3D Printing technology involves learning various subjects at one go!
And because of this technology’s ability to be multi-knowledge providing, educators in many parts of the world are changing their traditional process of teaching.
The fact that the price of 3D printers has decreased significantly in the past few years has made schools capable of affording 3D printers and including them into their curriculum systems.
In fact, there are many small budget 3D printers under $100 that are being used in schools worldwide.
By using 3D printers in their class, and engaging students to think about making real-life products, schools, universities and colleges are transforming for the better.
The Benefits of Using 3D Printing Technologies in Schools
Students are awe-filled because of the excitement this freedom-gifting technology creates.
The transformation is opening new possibilities of learning for students and allowing them to experiment with their ideas.
It’s demanding them to try new iterations and making them learn the importance of failure and how normal it is to fail and learn from failures to succeed.
Students are exposed to problem-solving skills. They are learning how to operate to 3D print a part or functional prototype and suffice the need of the hour.
It’s an art in which they can engage within a short duration whether their theoretical knowledge has some authenticity.
Where and How is 3D Printing Getting Employed in Schools Around the World?
3D Printing is still very new in schools. There have been experiments conducted by educators worldwide to try out this manufacturing technique.
- Japanese high school students 3D printed different kinds of whistles to learn about the subject of audio frequency. The subject of engineering and technology was taught to students by exposing them to the construction of 3D printers! This was made possible with a collaboration of Minecraft, 3D printing and design thinking. Making the complete process a little more creative, Kidville’s game was also used.
- According to a study published on ScienceDirect, two Greek high schools experimented by exposing 3D printing to their students for project making. After doing so, they found that given proper stimulation and necessary tools from which students can choose to self-learn, students who weren’t paying attention when taught with traditional techniques started paying attention.
- Nemorin carried out 20 five-month-long auto-ethnographic studies of grade nine woodworking courses taught at Lakeside High School in Melbourne, Australia. Comparing the traditional techniques with 3D printing, Nemorin came to the conclusion that there is a significant change in the number of factors that mattered before and now. However, the frustration, physical fatigue, mental exhaustion, tedium and occasional panic are to be taken into consideration while experimenting with 3D printing.
Where and How is 3D Printing Being Employed in Universities Around the World?
If there is a segment wherein 3D printing is getting utilized the most and even has the immense scope for the same in the future, it’s in colleges and universities.
Although there are many instances where 3D printing is utilized in universities in many ways, we’d like to mention the below three.
- Philadelphia University utilized RepRap 3D printers for primarily constructing a mechatronics design project. This is a part of senior capstone projects that are supported by the Princeton/Central Jersey Section (PCJS) of IEEE. This project is also used for introducing 3D printing technology to industrial engineering and business masters at the University of Applied Sciences Offenburg.
- An undergraduate capstone research course in Mechanical Engineering faculty at the University of Johannesburg includes studying test specimens for learning about mechanical properties of materials. There have been 3D printed polymer test models demonstrating appropriate prospects and fulfilling purpose in this engineering curriculum.
- Graduate students studying in the faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Belgrade used 3D printed components during their fan and turbocompressor experiments and measured their effects using 3D printed models in tunnels. Similar experiments were also conducted by fourth-year students studying Aerospace Engineering at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.
Where and How is 3D Printing Being Employed in Libraries Around the World?
Although you can question the basic digital nature of 3D printing technology question its relativity with libraries, the experiments that were done suggesting something else.
Libraries over much of the world are providing opportunities for collaboration and knowledge exchange which was hard to think otherwise.
- 3D printing and scanning projects at Dalhousie University Library, Groenendyk and Gallant sought to take the knowledge-sharing, innovation-driven ideas of hackerspaces and bringing them into an academic library setting. These libraries were audacious enough to think of making 3D printing accessible to students that studied in departments apart from architecture and engineering.
- Collaboration between a librarian and educator at LaGuardia Community College was productive enough to create a biological solution in-class teaching. Such collaboration is a perfect example that can inspire the same spirit globally – and these collaborations can lead to fruitful creations that can help the world to be better than what it currently is.
3D printing is still growing as a technology. To understand how it is getting employed in education and teaching you would have to consider how other faculties developed during the early stages.
All in all, there is still a lot to be explored in regards to 3D printing technologically and its place in a regular school curriculum.