Sliding Ladder


A sliding ladder is the subject of many trigonometry and calculus problems. (While the question of who would ever let a ladder slide so dramatically is not covered in either class.) Often, such a problem requires students to compare two states of the moving ladder so a teacher or textbook accompanies the problem with a couple of right triangles to illustrate the change. Sometimes this is sufficient convey the idea, but the actual relationship between the changes legs and angles of a right triangle with a constant hypotenuse is, to me, much more interesting than two static sketches can convey. (omg, does this problem embody the rate of change of the tangent function? Eeeek!)

I designed this model so that I could actually show students what is happening and let them play with it and make their own observations before we drew the sketch. 

Printing Details

Raft: off (can be on)

Supports: off

Material: PLT

This print can be done using two colors or, if you have a single extruder, you can print the ground with one color and switch to red after the base is completed. The ladder needs to be printed separately (in Tinkercad, select each model (the wall and the ladder) and when you download for 3D printing, check the "Download the selected shapes" box. Note that the ladder, as is, is a bit flimsy. It is designed to slide through the slot in the ground, but it could stand to be a teenie bit wider and thicker.