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Find Out How Using 3D Printers in the Classroom Makes Learning Exciting for Students

Using 3D Printers in the Classroom

For most of your life, when you talked about printers you talked about the kind of printers we all know: They print (in color or black and white) on paper, and sometimes have multiple, helpful functions such as faxing and scanning.

And for a long time, that was it—the cream of the crop and a diverse cream at that. But there’s a new piece of technology that’s radically changing not only printing but education and manufacturing, too: 3D printers.

What is 3D Printing?

3D printing enables you to use a “printer” to produce complex, three dimensional objects from a digital file.. You can manufacture objects in your home or place of business and use less material than traditional manufacturing methods.

What are 3D printers used for?

3D printers are used in a range of professions, from medicine (for prosthetic limbs) to airplane manufacturing (for parts). They have a host of benefits such as less waste and reduced pollution and packaging.

How are educators using 3D printers in the classroom?

3D printers hold a lot of potential to lend assistance to a valued topic area, the field known as STEM or science, technology, engineering, and math. 

As an example, students can use 3D printers to recreate an artifact or fossil; design, build, and test bridges; make matching letter tiles, or make maps.

3D printers are especially useful in the application of hands-on learning which is much more engaging for many learners than the traditional “sit and listen” type of learning.

Making objects with 3D printers allows students to imagine, design, create, problem-solve, touch, etc.

10 Ideas for 3D Printer Projects

The graphic below gives ideas for exciting 3D printing projects for elementary school students; however, 3D printers can be utilized to enhance education at all levels (preschooler-to adult). Teachers can also create objects to show students hands-on and visual representations of concepts.

Click to Enlarge Image

Using 3D Printers for Your STEM Program

What would you like to make if you had a 3D printer? Comment below!

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