3D Printing in Education is the process of creating three dimensional objects that are solid from a digital file. Layers of materials are created till the required size and dimensions are achieved. There are special 3D Printing in Education that are used for the process. It is a process that has become very popular because people can be as creative as they wish to be and create solid objects they are interested in for a variety of purposes and uses. This kind of printing is also loved because of the various advantages it comes with.
1. It minimizes the time used to bring a great concept into reality. You can have your concept brought to life the very same day you come up with it hence reducing the time to get it to the market and start making sales. If you are a company, you can stay ahead of the competition using 3D Printing.
2. It saves you money because you do not need molding tools for your prototype and expensive production. The rates of additive manufacturing are definitely lower compared with the traditional machining options.
3. It mitigates risk, especially with large investments and you can easily alter or redesign an existing mold without expensive risks and processes.
4. 3D Printing in Education offers clearer communication, ensuring that no construction requirement is left to the imagination. This is because it offers the exact representation of the desired product greatly minimizing errors with the finished product.
5. It makes it possible for you to get important feedback from the right groups such as the target audience and business partners before you go into full production. This is a great way of testing the market potential of your product before getting into the production with full force. It is also a simple way of making improvements to it before mass production.
6. It offers the advantage of physically feeling the product something which is impossible to achieve using a picture only or a virtual prototype on a computer. This way, you get the chance to verify the product fit and ergonomics because you can hold it, test it and use it.
7. Using 3D printer, you can customize and personalize product parts to fit the unique needs and this can be very important, especially for dental and medical industries or even the fashion and jewelry industries.
8. It builds on imagination because you can practically come up with anything you dream of. Digital art and design possibilities are made endless by this kind of printing. You can build things that seem impossible, such as square interior cavities, holes which change direction and overhangs. You can bring your geometry ideas into reality using a good 3D printer.
9. When printing in 3D, you get to know what works and what doesn’t fast enough to make a change to an idea that is more realistic without wasting too much time and resources on an idea that is bound to fail. Even when a project fails, it is easy to handle because you didn’t spend much of your money on it.
Those of you new to the topic of 3D Printing in Education might find it strange to see an article about the future of this topic since it seems to have just started. In fact, 3D printing, in general, is not a new topic. Many years ago the only 3D printers on the market were called rapid prototyping machines and they were made for industrial applications.
The key skill needed by students is the ability to design 3D objects and save them in a format the 3D printer can use. There are many pieces of free software that facilitate this process. For example, if you are making something from simple geometric shapes, tools like “Sketchup Make” or “Tinkercad” are perfect. Another approach is to “sculpt” an object as if you were working with clay. “Meshmixer” and “Sculptris” are two examples of software that are perfect in this category. The third method for designing shapes is to build them using a programming language such as “OpenSCAD” that allows the construction of elaborate shapes that would be nearly impossible to make any other way.