A17: Digital Fabrication: Puzzle Making

Digital Fabrication: Puzzle Making

Brief Description: Have students design a puzzle using Adobe software and digital fabrication techniques.

Grades: 5, 6, 7, 8


  • The time it takes to introduce ideas and design puzzles is about ~1.5 hours. Cutting will take different amounts of time depending on the size and detail of the puzzle, as well as the number of puzzles that need to be cut.

Keywords: digital fabrication, digital design, tesselation, polygons, puzzles

Lesson Objectives:

  • Students will learn how to use the basics of Adobe Illustrator as a digital design tool
  • Students will learn what a tessellation is and how to make one
  • Students will understand what vocab words: digital fabrication, raster, and vector


  • Adobe Illustrator
    • Stroke .001

  • Laser Cutter
  • Chipboard
  • Paint/paint brushes (optional)
  • Paper
  • Lesson Plan:

    • Introductions
    • Pre-puzzle activity:
    • Create a tessellation shape
      • Definition: an arrangement of shapes closely fitted together, especially of polygons in a repeated pattern without gaps or overlapping.
      • Example:¬†
      • Have them create one and use it to draw a tessellation pattern on a piece of paper¬†

  • What is digital fabrication? Digital fabrication is a type of manufacturing process where the machine used is controlled by a computer.
    • Examples:
      • 3d printer
      • Laser cutter
      • CNC machine

  • What is a laser cutter?
    • Rastering/etching
    • vector/ cutting

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