The education sector imparts knowledge, creativity, and takes about billions of dollars a year. With that being said, education in schools, colleges, and universities has become immensely advanced.
Students are introduced to complex syllabuses to train their minds to become more creative and strong at problem-solving from a young age.
They are not only studying through books, they are presented with intelligent machines and instruments for them to polish their skills and become excellent problem solvers. One of such machines is a 3D printer, and now schools and colleges are increasingly taking full advantage of it.
What Is 3D Printing And What Are 3D Printers?
3D printing is done by creating a digital model in a 3D CAD (Computer-Aided Design) file and then producing a physical 3D object. The object is scanned or an already scanned object is used, which is processed by software known as a “slicer.”
The slicer then converts the model into a series of thin, 2D layers and produces a file with instructions (G-code) fashioned to the specific type of 3D printer.
Why Use a 3D Printer in a Classroom?
3D printers in classrooms add new dimensions to the curriculum and the classroom environment. They are a fun and creative way of learning and honing the students’ skills in various aspects of their personal, educational, and professional lives.
They instill confidence, creativity, motivation, team building, and problem-solving skills in the students, and are a fun way for teachers to bond with their students.
So what are the 10 benefits of having a 3D printer in a classroom? Let’s find out
3D Printing Teaches Real-World Skills
The 3D printing technology takes students all the way from the manufacturing process towards a finished product in their hands. 3D printing enables students to open their minds and use their imagination to create an object that they could hold, which ultimately improves their ability to think and come up with ideas.
Students become good at it and develop interest, which can help them figure out ways to earn from 3D printing in the future. If they are taught about all the practical possibilities along with business studies, this enables them to develop their minds to find solutions and think for their own benefit of how they can build a future.
It Is Fun and Fosters Communication
Bringing a 3D printer in the class and teaching students can give way to endless fun and curiosity. Students get to interact with each other and have fun in the process. They are able to share their ideas and creativity with class fellows and teach them as well, which forms a great bond and fosters teamwork spirit in them.
By learning how to operate a 3D machine, students can have fun choosing what color or shape they want their object to be. They get to show each other their finished projects, hence inspiring creativity and disseminating ideas among themselves.
Nowadays, 3D printing is introduced to children from kindergarten, which obviously intends for them to have fun and learn as well. Young children get to print toys and take them home!
Operate Complex Machinery
Students learn to use their brains in a healthy way and learn ways to operate different 3D printing machinery. As their interest develops and they hone their skills, they are introduced to upward levels of 3D printing.
They learn to handle intricate details and build complex geometrical prints and are expected to guide their fellows in the process. This boosts their problem-solving skill, a skill needed in every aspect of personal and professional life.
Not only will they learn to run a 3D machine, but they can also engineer one on their own with its own set of operations by using their innovative minds
Improve Spatial Intelligence
Spatial intelligence improves brain activity by helping students analyze and understand shapes, sizes, movements, and relationships between different objects. They are able to draw conclusions from noticing the 3D environments. This allows students to achieve new heights in STEM projects
Increase Digital Engagement
Students are introduced to mentally stimulating and enjoyable technology. Teachers can enable fresh ways to keep their pupils busy and this boosts relevance in their lessons. Since 3D printers are applicable across education levels; it makes them a genuine starting point for digital engagement
Instills Computational Thinking
Skills such as logical thinking, pattern recognition, reasoning and problem solving, and decomposition are computational skills.
They enhance a student’s ability to think and come up with intelligent ways of cooperation and solutions. 3D printers (and other tools such as micro, bits, and Raspberry Pi) enable computational thinking a major part of the modern curriculum
Teaching Becomes Entertaining
Not only students, but teachers also learn new and exciting things while teaching their students. They discover how engaging and fun projects create a special bond between them and their students which makes students look forward to spending time with them and create trust and compassion.
Teachers are expected to demonstrate their skills and make their own 3D printing projects, and this becomes a way for coming out of textbooks and presentations.
Teachers can come up with entertaining 3D printing activities, such as asking students to create a new musical instrument, create interactive maps, decorations, famous or historical buildings, and new architecture, come up with tools for any job like what would an astronaut in NASA need, create human organs or skeletons, build math experiments, or create fascinating fantasy beings. Imagine all the possibilities one would get to see and all the fun!
Jobs and Careers
3D printing provides endless jobs and career opportunities. Since the advent of 3D printing, employment and economic rates have reached new heights. Students can discover careers like engineering, architecture, medicine, and creatives.
They can open up their own business of 3D printing or work freelance and for on-demand projects. 3D printing is a pivotal aspect of the entertainment industry. Movies and films use prosthetics or different art and engineering projects to bring 3D effects and enhance the experiences of their audiences.
Without a 3D printing expert, they will not be able to achieve this. Students of graphic designing can print out their artwork in real form, and introduce their own business or studio and even work from home.
Students studying geography can print out maps, demographics or topography, demographic, or population maps. As a student of chemistry, you can construct and print out 3D models of molecules. If you are studying biology, you can print out cells, organs, viruses, body parts, and other biological artifacts.
A math student will be able to print 3D models of problems to solve. Apart from all of this, you can impart knowledge of 3D printing by becoming an expert teacher.
With advanced, modern machinery, students will ultimately become experts at handling them and find endless career opportunities in the field of 3D printing.
Gives Way to Knowledge Previously Inaccessible
Most 3D printers come pre-assembled and are plug-and-play machines, which makes it technology for students too.
Students are given a chance to learn as well as understand that failing at the first step means that they can improve later on. As students begin to own the fact that failure is an essential part of any learning process, they become open to trying new things.
This builds their confidence and teachers get to see their beloved students become more self-assured and motivated.
3D Printers Use Fewer Resources
3D printers are cost-effective. There are separate 3D printers that are suitable for classrooms, are mostly small, and occupy less space and cost. They are energy-saving and less time-consuming to use.
The materials wasted during 3D printing are recyclable and you might not need any special precautions because modern 3D printers do not produce harmful fumes or toxins as they come with their own ventilation systems.
The world of 3D printing has been a vital source of education and careers. It is apparent that 3D printing has made many dreams come to reality with each object created. It has encouraged creators to never stop designing, whether for themselves or for a job they love to do.
Teaching students 3D printing opens up a wide variety of innovations and integrates special skills in those learning it that can help them for the rest of their lives in providing for themselves and their loved ones, and creating mesmerizing works of art.