Technology plays an important role in our lives. It impacts how we work, how we communicate with each other, and how we have fun, and more. In fact, we can feel its impact in almost all areas of our lives, and recently, it has even transformed the way we educate and learn. One of those technologies that changed the education industry is 3d printing, which becomes more and more popular among students of all ages.
3D printing allows people to transform digital files into real designs. There are dozens of materials that can be used for 3D printing, though the most popular ones are different variations of plastics, which are both cheap and recyclable. Each printer creates layer after layer of the material until the object has been printed whole. This technology opens up a multitude of possibilities for teaching all kinds of different subjects.
On top of that, 3D printing is constantly developing, and its market is expected to grow rapidly over the next few years, which will make it an even bigger part of our lives. But why is it important in education in any way? What value does it provide for both students and educators? Well, that is exactly what we will focus on in the next part of this article.
It creates excitement and boosts engagement
Children are excited to see how the 3D printer works. Image source: Freepik
Unfortunately, most students struggle to get excited about learning. It's true for students of all ages, and not only children and even teenagers as it's most commonly believed, and that's why using 3D printing in the classroom could be so beneficial. It creates excitement and gives students the chance to try out something completely new and create a project from the ground up.
It helps them experience things no only from the textbook and to explore details in the real world. It is a new way of learning for most students, which can open up completely new ways to teach and present information in an engaging way.
And in addition to the excitement 3D printing brings to the classroom, it can help students to feel more engaged during the class, which, in turn, can help them retain and recall information, which can assist them in learning more advanced concepts. On top of that, many students prefer the visual and hands-on approach provided by 3D printing over just listening to teachers and taking notes from the text-books. Active learning is the way of the future, and 3D printing will likely play a significant role in it.
3D printing allows for a lot of creativity
3D printing helps students harness their imagination. Image source: Pixabay
Another reason why 3D printing is so popular among students comes down to creativity. It can help students harness their imagination and create some truly incredible things. In addition to that, the ability to see the process from start to finish, and to see the fruits of their labor, is something that is very exciting for many students.
Students can use 3D printing to create a variety of things in a classroom environment. They can use it to print out their projects and artwork, while teachers can use it to print maps, cells, molecules, and other objects to provide the visual aid to covered topics and subjects.
The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to the creativity that a single 3D printer can bring to the class, and as the industry continues to develop, there will always be new things possible to do with 3D printing.
If you would like to introduce your students to 3D printing and you don’t know which tool you can use, we would recommend SelfCAD. It’s easy to use, and you can get started just within a few weeks of learning. It’s an all-in-one CAD software, which means it allows you to model, sculpt, render, and even slice without the need for additional software. On top of that, it's an online modeling application, which makes it the best CAD software for education.
Now, let's have a look at why 3D printing is so important in education and what value does it provide for students.
#1 It teaches skills related to an expanding technology
As mentioned in the introduction, the 3D printing market is growing rapidly, and considering that it's already in use by the majority of industries and hobbyists alike, we can only wonder what it means for the future. What can be sure, however, is that it's not going anywhere, and as a result, introducing students to it while they are young can help them develop skills that will help them later on in life.
Gaining this knowledge as a child could give them an edge on the competition when it comes to finding a job that requires 3D printing skills. Even if students don’t use 3D printing in particular, becoming familiar with all of the technological components and aspects of the machine and how it works can be incredibly useful in life as they grow older.
#2 It can inspire children and teens alike
Another benefit of using 3D printers in the classroom is for inspiration. It's a goal for teachers and schools, in general, to inspire their students to reach for the stars. Unfortunately, traditional education fails to do that, as writing papers and reading books are more likely to bore them rather than inspire them.
3D printing allows them to become creators and inventors, and with no limits to what they can create, can inspire them to dream big and chase their dreams right away! And who knows, maybe the next great inventor will be inspired thanks to their teachers using a 3D printer to engage them in their lessons. No longer do your students need to use the inventions and creations of others to learn, and now they can be the inventors themselves.
#3 Can help students collaborate with each other
Collaborating and working together is a skill that is required at all stages of our lives, not only at school. Unfortunately, much of the student's time focus on individual performance rather than working in teams. Of course, there are occasional group projects or book reports, but those are very limited when it comes to getting students to collaborate with one another, which is not the case with 3D printers.
Using 3D printers in the classroom allows students to work together at all stages of the project, where they can learn the ins and outs of the machine itself, as well as collaborate on what to create.
It compels a much more hands-on approach to collaborate with their peers than simply gluing a few things to a poster or writing a part of the report that is later put together at the end. In addition to working on collaboration skills, 3D printing also helps students build up relationships. People who take on new and exciting experiences together tend to connect due to that experience, which allows them to relate to each other with ease.
#4 It helps build Problem-Solving Skills
Having good problem-solving skills is very important in every aspect of life. It's almost required at school, demanded as an employee, and beneficial in your personal life. 3D printers can offer students an incredible way to hone their problem-solving skills through learning and experimenting with the machine. They will need to learn how different printers work, how to operate them, and what to do when you encounter problems with them.
These are skills that students don’t get to work on to this extent in traditional classrooms. Dealing with these problems can help students learn valuable things like persistence and how to overcome obstacles that stand in their way. All of this can adequately prepare them for their future challenges in college, the workplace, and several other areas of their lives.
Being able to successfully deal with problems can also help students feel more confident, as well. They can feel confident and fulfilled knowing the steps they took and the challenges they overcame to create their project.
As you can see, there are several reasons why 3D printing is important in education and what value does it provide for both students and teachers. From inspiring students to aim high to nurturing skills that will benefit them in other areas of life, 3D printing technology brings various benefits when used in a classroom setting, making it a worthy addition to education space.
Do you have any questions about the article? Have any thoughts that you'd like to share with others? Do you think something should be added or changed? Take part in the discussion in the thread dedicated to this article by clicking on the button down below.
Haven't tried SelfCAD yet? Register now, and try it out for free!