Why Schools Need 3D Printing
According to research, the 3D printing industry is expected to have an average growth of 21% from 2022 to 2028, mainly due to the increased demand for printers and printing services in various fields. Additive manufacturing and 3D technologies are the future and this future has already begun.
That is why, along the years, we at FormWerk have been an active advocate of helping the new generations get familiar with 3D printing technologies and possibilities as this is a golden opportunity to acquaint students with the technology and to allow them to exercise their creativity as they learn.
There are many benefits of adopting 3D printing in education and just as many ways teachers and learners can use it to make learning fun and engaging. Here are some of them.
3D Printing Encourages Problem Solving
One of the key issues that education systems across the world face is helping students become innovative. Using 3D printing, kids get to learn the basics of how these printers work. They can use this knowledge to troubleshoot problems and run the machine with little or no help. Also, teaching them how to make various tools or devices encourages innovation. When faced with a problem, they can create a prototype to solve it instead of using something already in the market. This way, they develop problem-solving skills and creativity, which they can apply in other parts of their life.
3D Printing Engages All Kids
Some children find learning boring, especially when the subject at hand does not motivate them. Moreover, those with a high level of creativity may find typical lessons tiring and monotonous. Using 3D printing in the education industry can help engage all children. Instead of always learning from the teacher, students can form groups to brainstorm ideas on what to create using the device. They can also share tasks such as designing or drawing, printing, and presentation among themselves. If every child participates in a task they like, they will enjoy the entire learning process. They can also be more proactive in coming up with ideas and implementing them.
3D Printing Complements the Curriculum
A syllabus that focuses on theoretical knowledge can reduce creativity and bore students. It can also prevent them from exploring their interests and discovering talents. Adopting 3D printing allows teachers to complement the course content and make learning more exciting. This technology can be used to simplify some topics and ensure students understand them. For example, when teaching about the colors of a rainbow, a model can be printed for future reference. Arithmetic puzzles can also be created to help kids learn how to solve math problems. Another way to balance learning using 3D printing is by applying it in basic geography. Kids can make models of different features such as mountains, valleys, and stars. They can then use them to create a sample topography of their surroundings. Since learners will now have fun practicing what they study in class, they may value education. Other than that, they can develop interests in subjects they earlier thought boring.
3D Printing Creates New Learning Possibilities
This technology allows students to experiment with different ideas. This process can help them gain academic curiosity and learn from their mistakes. Experimenting also promotes brain development and allows kids to view things from a unique perspective. Moreover, when a project they created succeeds, they gain confidence in their work and discover new ways to express themselves. Learning in a visual environment also improves how children understand the world. Instead of wondering how objects function, they can make sample designs and test them with the help of their teachers. By doing this, they will determine the components of some things they use at home. Children also understand how separate parts combine to enable a tool or object to perform a specific function. For example, they can discover how a train works when making wagons and joining them with strings or wires. Such a project will help them build their reasoning by translating visual designs to tangible items.
3D Printing Encourages Artistry
Using 3D printing in education can help students gain different art skills. For example, when they draw their draft designs on paper, they may learn painting and sketching. Apart from that, they will understand how to mix different colors to achieve the desired shade. Another way 3D technology encourages artistry is by allowing kids to visualize the final product before printing it. This way, they can come up with ways to improve the design before making the prototype. With the help of an instructor, they may also assess different models, then determine which one they wish to print. Making virtual designs can boost imagination, which is a vital art skill. The brainstorming process also allows learners to develop a high level of creativity. They will also gain new cognitive skills and sharpen what they already learn in class.
3D Printing Facilitates Hands-On Learning
A hands-on learning environment encourages students to take part in various projects. It also allows young children to understand real-life experiences and situations through demonstration. With 3D printing, it’s easy to create a hands-on environment in almost all subjects. Technology can be used to make illustration objects, which will allow students to understand various topics better. For example, when learning about continents, they can print out models and use them for identification. On the other hand, they can make dolls to understand different body parts. By establishing a practical-based learning environment, students can gain knowledge through exploration. Other than that, teachers can motivate them to take part in all subjects and shared projects.
Our Educational Sponsorship Program
FormWerk has started its Educational Sponsorhip Program in 2019, when the INACO (Competitiveness Initiative) NGO joined forces with FormWerk to create The Smart Labs Project: an integrated learning platform providing schools with the complete range of 3D technologies (modelling software, 3D printers, 3D scanners, robots, thermoformers, VR goggles, interactive monitors). Projects completed: Școala 45 Titu Maiorescu, sect. 1 and Liceul Ion Cuza, sect. 3.
The Smart Labs Project culminated with the Măgurele Science Park, created as a hub for schools from the whole Ilfov county.
National Colleges Support
Another initiative of FormWerk’s Educational Sponsorhip Program was the high-school robotics team from the Grigore Moisil National College, SovaTech Robotics. Those talented students have come in third this year in the Design Award section of the First Tech Challenge Romania robotics competition, organised by the “Nation Through Education” Association, as part of the most comprehensive national educational robotics program dedicated to high schoolers. To us, this is an ongoing sponsorship that continues to the present day and will be carried on into 2023 as well.
Mihai Viteazul & Sf. Sava Colleges
One day, 15 kids showed up at our showroom. They were the whole Robotics Club of the Mihai Viteazul National College. We gave them a full tour of our showroom and an impromptu presentation of 3D printing machines, materials and technology (of which we were surprised to see how much they already knew). Since they had come to us for help, we gladly offered our support: filament spools, various models of Creality 3D printers and plenty of advice. And then we did the same for the Robotics Club at the Sf. Sava National College.
Our First Internship Team
This year we implemented another dream project of ours: we put together our first internship team, made up of three students from the Mihai Viteazul National College and one from the Polytechnics University of Bucharest. The team is currently working on designing and building a robotic arm. FormWerk has provided each of them with a Creality Ender Pro 3D printer and plenty of filament to experiment with and is supervising their project development.
Ideas & Projects Workshop
In August, FormWerk was among the sponsors of the Summer School organised by the Ideas & Projects Workshop Association, within the Sapientia University of Târgu Mureș, helping high scool students experiment 3D printing.
3D Printing Lab
At FormWerk, we believe in the Magic Of Making, so we made magic happen with the 3D Printing Lab at the Faculty of Technological Equipment within The Technical University of Civil Engineering Bucharest.
We have provided the FormWerk 3D Printing Lab with:
- One RepRap X400 large scale cartesian printer
- One FLSUN QQ S Pro mid-size Delta printer
- One mini Kossel Delta printer
- Twelve Wanhao i3 cartesian printers, upgraded with full metal hot ends
And this is just the beginning.
Being able to introduce 3D printers in schools and allow students to see their visions and designs come to life is an exciting prospect, and one that many teachers would love to provide. Sadly, for many, the addition of such expensive technology is out of reach. However, with sponsorship, there is no reason why a 3D printer can’t become a part of the learning process in schools.
Using 3D printing in class allows children to explore and develop essential skills. The main aim of FormWerk’s educational sponsorships is to help and support schools by providing resources and professional help & support to the education community. We provide you with all the services and tools you need to incorporate this technology in your classes.
FormWerk Founder & CEO