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How my Students use 3D Printing

My students use 3D printing and 3D CAD extensively. It is absolutely core to the Design & Technology coursework projects they undertake (now known as the NEA). 3D printing enables them to realise far more ambitious ideas, concepts and prototypes than they ever would’ve been able to before.

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The Importance of 3D Printing in Education

3D printing alongside 3D CAD and ‘design thinking’ are vital tools for students wanting to make a positive dent in the world. The proliferation of high-quality, free-for-student, industry level CAD and reliable additive manufacturing technologies means they are empowered like never before. Combine this with high power, low cost electronics and their only limit is their imagination.

My Thoughts on PrintLab Classroom

We plan to use the PrintLab classroom as the foundation for our key stage 3, to develop the ‘skillset’, ‘mindset’ and ‘toolsets’ in younger students to prepare them for examination years.

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My Advice for Teachers Getting Started with 3D Printing

Start small. Start with the purpose of project in mind. Printing pre-existing designs is fine, but not the end goal. Pair developing a knowledge of additive manufacturing with structured 3D CAD skills. 

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