3D Printing Hits the Classroom

by Matthew Wellington on June 16, 2013

3D Play Doh Printer3D printing has had many applications in several fields especially in the medical, defense and manufacturing platforms.

The technology has now spread to the education sector and is bringing forth great transformations so far.

It is anticipated that the technology will to a huge extent revolutionize the education system and at the same time trigger a lot of advantages in 3D Object Modeling and product designing. Think about how great it would have been if you had known about 3D printing while you were still in school?

With the world turning into a global village via technology, most if not all aspects of the world today are clearly being driven by technology. Yet so many students finish school without a good grasp of technology; hence they fail to know how they can use technology to prosper in the competitive technological world that awaits them out there.

Considering that 3D printing is going to be the next big thing in the coming years as far as technology is concerned, it is quite fortunate that 3D printing is finally hitting the classrooms.

Integrating 3D printing into the education system in schools will ensure many more people know how the technology can be used. This will serve as a timely eye opener to students on how 3D printing can play a significant role in turning our world around for the better.

The rapid Decreasing Prices of 3D Printers is enabling many schools today to afford the price of 3D printers. Organizations such as KickStarter and Bits from Bytes are putting in a lot of effort to make 3D printers as economical as possible for schools to afford.

BFB printers for example, which are the most common type of printers found in schools, are sold at a budget friendly price of about £1400 or less.

Design Classes and Courses

Using 3D printers for teaching in the classroom will be especially integral to students taking on design and architectural courses. Often, teachers of such courses have a problem explaining what it really means to design or create an object to their students because lessons are largely theoretical.

3D printing however bridges the gap by providing the practical facet of designing models and products. It turns lessons from being abstract sessions to appearing more real, fun and practical. By practically converting ideas into tangible and visible objects, 3D printing provides an almost real time experience of producing real objects making such courses more exciting and thrilling to students.

For teachers, 3D printing is also a solution that will catapult the learning process to a higher level by enabling teachers to have a better understanding of the ideas of their students. During design classes in the past, it was quite a bit of a challenge for teachers to comprehend the ideas of their students because discussions were solely theoretical.

3D printing technology now provides the opportunity for students to not only express their ideas in words but also in the form of visible real objects that can be seen, touched and felt. So teachers will be now able to give more accurate and essential information to their students on how to improve their ideas.

How 3D Printing Helps Students

Despite the fact that not all schools have managed to successfully invest in and introduce 3D printers to their students, it is definitely something all schools should be thinking about. 3D printing can help students in the following ways:

Broad Imagination

Drawing a certain design of an object you have in mind on paper is quite exciting, but that is just as far as it goes. In most instances one won’t have the compelling urge to find out better ways of designing the object, for it is actually difficult to identify mistakes in your design when all you have is a drawing. In such situations, the student’s imagination becomes limited.

With 3D printing nonetheless; you are able to create, feel and connect with models accelerating the imagination process of designing the final product. Seeing your idea turn into a physical object keeps one totally fired up and motivated to broaden ones imagination, improve on the weaknesses of models and come up with flawless more creatively designed objects.

Improved Design Skills

3D printers bought by schools for classroom use often come as Self Build Kits to help students quickly learn how to use the printers. These kits come handy in imparting students with the necessary design skills needed to design magnificent objects and final products. Basically, the kits grant students the opportunity to hone their design skills and in future become professional designers.

Technological Mindset

Introducing 3D printing in the classroom is the ideal way of nurturing technological mindsets in students. It is essential for students to understand how consequential technology is. For instance, students need to know the advantages of 3D printing over mass production of products as a good example of how technology benefits society.

In concise form, 3D printing gives students of feel of technology to keep them better equipped for future technological advancements.

Benefits of 3D Printing in the Classroom

3D printing is still at its infancy stages and quite a little bit of work needs to be done to perfect the technology. The primary benefit of bringing 3D printing to classrooms nevertheless is spreading the knowledge among as many people as possible. As more and more people get to know about 3D printing, more ideas will be triggered on how the technology can be improved in order for it to be fully integrated into our daily lives.

There are many disciplines that are likely to benefit from using 3D printing in the classroom. 3D printing helps students have an easier time understanding Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics concepts among other disciplines.

Most importantly, teaching 3D printing in the classroom is the perfect way of creating future entrepreneurs. By provoking the creativity and innovative spirit in people, there are high prospects that 3D printing will lead students to create important and beneficial products to our society. This will bring about more entrepreneurs, more job opportunities and better standards of living.

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