3D printers turns normal consumers into creators. This technology, 3D printing, let’s anyone turn a digital file into a physical and tangible thing. It only existed in science fiction 30 years ago. But now it’s something that’s becoming more and more mainstream. 3D printers are becoming more accessible to the average consumer. And now they are slowly making their way into schools and education in general. They are pretty powerful tools that have limitless applications. Here are some ways they could used in education:
Maths: 3D printing makes it easier for students to visualize complex mathematical problems and concepts, which lets them understand those problems more. It shows students the creative side to mathematics and encourages the students to experiment more. This also make it more interesting and intuitive to study for the average student.
Geography/Geology: 3D printing changes the way students learn geography and geology. It helps them understand geological formations on a scale that’s not presentable in 2-dimensional images. 3D printing has helped researchers land a shuttle on a comet, by aiding in picking the best possible landing spot. Tangible and touch-able data leave long lasting impressions that couldn’t be achieved by normal and traditional ways of data representation.
History: 3D printing is very beneficial in history. Replicas of fossils and historical artifacts can be easily made at reasonable costs. Artifacts that could be only seen in museums can be easily 3D printed and students would able to see them and touch them.
Chemistry and Biology: 3D printing can greatly help kinesthetic students by 3D printing models of viruses, bacteria and cells. This makes them enables them to get a tactile feel on those things resulting in them understanding those things more. 3D printed replicas are also used in medical professions and are sometimes used to train surgeons.
Architecture: 3D printing and architecture are among the most compatible on this list. Since most architecture sketches and mock-ups are already created using specialized CAD (Computer Aided Graphics) software. This helps students as well as professionals to quickly materialize their ideas and therefore save them precious hours that would’ve been spent on manually creating a study mockup. This saved time could be used to improve their intention.
3D printing is a tool that’s slowly making its way into classrooms and therefore the number of experts in it is limited. As a result this changes the relationship between a teacher and a student into that of a mentor and a student. Since the number of experts is low, it makes the input of the students important as they and their teacher will be discovering new things in this new and technology. This will make the role of the teacher more of a guidance role than an academic information transmission role.
Those were only a small fraction of the fields that could benefit from 3D printing. The uses and applications of 3D printing are only limited by our creativity and imagination.
Written by: Osama Waheib