This web page is a repository for material I have developed to use 3D printed models of curves and surfaces to help Multivariable Calculus students develop their geometric imagination/visualization skills. The surfaces were designed with the aid of Mathematica. The Mathematica notebooks, which are available at the link below, generate STL files that can be printed using a 3D printer. Some of the models are simple enough that we were able to print them cheaply using a PrintrBot Simple printer. The remainder can be printed by Shapeways at a moderate cost. The STL files are also available at the link below. To view the models you can either run the Mathematica notebook or you can use the open source software MeshLab which can read in the STL file.
You may download and modify the code in any way you like. However, I would appreciate a short email to let me know how you are using the models. (zweck 'at' utdallas 'dot' edu)
I am also writing a series of Active Learning Projects that we are using in Problem (Tutorial) Sessions for the Calculus III course I teach at UT Dallas.
Thanks to Stephanie Taylor, Ximone Willis, Mary Urquhart, Sue Minkoff, Sonny Skaaning, Abdullah Helal, Yanping Chen, Arafat Khan, Jing Guo, Johnathan Popa, Sonam Lama, Jordan Kaderli, Mikaela McMurtry, Henry Curtis, Carl Finley, Dalia Franco Cortes, Jonathan Sok, Erik Rinqvist, Andrew Marder, Ariel Dezeeuw, Danika Lelina, and the SME Interns for their invaluable assistance with this project.
Paraboloid [Rectangular Grid] Mathematica Code STL File Project 1, Project 5 
Paraboloid [Polar Grid] Mathematica Code STL File Project 1, Project 5 
Hyperboloid of One Sheet [Rectangular Grid] Mathematica Code STL File Lecture Demo 
Hyperboloid of One Sheet [Polar Grid] Mathematica Code STL File Project 5 
Saddle Surface [Rectangular Grid] Mathematica Code STL File Project 2 
Saddle Surface [Level Curves] Mathematica Code STL File Project 2 
Helix [Left/Right] Mathematica Code STL Files: Left, Right Project 3 
Spiral Staircase [Helicoid] Mathematica Code STL File  
Saddle Surface [Ruled] Mathematica Code STL File Project 6 
Hyperboloid of One Sheet [Ruled] Mathematica Code STL File Project 6 
Humpty Dumpty [Elliptical Paraboloid] Mathematica Code STL File Lecture Demo 
The Horse's Saddle [Saddle Surface] Mathematica Code STL File Lecture Demo 
Humpty Dumpty on a Horse  Lecture Demo 
Intersecting Half Cylinders [You need more than 1!] Mathematica Code STL File 
Intersecting Cylinders [You need more than 1!] Mathematica Code STL File 
Temple of Viviani Mathematica Code STL File Connection to MH370 
Limit DNE [via Rays] Mathematica Code STL File Project 4 
Limit DNE [via Parabolas, I] Mathematica Code STL File Project 4 
Limits DNE [[via Parabolas, II]] Mathematica Code STL File Project 4 
Double Slippery Dip [For Critical Points] Mathematica Code STL File Project 7 
Sting Ray [For Critical Points] Mathematica Code STL File Project 7 
Two Local Max [Only 2 Critical Points!] Mathematica Code STL File Project 8 
Local Max Not Global [Only 1 Critical Point] Mathematica Code STL File Project 8 
Easter Egg In Toblerone Box [Global Max/Min] Mathematica Code STL File Lecture Demo 
Helix as Intersection of Cylinder and Wave Mathematica Code Virtual Model 
Helix as Intersection of Two Orthogonal Waves Mathematica Code Virtual Model 
Intersection of Paraboloid and Vertical Plane Mathematica Code Virtual Model 
