3D Printing is a multi-beneficial technology that serves a wider range of industries every day. Learning about it at an early age provides students with crucial skills with a technology that has the potential to serve them in any subject or industry they wish to pursue. It also energizes the learning process, allowing for students and teachers alike to interact more directly with what they are learning.
Developing Knowledge of New Technologies
3D Printing is a technology that continues to grow and is used not only for prototyping and manufacturing but to facilitate innovation in a multitude of different fields. Developing the skills to use it not only open the door to future jobs but also allows for new levels of thinking and potential as the limits of what is possible to create are pushed.
Refining Creativity, Design and Problem Solving Skills
It also calls for students to develop key skills in design, allowing them to advance their creativity and engage their imagination. By observing an object that they have designed and 3D printed, they are able to make tests, refine their work and learn by trial and error, enabling students to participate more fully in their own learning and develop problem solving skills. It also gives them the tools and confidence to pursue new ideas.
Enabling Visual Learning
Teachers can use 3D printing to create tangible aids and illustrate complex concepts or objects that allow for students to engage more directly with whatever they are learning about and this extends to virtually any subject in school. History students can observe a specific 3D printed artifacts. Geography students can explore 3D printed maps. In Biology, a 3D printed model of a heart gives students a chance to investigate from all angles and gather and retain information they might not from a 2 dimensional image.
How 3D Printing Technology Can Successfully Be Introduced in Schools
In the last few years the cost and size of machines has dropped making them more accessible to schools. The biggest challenge is equipping teachers with the skills needed to apply this technology in the classroom. More and more guides, tutorials and project ideas for educators are being put in place online and accompanying specific machines. If 3D printing is to successfully integrate classrooms it is crucial that teachers are given the tools they need to understand it themselves.
Because the 3D printing world is aware of its growing importance in the classroom, many machines are being built to suit younger users. What’s important is selecting the right machines to best fit a school’s curriculum.
When introducing printers is not possible, tools like 3D printing pens allow students to develop a basic understanding of 3D by creating their own sculptures. 3D printing services like Shapeways can also be utilized to give students access to high-end technology without the cost associated with buying a printer.
Despite the challenges of integrating a new technology into schools it is no question that 3D printing is becoming an undeniable asset in education. It not only invigorates the learning process but provides students with invaluable skills and opportunities to expand the realms of possibility for developing minds.
Want to utilize 3D printing for your educational project? Shapeways will help you bring industrial grade printing to your next big project.