When it comes to introducing new technology into the classroom, specialist knowledge can be required – and 3D printers are certainly no exception.
As such, schools that don’t have any formal support should review and optimise their current printing environment to ensure the technology is a ‘right fit’.
According to Czech print management solutions company, Y Soft, schools can reap the benefits of 3D printing by introducing the technology effectively and building a strong curriculum around it.
Hyder Mohammed, senior solution architect and channel manager – ANZ, Y Soft, said once the 3D printing solution is effectively in place, it’s important to use it to bring subjects to life and engage students.
“That requires developing a curriculum that inspires teachers,” Mohammed said.
“Without a clear plan in place, 3D printers can languish and gather dust, failing to deliver the promised return on investment.”
However, Mohammed said with thoughtful planning, schools can use 3D printing to spark students’ interest in a range of subjects and dramatically enhance their educational experience.
“Schools that embrace 3D printing are creating a new generation of students that are more curious, better problem-solvers, and more engaged in the world around them,” he said.
“This type of educational improvement is crucial as we look to the next generation of students to solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges.”
According to Y Soft, there are seven stages to successfully introducing 3D printing:
- Find and train the people who will help drive interest and engagement.
- Build a resource library to support students.
- Communicate to students and faculty when the 3D printing solution is ready to launch.
- Train users so they know how to use the solution and the rules around the solution.
- Implement a management plan to optimise 3D printer use.
- Showcase the best projects to encourage students and staff to continue using the 3D printing solution.
- Plan to expand the 3D printing solution to accommodate increased demand.
Y Soft has identified how 3D printing can electrify the following subjects:
- History: students can analyse historical artefacts in their own hands rather than viewing them through a display case.
- Music: students can print their own instruments and experiment with sizes or positioning. Mathematics: students can print and analyse geometric patterns.
- Literature: students can bring books to life by printing objects or landscapes from books.
- Biology: students can print and inspect cross-sections of organs to better understand them.
- Geography: 3D printed models of lakes and volcanoes help students understand the world around them.
- Engineering: students can print their own designs, then customise them through interaction and testing.
- Chemistry and physics: printing and studying molecules can help students grasp complex subjects.
- Art: 3D printing their own unique designs can help enhance an art student’s experience.