of Giza for students to learn and understand more about the ancient civilization of Egypt.

According to National Geographic, the Great Pyramid was built during the Pharaoh Khufu’s reign, circa 2550 B.C. Its height is 481 feet (147 meters) and uses approximately 2.3 million stone blocks, weighing between 2.5 to 15 tons each. It’s estimated that workers would have to set a block every two and a half minutes.

The pyramid has three burial chambers: One is underground, the second is called the Queen’s chamber, and the third is the King’s chamber. The Queen’s chamber was originally named by early explorers. However, it is known now that the chamber was never intended for any of Khufu’s wives, who would have had their own burial mounds. It was likely a chamber housing a sacred statue of the king.

MakerBot states that the content pack includes a two-part file of the pyramid and a lesson plan that explores the engineering, design, and construction process of the pyramid. The 3D model of the Great Pyramid of Giza prints in two separate pieces that slide together. When apart, they show the three chambers of the pyramids.

“Three walls of our 3D printable model represent the pyramid's modern appearance. But the fourth wall presents the ancient wonder as it would've looked in 2560 BC, gleaming with polished limestone that was later stripped to build other pyramids,” MakerBot's Ben Millstein explained.

“When students have the ability to hold a model or, in this case, a piece of history in the form of the Great Pyramid of Giza in their hands, it allows them to see the object differently,” said Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot.

Pettis is a former school teacher, and he knows the importance of student engagement. Pettis states, “This particular model slides apart to show the interior of the pyramid and the chambers inside. Students can get up close and personal to the Great Pyramid of Giza without traveling to Egypt to see it in person. To me, this is a transformative method of teaching; using a MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer in the classroom is almost like having access to a time machine.”

Millstein explained the benefits of the print in the classroom, saying, “Students will learn how erosion and human interference created the worn, jagged look the pyramid is left with today. [They can also] open the model to reveal a detailed diagram of the multi-chambered tomb and guide students through the most complex internal structure ever discovered in a pyramid.”

Download The Great Pyramid of Giza 3D Model File