3D printing in education: 6 of the best projects
Additive Manufacturing is used in various industries, from medical to aeronautics. We already have 3D printed shoes or even rocket engine parts. But to use 3D technologies, we have to understand them. That’s why they are starting to be used in education for people of all ages. In this blog post, we will talk about the most interesting 3D printing educational projects.
3D printing in education can help students by offering endless solutions to different problems. Every architecture student struggles with making mocks of their projects- 3D print one straight from your computer! Or imagine how much more fun would have been chemistry classes if you actually could have touched the molecules. With 3D printing services like Sculpteo you don’t even need 3D printers in school, just upload your file.
Why should we use 3D printing in education?
There are many different fields in education where 3D printing can be a game changer. It can help to educate not only young engineers, but also artists and even future chemists.
Learning Science with Additive Manufacturing
3D printing can revolutionize science projects. Biology students can 3D print organs for cross- sections and a better understanding of the human body. Chemistry teachers could print out complex molecules for the students to study. Additive Manufacturing can also help with geography lessons. For instance, 3D printed areas representing topography, population or demographics would help the students solving real-world problems.
3D printed prototypes
Additive Manufacturing can also be used for more creative sectors of education such as food technology, for example to 3D model and 3D print molds and cutter templates. Design and engineering students would definitely find many uses for 3D printing in prototyping for product design, creating mechanical parts or even bringing to live the final products at a low-cost.
Additive Manufacturing encourages entrepreneurship
Thanks to 3D printing young students are advocated to think independently and organize their workflow. Those are very important skills for entrepreneurship. But not only that, on next stages of their career, people who already came across Additive Manufacturing at schools and are familiar with it, will see the potential of using 3D printing for design and production process. 3D technologies are helpful from the start- they help to visual ideas, scan parts as well as produce high-quality prototypes at a low cost. On top of that, with the variety of materials and 3D printing methods, the entrepreneurs can produce fully functional parts using the knowledge they gained at school.
Let’s go deeper into our best picks of 3D printed educational projects!
Can 3D printing in the classroom be used in elementary school?
Yes! Mrs. Brown, a teacher from St Stephen School, used 3D technologies to find and solve a real-world problem: her daughter’s foot issue. The toddler has a problem with her legs and has to use special straps to be able to walk. Of course, as she grows and becomes more active she struggles more with the straps on her legs. They would make her feel uncomfortable, fall off and they were making it hard for her to play with other children. Ultimately they were a distraction for the girl to develop properly.
Mrs. Brown decided to introduce 3D printing lessons. She started talking with the students about real- world problems and how to incorporate 3D printing technologies. The 6 students decided to help her daughter by designing 3D printed clips. They had to think not only about the little girl’s comfort but also about safety measurements in cases such as swallowing the clip. Studying the straps and practicing on a doll, they came up with different solutions using 3D software to visualize their ideas.
Thanks to having a 3D printer at school they were able to make prototypes and come up with the best design. The obvious benefits of 3D printing used for this project are low-cost and fast production process, but 3D printing for education allowed the young students to create fully functional parts to help the little girl overcome the disadvantages.
Science classes with 3D printed models
In Napa New Technology High School, 3D printing is widely used for different purposes. The teacher, Shawn Carlton, sees the potential of incorporating 3D printing in education. He emphasizes how the technology helps to develop different sets of skills, such as thinking outside the box, problem-solving and many others. 3D printing stimulates creativity through different educational projects, it helps students to understand math and physics better, for example, the students can easily design complex models and 3D print them to help them understand the laws of physics.
Additive Manufacturing is also a very satisfying way of learning. The student has to first understand the task or work on solving the problem with his 3D designed model, and after weeks of designing and testing, they are rewarded with a 3D printed model. Such way of learning is very motivating for the students as they can actually see the results of their hard work.
Summer education with Additive Manufacturing: to help veterans do what they love again
It might sound like a funny thing, but imagine you’re unable to turn a page of your favorite book. This is the story of one of the veterans that cooperated with students from Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland. This college went as far as creating a 3D Digital Design and Manufacturing certificate where students worked with veterans to help them do what they love the most and help them to manage daily tasks despite their disabilities.
3D printed UFO Page Turner
We all have our favorite book or newspaper, but it’s hard to think of suddenly being unable to turn the page. Two students were inspired by the veterans who couldn’t read anymore and decided to come to the rescue using 3D printing in education. Tyler Tomazic chose to use Additive Manufacturing technologies to design the Easy Easel, a 3D designed device to hold a book, while Eric Szabo 3D printed a saucer-shaped UFO Page Turner for traditional books as well as touchscreen devices.
“It’s hard to imagine a point in my life where I suddenly couldn’t turn the pages in a book,” Szabo said. “There is so much that we take for granted that they just want to have back in their everyday lives. We want to give that back to them.”
Kashbu Patel aimed her 3D project for an even more basic skill that the veterans had problems with: eating. She design using 3D modeling software and Additive Manufacturing technologies an eating device. Thanks to the 3D printing technology she was able to produce an inexpensive model with very quick prototyping, the device was produced in amazing 13 hours! Using 3D printing in education can help develop not only the students but as mentioned one of the veterans: “I thought I had lost everything,” he said. “I am learning through these (students) that is not the case.”
The Garden Buddy
One of the students could relate to the problem the veteran struggled with: gardening. Christoper Wierma came up with a Garden Buddy device. The student himself had 4 back surgeries and understood how working with plants helped his recovery. Thanks to 3D printing, he was able to deliver prototypes in a short time, so the veteran was able to test them. 3D printing in education is revolutionizing the way young people think.
3D printed Fisherman’s Gauntlet
Last but not least, Mark Lettieri was moved by the veterans who missed fishing. Thanks to different 3D printing lessons he 3D modeled a hand cover for veterans who lost the strength or motor control to cast a fishing line. After the design process, Lettieri produced a customized prototype at a low-cost using Additive Manufacturing. Once again, 3D printing in education is allowing the creation of some fantastic projects, which would be impossible to achieve without 3D technologies.
Educational benefits from Additive Manufacturing
We could talk about the amazing possibilities 3D printing gives to education sector forever. Thanks to Additive manufacturing students are developing creative and problem-solving skills. But not only that 3D printing also helps them to understand different fields of study with 3D printed models as well as it allows for a faster production process with quickly 3D printed prototypes. Learn more about our materials for prototyping and get your parts 3D printed with Sculpteo today!
3D technologies also are rewarding students with quick and affordable results that motivate the students to work and grow. Maybe it’s time to start using 3D printing for your school? Remember you don’t necessarily have to own an expensive 3D printer. With our service, you can enrich the future of your students at an affordable price with very fast results. Introduce Additive Manufacturing by ordering your 3D printed parts with Sculpteo now!
Opening your own 3D printing lab
Why don’t you open a 3D printing lab at your school? It might seem like a hard task, especially in the terms of software. But we are here to help you with plenty of 3D modeling software tutorials to get you started. And to support your idea through the whole designing process, we also offer an education program with fabpilot. Fabpilot has some amazingly helpful features, it can save plenty of your time during the production process, it keeps your students’ files organized and even help you to produce the parts with the best efficiency and with little material waste. Contact fabpilot and get your free trial right away!
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