3D Printing

Considering bringing 3D printing into your class or school?
Here are some resources and information to assist you!

Why 3D Print with kids?

3D printing, at first glance appears to be a good method to make junk. Indeed, you are not incorrect in that assessment. Initially. Really, though, don’t all technologies start off that way – the average citizen doesn’t really see the value right off the bat.

At first, many of the creations will be junk. Almost anyone, taking their first shot at 3D printing is going to print something like a keychain. In fact TinkerCAD – one of the great places to start into 3D printing uses a keychain as one of the introductory tutorials to working in the 3D environment.

Why? Why would we do 3D printing with kids? There are a few reasons why schools should consider 3D printing as an investment for students

Growth Mindset

Is it overwhelming? Initially, it may feel that way. However, it’s a great opportunity to learn alongside students, and model a growth mindset.

The teacher is going to fail. The students are going to fail. Celebrate this. Failure is part of learning, and it does students good to bear witness to the learning process with a respected adult in their lives.

Future Ready

Schools of the twenty-first century are tasked with preparing students for a future that does not yet exist. Things are changing so quickly, that many of our students will work in careers that have not yet been invented. If you think back 15 years in your head, a lot was different. For example, social media. This phenomenon was just emerging into mainstream culture 15 years ago. Social media manager was not yet a career. Now, just a mere decade and a half later, every major company serious about competing in a globalized, capitalist economy has at least one social media manager employed. And that is just one example.

Biomedical engineering is moving rapidly into 3D printing. A peek at the conference schedule for the 2019 3D printing conference in Rome reveals not just body parts and surgical requirements now being 3D printed, but also food, shoes, implants and a myriad of other surprises. This brings us to our final question: If students have never been exposed to 3D printing or designing in a 3D environment, how will they know to consider one of these career paths for themselves?