3d Printing in schools

Kids need to be exposed to the technology of tomorrow – 3D printing.  3D Printing will be their reality and they will need to understand and know how the technology works and how it will assist them in their everyday lives.

We are committed to exposing the future generations the possibilities this technology is bringing. To hear kids saying “I want to be an Engineer” just from being inspired by seeing 3D Printing in action, is a truly humbling experience.

Giving children the opportunities to see, feel and experience 3D Printing gets their minds working into a whole dimension of what is possible

How it works

We will bring a collection of between 4 and 5 printers with different configurations and printing kinematics to show how different printers work. The printers are setup in a area suitable for the kids to come and see and touch the prints.

Ages are ideally from Grade 4 and up as younger kids don’t always comprehend the technology but they are welcome to come by and see. Some kids are there just to see something cool, and some are totally mesmerized by the realization that things are being made right in-front of their eyes. There are those that do however grasp what they are seeing and it ignites their desire know more about how its all done.

  • We will need a classroom sized area to setup in
  • It needs to be indoors.
  • We will need at least 2 power plugs in the are but do bring leads and adapters.
  • We will need desks or tables for the printers to stand on.

We like to setup around 1st or 2nd period and can be up and running withing 30 minutes.

While we are happy to visit for just one class or subject, We love it when the rest of the school can come by and look at how things work. About 20 minutes is enough for teacher to bring their class and get an idea of how the machines work giving the kids a quick tour. In past experience once were operational we would usually run for much of the school day. During breaks the kids that came for a short visit during class and are interested tend to come back and soak up as much as they can.

What happens after the day

Some background

We have been asked if we are willing to expand the day beyond the day and the answer is yes.
3D printing is for most a hobby but its also a cutting edge glimpse of our children’s reality and future.
We’ve all tried to explain that pictures used to need to go in for development and we didn’t know what it would look like till days later, but during a class I had to find something quick to print and decided to print a car window winder. The kids naturally wanted to know what it was and I explained, to my absolute horror I realised non of them had any idea that something other than a button could open a car window. I was eventually saved by one who realised his Gran has an old Toyota with those things. But we have no idea how the world will evolve in only a few years.

What is important is that we equip our children with as many of the tools as we can, as a kid I was the kid that realised taking a tape deck apart was much easier than putting it back together. And when I realized that C3PO wasn’t a real robot but a guy in a suit I was devastated. Today reality is very different. Robots in movies are no longer guys in suits, they are simply added by computer. Tape decks are only in old Toyota’s with window winders, and we all know that Kodak was a massive company.

How do we equip our kids?

3D printing is fun but for it to be useful it needs to be understood.

Its like writing a letter on a computer we all do it daily and if I compare 3D printing with that it tends to make more sense.
If you want to write a letter you need to know how Word works, you can get a letter from someone else and print it but unless its what you want to say you need to change it or write it yourself. Only then can you print it and give it to someone, or you can email it and they it can be printed on the other side, no stamp.

For 3D printing the the the applications we use to create is called CAD ( computer aided design) and that’s what we need to use. We can go online and download things to print but unless its exactly what you want… you get where I’m going. the Model can be created and printed locally send elsewhere to be made etc.

There are dozens of careers that will have application based on what where doing.

  • CAD designers are already highly paid and highly skilled
    • Mechanical Engineers
    • Architects
    • Civil Engineers
    • Electrical Engineers
    • Movie makers ( props, animation, set design)
    • Fashion designers.
    • Automotive
    • Medical ( surgical, reconstructive, dental )
    • Its a long list and its getting longer every day.

Now all of those careers have application in 3D printing. From prototyping to final products it will all be based on CAD and those designs need to be done in a way that works with the printers. The same way when you write a letter it need a salutation and introduction to create a strong base to write on, your designs need to be done in such a way as to work towards the strengths of the printers.

We’d like to build on the classes with education in CAD as well as exposure to the technology of additive manufacture. It actually applies to reductive manufacture and provides a solid base for understanding that too.
To be clear, nearly everything you’re touching right now will have been affected or made in some way by that technology, and I do mean everything.

Contact us to find what solution is best for your school to provide your children with possibly the best skill set they could be learning today.