3D Printing is currently in the process of revolutionising the manufacturing industry world wide. The possibilities for what additive manufacturing can achieve is endless. Within a decade 3D Printing will have made itself into everyone’s homes in some form or another and manufacturing as we know it will be completely disrupted. The ability to design, prototype and iterate within a few hours/days as opposed to weeks and months is an extremely powerful concept and one that is being adopted by most major manufacturers. As 3D printing expands there will be a demand for skilled designers and engineers to meet the demands of industry. For the current growth of 3D Printing to continue, education and more importantly, education at grass roots level is the key factor to keep the industry growing. For the past few years the main focus behind the expansion of 3D Printing was to ensure that 3D Printers were in schools and classrooms. However, simply parachuting them into classes without the curriculum to support the teachers and children has led to many schools not fully embracing the opportunities of 3D Printing. This is why learnbylayers has been created. Download the free lesson plan to start teaching your first lesson today.
3D Printing lesson resources
The idea is simple, tried and tested education resources for teachers that have been written by teachers. The resources available to download in our lesson bank include pre-written lesson plans, lesson powerpoint, lesson task worksheets, homework tasks answer sheets and assessments quizzes. They are ready to teach ‘straight out of the box’ with no planning needed. All lesson resources can be edited by the classroom teacher so they meet any varying needs of their students. There are currently two levels of lesson resources, basic and intermediate. Basic is to start the students who have no experience of 3D Printing education and need a solid base to build upon. Intermediate lesson resources build upon the basic lessons to really embed the concepts of 3D Printing into students minds. The fact that they are all pre-written saves hundreds of hours worth of planning. Teachers in education work long hours and learning how a new 3D Printer works is not an quick process. Getting to grips with understanding the technology can take a number of hours, then trying to figure out what to teach and then designing a curriculum to teach can take hundreds of hours of planning. This is where learnbylayers education helps teachers. Everything is ready to teach, all you need to do is get to grips with the 3D Printer, then the curriculum is ready made for you to use.
Some of the many questions I always get asked is ‘how do you teach this to a class of students? and ‘what do you teach to students’? How to start teaching 3D Printing to a class of students requires teachers to decide what the learning outcomes are for your classes. The question ‘what should 3D Printing education look like?’ If you have never taught the topic before and haven’t been on a training course what do you do? You certainly can’t go blind into the lesson and hope it will all work out. You need high quality lesson resources that have been proven to work. There are attempts at resources out there, but they are usually created by manufacturers who have never actually consulted a current classroom teacher. Or they might be a one off lesson. Most resources don’t go beyond a set of instructions on how to model an object in CAD. Whilst designing in CAD is a core feature of the 3D Printing education process, there is a wide variety of topics beyond CAD that students need to learn about. They include the theory of 3D Printing, where it’s being used in society and why it’s being used. How do 3D Printers actually work and what are the mathematical principles behind the technology. How can the technology relate to what students are studying in Maths and Science? What materials are used and how so they effect our environment? How does 3D Printing compare to more traditional manufacturing methods such as injection moulding. How do you create an engineering drawing of your models? All of these topics are vital in providing a in depth learning experience and are covered in the education resources alongside how to design and 3D Print models. At the end of each module there is an assessment based upon the previous lesson content. With every lesson task and homework task being designed to be self assessed or peer assessed, students will be fully involved in assessment for learning resulting in a more in depth understanding of the lesson topics.
Education resources created by teachers for teachers
From a teachers point of view, the learning curve involved with integrating 3D printing into the classroom can be a daunting one. You need to decide what 3D printer to purchase (usually dictated by budget), then what CAD package to teach students? There are a glut of CAD packages available for you to use but what would suit your students education best? Should you buy into a paid CAD package or a free one? In all the learnbylayers education resources, all the software used, from CAD design packages to slicing software are free to use and are tailored towards teachers and use in education. Should the software used be downloaded to the schools computers or should it be cloud based? All these things can be over whelming for new adopters to the technology. Learnbylayers takes the stress our of starting 3D Printing in education.
