It's been a while now since we were first introduced to 3D printers and all the benefits that 3D technology brings to the table. One could argue that industrial designers and architects had the most reason to celebrate because now they could print scaled models in just several hours instead of spending days or even weeks to develop a mockup manually.
However, the usability of 3D printers extends far beyond the realm of prototype development. Nowadays we can see people using these devices to print organs like heart, kidney, and other major parts of the human body. But is there a place for 3D printing in education? How do our academic endeavors benefit from technology that allows us to create tridimensional models? These are the questions we are going to answer in the following article.
The practical approach
When students work on a CAD (Computer-Aided Design) model, they create a virtual presentation that exists in 3 dimensions but can only be observed through a 2D screen. Printing the project allows students to bring their work to life and create a scaled or full-size working model.
This way, we can feel the product of our work within our hands, test it, analyze it for potential improvements, and know for sure that it's the exact representation of our CAD design. This practical approach brings the students closer to the production process instead of holding them back chained to a piece of software that they aren't even sure would work when the production starts.
For a while now, agencies that provide writing help for university students have been in high demand. Busy college schedules pointed the young scholars towards services that gladly take over most of the creative work from their hands. So what happens to all that unused creative potential that schools and colleges should nurture and develop?
3D printing allows students to unleash their creativity and come up with unique solutions that they could design and then print out piece by piece until they assemble all of the components. Since there are no manufacturing restrictions, kids could create virtually anything that comes to their mind without the need for various tools, production line, or hours of manual labor.
Recently, William Grame, a 10-year-old student enrolled in a Hackathon event that offered coding and 3D printing courses. William chooses the latter to help himself and all other diabetics with managing blood test strips. William has Type-1 diabetes which means he has to perform regular blood sugar checkups using test strips. Since he couldn't find a disposal unit anywhere on the market, he came up with an idea to design and print out his model where he could store the strips safely.
Enhanced student engagement
Being a passive observer in class often leads to a loss of interest in the topic because they are not engaged during the lecture as active participants. There's a reason why playful learning methods and gamified educational software are becoming the norm in schools and colleges around the globe. Our brains are hardwired to adopt new practices easier through games and active engagement.
This is where the benefits of 3D printing in education come to light because the students can work together with the teacher to bring individual or group projects to life. This puts the kids in motion, ushering creativity, teamwork, planning, and excitement when their digital model takes a physical form. The final result includes higher engagement and better acquisition of knowledge, as well as building up their social and personal skills.
The adoption of new technologies is paramount for every school system because it gives the younger generations a first-hand experience with the tools of the future. The benefits we mentioned in this article are just some of the many that come with the use of 3D printers, numerous individual positive influences depend on each student distinctively. Whether it's to spark innovation and creativity or to induce engagement in the class, 3D printers offer students' the opportunity for personal growth and to master a craft that could propel their professional careers in years to come.
Joshua Robinson is a freelance content writer engaged in topics that include college lifestyle, digital trends, and advanced learning methods. Joshua started his writing career as a college essay writer, which gave him insight into most common student academic issues and needs. As a content creator, Joshua tends to deliver practical value to his readers, based on trusted resources and in-depth research.