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3D Printers In Education 


Futuristic 3D Printers Are Coming To School Classrooms

In 2013 the Department for Education ran a project to allow 21 secondary schools to trial the use of 3D printers in STEM and Design and Technology classes. Feedback from this exploratory project confirms that "3D printers have significant potential as a teaching resource and can have a positive impact on pupil engagement and learning."

Following the success of that trial, this year (2014) the Education Secretary is bringing the technology into more schools so up to 60 teaching schools can buy 3D printers and train teachers to use them effectively. We expect many other schools will take up the initiative in the near future, if not already.

From September 2014 Design and Technology (D&T) will undergo a significant re-write. According to the new syllabus published June 2014 .. "pupils will be taught how to design and make products. They will also be taught how to use high-tech design equipment such as 3D printers as well as learning about robotics".

Why Should Schools Use 3d Printers?

Many Ways 3D Printing Can Be Used In Education

1. Engineering design students can print out prototypes
2. Architecture students can print out 3D models of designs
3. History classes can print out historical artifacts for examination
4. Graphic Design students can print out 3D versions of their artwork
5. Geography students can print out topography, demographic, or population maps
6. Cooking students can create moulds for food products
7. Engineering students can print out replacement parts or modified examples of existing parts for testing
8. Chemistry students can print out 3D models of molecules
9. Biology students can print out cells, viruses, organs, and other critical biological artifacts
10. Math students can print out “problems” to solve in their own learning spaces, from scale models to city infrastructural design challenges

3D Scanning & Printing Creates Stunning Artistic Sculptures

Using a 3D image scanner on human subjects you can transform incomplete 3D data into incredible 3D printed sculptures. 


This example is a result of combining modern 3D scanning and 3D printing technology with ancient bronze casting techniques.

3D Printing Helps Visually Impaired Kids

A University Of Colorado team has printed a 3D version of children's book "Goodnight Moon" (by Margaret Wise Brown) allowing visually impaired children to touch objects in the story.

This is a great example of how 3D printing can be applied in the classroom.

How 3D Printing Works

3D printing sounds like something from science fiction, but the process is similar to that of CNC machining, where slabs of materials are cut into specific shapes and products. But rather than cutting, it prints.

A 3D printer works by “printing” objects, but instead of using ink, it uses more substantive materials; plastics, metal, rubber, even foodstuff. It takes an electronic scan of an object and slices it into layers it can then convert into a physical object.

The result is a product that while not as intricate, durable, or functional as the real-world equivalent, is otherwise a real thing that didn’t exist a few minutes before you printed it.

In fact, what it is you’re actually producing depends on what is being printed. If it’s toy jewellery, rubber balls, and plastic chess pieces your after, you’re printing not an model of the real thing, but the real thing itself. Confused yet?

As far as how this can be used in education, it’s a matter of bringing objects out of the computer screen and into the hands of students for inspection, analysis, and other processes that can benefit from physical manipulation. In that way, 3D printers may eventually be able to bridge the gap between the physical and the digital–use a screen to find what you need, then print it into existence.

Supplying 3D-Printers & More Information

Cotswold Printers are approved to supply and support a range of stunning 3D Printers from 3D-Systems. There are many reasons these are particularly suited to use in Education:-

  • Voted MAKE magazine’s “easiest to use” and “most reliable” 3D printer.
  • Straight out of the box - you can get started immediately, just plug it in and start.
  • The only 3D printer certified for safe at-home use by adults and children.

We provide full support to our UK user-base, from UK-based support staff.  Most other products on the market rely on distance support from the USA. There is also an extended 3-yr On-Site Warranty available for these products.

Visit our 3D printer page for more information on the products we supply from 3D Systems, or call us on 01684.276178.



Cotswold Printers, Unit 5E Ashchurch Industrial Estate, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire GL20 8NB
Email: Tel: 01684.276178  Fax: 01684.297083

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