How the Evolution of 3D Printers Has Made them a Foundational Tool for the Classroom

​​Evolution of Affordable 3D Printing Technology for Schools

3D printing technology isn’t a new technology! Despite being quite expensive at first, 3D printers have existed for nearly 50 years. In the past 10 years, advancements in 3D printing technology have made it cheaper and more user-friendly. This has increased its accessibility to schools and educational institutions.

The evolution of 3D printing is fostering creativity and hands-on learning among students. Not sure if your 3D printer is serving your students and teachers well? Take our short quiz to find out if it’s time for an upgrade!

How Is 3D Printing Changing STEM Manufacturing?

Traditional manufacturing methods come with certain design and creation limitations that 3D printing processes can overcome.

Advancements in 3D printing technology have made it a practical production method for prototyping, design testing, and small-scale production. This enables the manufacturing industry to accelerate prototype production, utilize a wider variety of materials, reduce costs, and enhance functionality.

This efficiency has enabled designers and engineers to iterate more rapidly, leading to the creation of improved products. As a result of these improvements, students with 3D printing experience will be better equipped for future careers in the manufacturing industry.

Desktop 3D printing, in particular, has made 3D printing readily available for professionals, students, and designers to create prototypes and models directly at their desks, particularly in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

Being able to make prototypes and models in the classroom helps students learn about the making process by actually doing it. This kind of hands-on learning helps students understand manufacturing better. Plus, it sparks creativity and helps them learn to solve problems and come up with new ideas.

In summary, the rise and evolution of 3D printing have brought about significant changes in manufacturing and education. 3D printing is a useful technology that provides a cost-effective method for making prototypes and products. It also helps students develop skills that will be valuable in their future careers. When students learn important skills for their future jobs, we all win.

Benefits of Using 3D Printing In Your School

Incorporating affordable 3D printers into a school’s curriculum helps students develop creativity and innovation, key elements for STEM careers. These tools allow students to solve real-world problems, enhance their problem-solving skills, and gain hands-on experience. They also increase students’ confidence in tackling challenges and generating new ideas.

As they collaborate on projects using 3D printing technology, students improve teamwork and communication skills. This fosters an environment that mirrors future workplaces in the manufacturing industry.

More educators are realizing that they can make lessons more practical and hands-on, using 3D technology. Students actually enjoy the interactive lessons, pay better attention, and are better prepared for challenges and success in their future STEM careers.

Making STEM Engaging Through 3D Printing

If “a picture is worth a thousand words,” imagine the value of a 3D model and 3D printed parts. This technology allows students to physically interact with their own designs and witness the production process. STEM education at this level improves their learning experience and their view of education and the world.

A seasoned educator knows that no two students are the same. Each student learns differently. Through 3D printing lessons, teachers can engage students of all learning styles.

Most teachers agree that the presence of a 3D printer in the classroom increases student engagement and collaboration. It also enables students to connect more personally with the subject matter.

The beauty of affordable 3D printing is that it isn’t subject-specific. Students can use this technology to print shapes for mathematical calculations, topographic maps, historically accurate WWI planes, anatomical models and bones, the solar system, and more.

Not only does 3D printing make learning more engaging, but it also sparks students’ interest in STEM fields – even at an early age. The need for STEM professionals is growing, which means there will be millions of new jobs in the next decade. This makes STEM education more important than ever. Adding 3D printing curriculum into classroom instruction can lead students toward fulfilling STEM careers.

Hands-on learning with 3D printing helps students understand how to make prototypes, a crucial part of manufacturing. When a school collaborates with Technical Training Aids, the students will be better equipped for the future.

Support for Teachers in STEM Education with 3D Printing Technology

Teachers and educators may hesitate to introduce 3D printing in schools, particularly desktop 3D printing. They cite concerns such as high costs, complicated 3D printers, and a possibly steep learning curve for them and their students.

These are just myths in the technology industry! 3D printing has made prototype production a reality in many classrooms, further enhancing the educational technology landscape.

For example, students don’t need months of CAD experience or coding to use these 3D printers. We have many easy-to-understand 3D printing lessons suitable for all ages. Teachers typically provide guidance on using the computer, allowing students’ creativity to take the lead.

While high-cost printers are available, we offer affordable 3D printing options that can work with your school’s budget. Most of the time, schools can share printers across the entire student body! To learn more about the available printer options for your school’s needs and budget, contact us here.

Most importantly, having an experienced support system in place is necessary when dealing with complex technologies like 3D printing. Technical Training Aids has been supporting schools and educational facilities for many years. We give teachers the tools, lessons, and support they need to get students ready for the future. This includes learning how to prototype models for the manufacturing industry.

Reach out to the Technical Training Aids team today if you’d like to learn more about the benefits of 3D printing for your classroom!