In terms of the learning outcomes from using learnbylayers resources, they are vast. By the end of the intermediate module your students will be confident in how 3D Printers work and they will have produced a vast amount of evidence to support their learning. Teaching an learning is an evidence based profession and by the end of each module students will have clearly produced evidence showing what they have learnt. If you were to teach the basic lesson pack and the intermediate lesson pack, back to back it would last more than 12 lessons. If you are teaching one lesson a week, then this would mean enough teaching and learning content to last a full semester or term. If you started teaching in September and taught one lesson per week, the lesson resources would last up to mid December. Imagine the amount of time saved by not having to plan all the lessons and associated resources. The structure of the lessons has been designed to be taught in ten minute chunks with lesson tasks designed to keep students engaged in the learning process. Every lesson has a lesson starter task, main objectives and then a plenary to embed the learning at the end of the lesson. Also every lesson comes with tasks that can be reviewed in lesson. Then every lesson has a homework activity that comes with an answer sheets so the next lesson students can review their homework and make corrections when needed. The ability of students to be involved in the assessment of their work is a proven way for students to deepen their education. Also it gives students more ownership of their work.
What does a 3D Printing education look like?
By teaching your classes the learnbylayers basic curriculum;
All your students will be able to;
- Recognise what a 3D printer looks like
- Describe where 3D printers are used in society
- Discuss why 3D printers are being widely adopted in society
- Explain the basic concept of how a 3D printer works
- Explain how x,y and z co-ordinates relate to 3D printing
- Describe the main components of how to create a 3D printed object
- Define the term CAD (computer aided design)
- Define the term CAM (computer aided manufacture)
- Create a basic model using free to use CAD software
- Add fillets and chamfers to models
- Download their models as an STL file
Most students will be able to;
- Explain the benefits of using a 3D printer to make products
- Identify potential issues with 3D printing materials
- Explain the difference between X,Y and Z co-ordinates
- Design a basic model to scale with given measurements
- Modify sizes of a CAD model
- Flip and duplicate features
- Slice an STL file using slicing software
Some students will be able to;
- Explain why 3D printers are commonly used more in industrialised nations
- Describe the difference between CAD and CAM
- Complete the platinum design challenge
As outlined in the learning outcomes is the ability to create a model to 3D Print. This takes two of the lessons, students learn the basics of CAD design through a series of skills tasks and then they have to apply the skills learnt in a design challenge that is differentiated into ‘Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum’ challenges. Once the students have completed the design challenge they are then taught how to prepare a model for 3D Printing. By the end of the module each student will have designed and 3D Printed a model and have learnt about the wider issues of 3D Printing.
Fully editable lesson resources
The intermediate education pack includes seven lessons and by the end of the module;
All students will be able to;
- Review the impact that 3D printers can have on people’s lives and society.
- Explain how 3D printing is changing how products are made
- Summarise how 3D Printers are being used in the medical industry
- Explain the injection moulding process.
- List the different types of 3D printing technology
- Explain how filament is extruded through a nozzle.
- Model basic CAD features, such as extrude, revolve, shell and fillet
- Asses if support material is needed on a design
- Rescale, rotate and move an object ready for slicing
- Export a file for 3D Printing
- Discuss the benefits of sustainable materials
Most students will be able to;
- Sketch, edit and extrude a profile
- Add a new workplane to a CAD model
- Experiment with the loft feature
- Explain the extrusion process
- Change the speed in advanced settings
Some students will be able to;
- Create an engineering drawing
- Experiment with advanced settings on slicing software to customise their print file (gcode)
The learnbylayers lesson resources are an investment in the education of your students. Once you have purchased the lesson packs you will become part of the learnbylayers education community and you will be regularly updated on all things 3D Printing. These resources will help transform your lessons and they will give your students the indepth knowledge they need to fully embrace 3D Printing. All the content has been written by teachers and also reviewed by teachers. For education to advance it has to be led by teachers and that’s why you can be confident in our curriculum.
If you would like to know more about 3D Printing and Learnbylayers please use the contact form below.