Using 3D Printing in Education & the Classroom
3D printers along with CAD/CAM tools are being used by businesses large and small to take advantage of the additive technology known as 3D printing. The ability to create on demand three-dimensional objects of nearly any shape or form has unleashed countless possibilities and driven industry to a new level. The growing implementation of 3D printing naturally extends down to education where students can learn the technology of their future.
Prepare Students for their Careers
The workforce of tomorrow – our business leaders, visionaries, inventors, and caregivers – is in the classroom today. Just as students are expected to have access to computers, there is no question that students today are going to need to understand and use 3D printers. Our technology-driven world embraces possibility; 3D printing technology defines it. And 3D printers are being implemented in every career field. Consider these examples:
Geology: soil structure; replication of unreachable subsurface rocks, space rocks, and fragile fossils for visualization and teaching purposes; 3D topographic maps
Veterinary: horse shoes; animal prosthetics
Forensics: crime scene replication; facial reconstruction; evidence reproduction for handling in the courtroom
Engineering: car parts; jet engine parts; robotics; NASA satellite parts; drones
Architecture and Construction: scale models; prefab housing; nodes and other parts for construction
Fashion: jewelry; cleats for athletic shoes; designer clothing; custom stilettos
Entertainment: 3D selfies; wedding cake tops that replicate the couple; toys and toy parts; custom fit earbuds
3D Printers Bring the Classroom to Life
3D printers aren’t just for students. White boards, slide shows, and lectures fall flat compared to three-dimensional, tangible models. With 3D printers, educators can move beyond telling to showing and creating. The classroom becomes an interactive learning center. Student learning outcomes soar when students witness a vision become a reality. And learning and understanding reach new levels as students work to implement a design. Examples of where 3D printing can impact the classroom include:
Biology: DNA models; replication of organs and biological systems
English: Characters from literature; devices, tools, and other items from short stories
Art: Multimedia elements; custom designed easels, stands, and frames
Math: Matrix and array models; XYZ three-dimensional Cartesian Coordinate system
Business: Bring to life the concepts of on-demand prototyping, manufacturing, and production
CAD: Create designs that are actually implemented
Robotics: Design and make intricate parts for custom-made devices
Educators can reach multiple learning objectives with 3D printers. Key to building a foundation for advanced thinking skills later is early exposure to science, technology, engineering, and math, or STEM. Using 3D printers in the classroom is a way to incorporate multiple aspects of STEM learning, not to mention critical thinking and team-building skills. And 3D printing in education is unique compared to other technologies. The mindset of the student becomes one where it is okay to fail and encourages experimentation in their learning.
From Preschool to PhD
Preschoolers will enjoy the boost to imaginative play with custom accessories and game pieces made possible through 3D printing. Elementary students, with their ability to understand the potential of 3D printing, will get excited about incorporating such a tool into their creativity toolbox. Middle school and high school students understand teamwork, design, and implementation. 3D printers will be a technology they naturally embrace to implement their ideas. Postsecondary education students will be at an advantage when they already understand 3D printing technology because colleges and universities make extensive use of 3D printers with applications in engineering, medical, and research, to name a few. With the variety of materials, precise detail, and durability, 3D printing has applications at every stage of education and beyond. Here are some prime examples:
Generate Excitement and Foster Creativity
School projects take on a whole new meaning. Introduce the ways 3D printers are being used and then let your students try it themselves. The excitement in the classroom will become palpable and from observing the ideas of others, student will experience personal inspiration and creativity. Students need to embrace new technology, not just be aware of some abstract idea. They need to have access to the technologies that will become commonplace, and this includes 3D printers.
Call us today at (844) 337-7687 or contact us here to learn how 3D printing can change your Classroom.