3D printers are being used in the classroom up and down the country every day. With Industry 4.0 upon, the need for schools to teach the latest technology is vital to preparing students for the future. Here in the UK, 3D printing is becoming more main stream in the classroom and UK teachers are leading the way in pioneering their use in lessons.
The main use of 3D printers in lessons falls within the Design and Technology curriculum. Within Design and Technology, students learn how to solve problems and how to design and make products using a wide range of skills, one of these being 3D printing. CAD has been part of Design and Technology lessons for years, so using 3D printers for many teachers was a straight forward transition.
UK classroom teachers leading the way
Here at learnbylayers we are proud to support teachers, our founder Phil Cotton is a teacher in Manchester and an Associate Facilitator with National STEM learning. We wanted to showcase how teachers are using 3D printers in the classroom so we have created a series of blogs to highlight the great things going on. Many amazing things are happening and this blog highlights different uses of 3D printers in education.
As part of this case study we would like to give a shout out to Magigoo who have sponsored this blog series with free samples for every school that shared their stories. Also, one school in each blog will be sent a Magigoo pen. Magigoo is a solution for stopping your 3D prints from warping and widely endorsed by 3D printing communities and some of the most influential youtubers.
Using 3D printers creatively
After asking teachers to showcase their uses of 3D printers in the classroom, we were truly amazed by what UK Design and Technology teachers are creating with their students. We would like to thank all the schools for sharing how they use the technology and we hope this series of blogs can help inspire other teachers who may be looking at using 3D printers in their lessons.
1. Steve Davidson UTC Leeds.
Steve is clearly embracing 3D printers in full swing at the University Technical College in Leeds. These classroom projects form part of an Audio project for GCSE Product Design students, along with a design showing an ergonomic grip.
Looking at these outcomes it’s clear that 3D printers have made a massive impact upon learning and with out the technology these outcomes would be very difficult to achieve.
With CAD forming the core of the 3D printing process, these outcomes will have tested students and pushed their learning.
2. Gareth James Solihull School
Gareth James has been using 3D printers as a way to design and manufacture bespoke parts for wider classroom projects in his classes e.g. furniture and mechanical devices. This is another fantastic use of the technology in schools.
If there isn’t a standardised fitting to meet your design requirements, then why not design your own and 3D print it? This is exactly what students have done, allowing them to create unique bespoke designs that fit the needs of their projects. There is a wide range of challenging skills being demonstrated in these examples. Outstanding!
3. John Donnelly St James School
John is Head of Department at St James School in Bolton and has been using 3D printers intensively in his classroom for the past few years.
John has two flashforges and utilises Fusion 360 with his students. John uses 3D printers as early as possible with students and he also runs training sessions at his school for other teachers.
In his classroom John’s students are using 3D printers to design everything from small toys for children, to drones as part of the Airgineers project with Autodesk.
In this example John’s students are combining 3D printing with electronics and also designing unique shelf fittings. Another fantastic example shared.
4. Morgan Lane The Henry Beaufort School
This is a fantastic project shared by Morgan Lane, showing the true creativity that you can achieve with 3D printers.
This is a small and simple project, that would be easy to manage in terms of 3D printing whole class sets of designs and one that will be relatively cheap to run. A perfect way to introduce students to the technology.
Also the main fact is the outcome is useable and extremely useful. This is something that would form part of a tool box and be used for years to come. Children have an obsession with taking things home. This is an example of a classroom product that would be used for DIY projects and has longevity.
5. Tim Aston Twynham School
Tim Aston has been using 3D printers in his classroom with his students to design smaller parts that form part of larger designs similar to Gareth James. Tim had previously attended one of the 3D printing courses that Phil Cotton had delivered at the National STEM centre a few years ago.
Again what is nice to see is how using 3D printers has helped students realise their goals by being part of a wider process of manufacturing skills.
We are planning two more blog posts to showcase how UK teachers are using 3D printers the classroom that will be published over the next few weeks. For this first blog we have nominated Leeds UTC for the stick of Magigoo and will be sending free samples to the rest.