Tools and Tips to Get Started with 3D Printing in the Classroom


Tools and Tips to Get Started with 3D Printing in the Classroom

3D printing is a fast, growing technology in education and why not?

Considering the fact that it is one of the future ready approach to learning and can be integrated easily in the lesson plans, administrators of institutions are making its way steadily into the classroom.

This new technology is a highly powerful tool and versatile in nature. Therefore, it inspires planning, design, testing and other essential talents in students that are much needed attributes of new age careers. So how do you begin with the use of 3D printing in classroom? Well, for it you need to first grab information on the 3D printing tools and then take a quick look at some beneficial tips to start with 3D printing in the classroom.

Tools to Help You Start 3D Printing in the Classroom

Gravity Sketch- it is an iOS based app that simplifies 3D design. Students can quickly start designing in this application as its interface is very simple. Just with the help of a finger touch, the students start drawing figures in this application and also use pre-defined shapes or freehand along with axes as shown in their workspace.

It is a very popular tool as using this tool helps students acquire fast results and keep themselves engaged. It involves no learning curves and this is the reason why students enjoy using this application. For application tutorial, please click here

Tinkercad- It is a simplified 3D designing tool that helps students learn how to combine simple objects to create more complicated models and how to use negative space as part of the design process. And because the tool do not contain a complicated interface, therefore students can explore this tool to communicate their ideas. They can also share their project online and can support the creative use of 3D printers.

For application tutorial click here

SketchUp- Again a very user-friendly tool that allows students to enjoy creation of 3D designs for their projects. This tool has a unique mix of easy-to-use tools and advanced features that works well in classroom while creating 3D designs. With its application, students learn how to measure and calculate geometric dimensions and space. They also get a hand on the app to illustrate and demonstrate ideas from almost any subjects.

To get the tutorial of this App, click here

123D Design- this tool too is an iOS based application that helps the students to make hollow objects, create bevels and alter alignments. After creating the 3D design with the help of this object, the students can save it and if they want they could share their project or send their designs to an in-classroom 3D printer or simply order for prints.

To view the tutorial of this application, please click here

3D Slash- it is an application that allows users to quickly create and print 3D objects. Students with the help of this tool can create complicated designs and enjoy its advanced features. The instructors will enjoy this tool because of its dashboard feature which allows one to track the activity and progress level of the entire class. In addition, the instructors can also designate projects for the students to work on in this tool.

For the tool’s tutorial video, click here

Tips to start with 3D Printing in the Classroom

  1.  Try to partner with a local 3D printing company to learn how this technology works and learn the terms of this advanced technology. You need to get acquainted with each of the elements of this technology to harness its benefits.
  2. Search for the tutorials on 3D printing available all over the internet and watch them to get started with the technology. By learning on the terminologies of 3D Printing, and watching various video guide on the technology, instructors can slowly begin to develop their own best practices in relation to the best use of 3D printer technology.
  3. Allow your students to slowly begin with 3D printing by forming groups and allowing them to discuss in the group as to how they should move about with 3D modelling software. Let them research on the technology and share their knowledge with their peer members in the group.
  4. If you as an instructor are short on resources, you can begin your work with 3D pens first. The 3D pens not only use the same technology but are an affordable tool too.
  5. Last but not the least, do not get discouraged on trials, errors and diligence you face in the initial stages of its use. You could work along with your students and your collective failure could well grow up to be your and your students’ greatest skill over time.

To conclude, 3D printing is an interesting innovation in education and educators across the globe have to indeed make an adjustments to introduce this technology in their lesson plans. The key to any new technology is learn and keep changing with new advancements in technology. The same applies for 3D printing. Please, do not make any haste in learning this technology as it is a highly rewarding teaching aid in the 21’st century learning process.

Also, if you wish to share your views on this new technology and its usage, do not forget to share it with us through your comments.

About the Author
Author: Ananya DebroyWebsite: http://edtechreview.in
Ananya is currently working as the Content Manager at EdTechReview. She has a keen interest in Ed Tech and the ways in which it is strengthening the education sector as a whole. She is an avid reader and loves to meet relevant people & unleash new updates on various innovations in the EdTech world as it indirectly helps her pen down well-researched blogs on the niche. Follow her @AnanyaDebRoy

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