3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is gaining more acceptance and popularity in multiple disciplines. Compared to before, where 3D printing service was limited to the engineering discipline, it has found its usefulness in fields that include medicine, aviation, fashion, automotive, education, and more. 3D is the process of using a digital file to make three-dimensional solid objects. Through repetitive layering, it introduces a new and better way of creating products compared to traditional manufacturing methods. The use of 3D printing offers many advantages that include a reduction in cost, improvement in efficiency, reduction in error, time reduction, and more.
The use of 3D in education is an area that has gained ground over the years, and as it evolves further, its use would increase. Here are eight ways 3D Printers can be used in educational settings.
Kids learn faster and better if the classroom experience has an element of fun with it. With the creativity that comes to designing and manipulating objects using 3D, this can help kids develop their creative skills. Kids can use 3D printing to create many home decorations. Some well-known home decorations already printed with 3D printing include Secret Shelf by Wall Tosh, Spiral Vase by Matin Zampach, Pegboard Collection by Matt Manhattan, and more.
With 3D printing technology, students can learn how to make different musical instruments, from string instruments, to wind instruments, even to percussion as either a whole or Part at a lower price. Several musical instruments that include Ukulele, Flutes, Saxophone, Violin, Mouth Harp, and more have been printed using 3D printing technology. Students can learn how to use 3D printing technology in publishing the following
§ A complete instrument
§ Part of an instrument
§ Utilities for instruments
§ Decorations for instruments
§ Entirely new, unimagined sound
All that is needed is the right materials with the 3D digital file.
Internal organs/ human skeletons
With 3D printing, many body parts and even human structures can now be printed. Medical students can create different human organs that can enhance the quality of their training. Also, prosthetics that can help improve the understanding of the human body can equally be developed using 3D printing technology. At the moment, several body parts that include elastic bone, skin, ovary, Bionic ear, Bionic eye, antibacterial tooth have been created using 3D printers.
The world had seen many inventions, but there are still lots of things yet to be created that could provide solutions to real-life challenges. With 3D printing technology, students can be groomed as inventors or creators instead of consuming other inventors’ products. A boy, known as William Graeme, a person with diabetes, invented a first-world sanitary device that can store used blood testing strips. Given the right training, encouragement, and tools, the world would see more innovations from the classroom.
Geography teachers can use 3D printing technology to help students understand geography better. 3D is used in building and designing interactive maps.
Helping non-English learners to write and speak English better
According to Wolpert-Gawron, incorporating 3D printing in her English curriculum has helped reduce the number of non-English speaking kids dropping out of school as a result of disengagement with the traditional classroom method of teaching. The use of 3D in her curriculum has helped the kids master the art of speaking and writing in English.
Recreate real-life structures
Architectural students can learn how to create and print models of the world-famous building like the Taj-Mahal, the Empire State, and more. Students can also learn how to recreate historical ruins like the Dunnottar Castle, Colosseum building, and others in their former glory.
Many students in the U.S. are losing interest in math. In a bid to salvage this, many teachers are turning to the use of 3D printing technology. Tactile models help kids with their counting. Huffington featured an interesting piece on the possibilities of 3D Printing and the Future of Math Education. This piece includes inspiring wonder, explaining concepts, and building full-scale experiments.
How does a 3D printer work?
Every 3D printing involves three main steps: preparation, actual printing, and the finishing steps. During the preparation step, which is the first step. You designed a 3D file of the object to be printed either with CAD software that has a 3D scanner. You can equally download the 3D file from the internet.
The actual printing step is the second step. During this step, you decide on the material to use for your object. Every material is different and has different properties. The choice of material to use would depend on the one with the properties you want in your object. Materials in 3D include sand, resins, plastics, textiles, ceramic, food, glass, and more. Depending on the properties of the materials chosen, this determines if the material allows for more finishing options. The ability to allow for a better finishing option would decide whether you can achieve the precise design.
The final step is the finishing process. After printing, the object is lacquered, painted, or sanded, before it is put to use. This step requires specific materials and skills. The material you choose for your project would determine the appropriate printing method to use.
3D printing technology has come to stay, and the effects would be seen as more disciplines embraced the technology. Programs like the Create Education Project can help schools integrate 3D printing into their curriculum at no cost. The project assists schools by lending out a 3D printer in exchange for either a trial of their lesson plan for a class or a blog post that talks about their teacher’s experience using the 3D printer. The company uses this to show the benefit of using 3D printers in an educational environment. Some companies likewise offer lesson plans to schools, helping kids with how to use 3D printing.