Sector of Education

Sector of Education

Contrary to what some may believe, 3D printing has been around for over 30 years, but it only gained significant attention in recent years. 3D printers stand out from other technologies by offering easier, faster, and more cost-effective solutions, as well as enabling the design of complex configurations that require extensive overlap in traditional manufacturing processes. As a result of this technology’s importance, many countries have recognized the need to raise awareness and train students in its use. For instance, in the United States, many summer camps are now held for students to learn how to use 3D printers. Singapore is prepared to provide a 3D printer for every primary school, and in Tokyo, Japan, courses on 3D printing have already been introduced in elementary schools. If the use of 3D printing to produce educational models is implemented, it will enhance the quality of education and student capabilities, offering an opportunity to tap into students’ creative potential – as 3D printing allows students to turn their ideas into tangible results

History of Technological Advancement in the Field of Education

3D printing technology has undergone numerous stages of gradual development

The College of Architecture at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah revealed a research project, supported by the Ministry of Higher Education, using 3D printing technology in teaching. This initiative integrates this technology into the educational process, in line with Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030. The project involves producing scale models of structural buildings, explaining tangible details, examining design quality, and detecting design errors before an engineer's approval
This technique was also trialed in a school in the United Kingdom, where a teacher described his experience with a student who designed an iPod holder that could be attached to a bicycle handlebar
Teachers collaborate with colleagues in other curricula to conduct experiments in applying 3D modeling programs using 3D printers, teaching students to design and print DNA structures, cell models, or replicas of historically significant objects
In a geology class, teachers assisted students in designing a topographic drawing of Mount St. Helens before its 1980 eruption. Initially, the students printed a model of the volcano pre-eruption, followed by complete topographic models post-eruption with a large crater in the center

How does Additive Manufacturing Technology Benefit the Field of Education?

Easing Educational Methods

With these printers in schools and universities, everything becomes more accessible. A geography student can print 3D models of terrains, mountains, plains, and more. A science student becomes capable of handling and visually comprehending organs with greater accuracy. A history student can design or print various archaeological structures like pyramids. An engineering student has a broader scope to turn their engineering designs into reality

Encouraging Innovation and Creativity

The presence of 3D printers fosters more opportunities for creativity and innovation, offering successful solutions to many global challenges. It also provides resources, support, and tools for these endeavors

Finding Solutions to Global Problems

Although scientists and engineers are busy finding solutions to many global problems, providing students with opportunities to participate in solving these issues has become an exciting prospect. For instance, students at St Stephen’s School in Australia successfully found a solution to a medical problem in their community using 3D printing

Achieving STEAM Education Goals

Undoubtedly, the use of 3D printing can achieve the objectives of the STEAM approach, which focuses on integrating Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics
There are many technologies under the umbrella of 3D printing. We will discuss two of the most important and commonly used ones, which are:

Some Printer Technologies Used in the Industrial Sector

Material Extrusion (Fused Deposition Modeling - FDM) Stereolithography (SLA) 3D Printing

Material Extrusion, or Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), uses a spool of filament that is fed into the extrusion head through a hot nozzle. The extrusion head heats and liquefies the material, depositing it in specific locations, where it cools to create a layer of material. The build platform then moves downward in preparation for the next layer.

SLA printing, also known as resin printing, is almost the opposite of FDM printing. Instead of melting plastic into a liquid, it uses a photosensitive liquid that is solidified under UV light.