Modeling Classroom Success: Teaching with 3D Printers

The UWB Makerspace is up and running, but many schools are looking at programs that teach how to use 3D printers as well as provide 3D printing tools to their students. XYZprinting just announced their new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) program, a curriculum exchange program aimed at K-12 teachers, using 3D printed materials and techniques in the classroom.

3dprinting

Most of the interesting stuff is on the college level, where it’s being used in a variety of applications for research. This is where most of the curricula being developed across the industry is focused, as well. Stratasys (the 3D printer manufacturer) has also developed a college-level curriculum for 3D printing, focusing on its benefits and philosophy as a platform but also on practical concepts. UWB remains ahead of the curve in 3D printer access and utility, but it will need to continually reinvent itself over the coming months and years to stay on top of emerging technologies. For example, Virginia Tech follows a vending-machine style format for 3D printing that somewhat resembles Dawg-Prints: Students swipe their card before printing the materials they need, and are billed from their student account.

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