3D Printing for children How it enhances their studies and life

Dr. Dhanesh G. Mohan, Senior Researcher, Shandong University, Jinan, China

2022-05-08 15:49:40

3D Printed Tyrannosaurus Rex Skull (Photo by Osman Talha Dikyar on Unsplash)

3D Printed Tyrannosaurus Rex Skull (Photo by Osman Talha Dikyar on Unsplash)

3D printing may appear far-fetched and futuristic to grownups. To children, 3D printing may appear to be a time-consuming, costly hobby intended for adults. However, 3D printing has emerged in recent years as one of the most exciting breakthroughs the world has ever seen and one that is accessible to people of all ages.

That isn't to say that by 2022, every child will have access to a 3D printer. However, it does indicate that we have had a taste of what 3D printing can achieve. Those who wish to get more involved have the chance to be part of something truly unique.

What is 3D printing, and how does it work?

Developing a digital model and then sending it to be made into a tangible, three-dimensional item is known as 3D printing. For youngsters, 3D printing is similar to their inkjet printer at home or school, except that instead of printing ink on paper, they're "printing" using materials through an additive process. In other words, because of the physical nature of the result, 3D printing is more akin to manufacturing and construction than genuine "printing." Nevertheless, 3D printers can produce incredible creations because of their capabilities. Here are some examples of how they're used (a) to create new prototypes, (b) to make artificial limbs and organs, (c) to make toys, (d) to construct housing, (e) to repair or replace a machine or automotive parts.

What are the requirements of 3D printing in education?

The educational demands of the next generation of children are more sophisticated. In a society where the invention is at the forefront, kids should be taught to innovate from a young age, allowing practical education to take precedence. In terms of technology use, today's youngsters are wiser and sharper. They make the most of the tools available to understand better how things function in the actual world. They begin using computers and other modern digital technologies at a young age to invent and build new products and learn practical applications of coding and graphics. In the educational sector, 3D printing has a significant role to play.

Although the 3D printer has been around for a long time, it has only recently gained popularity. It is expected to transform the production industry and promote long-term growth. We have also discovered how 3D printing may assist in the creation of newer and better items by recycling harmful materials such as plastic. It would not be long before the whole industrial industry recognizes the advantages of this cutting-edge technology and achieves significant advances. This upheaval will help a slew of other businesses. One of them is the educational sector. Children would love practical ways of learning that will help them gain realistic notions about various businesses if technology is integrated into the current learning environment. 3D printing can help kids build social and communication skills by promoting cooperation and innovation, in addition to math and science.

These days, there are affordable and portable 3D printers on the market. Institutions may make the most of these modern technologies by implementing creative programmes that increase classroom participation and cooperation. For example, students may create small 3D models of real-life things to understand them better and apply what they have learned in the classroom.

What educational requirements do the children of the new generation have?

Education is no longer just confined to books. Other things are needed by students these days to assist bridge the gap between academic knowledge and actual experience. For example, students can better understand how the overall system works by making small models of the human body. On the other hand, geographic models will aid them in better understanding a region than 2D topographical charts. Furthermore, children's practical demands are increasing since the next generation is more tech-savvy than we were. In addition to the knowledge provided by textbooks, they are already accessing the internet to learn more about their specific disciplines. They also want to explore, learn, and work on new initiatives that will help them better grasp how real-world systems work.

The current generation of children is constantly ready to study in a fun way. They despise being restricted to books and school notes, and they are insatiably curious. Teachers are more knowledgeable in this area. However, when it comes to settling their never-ending questions, they might get perplexed and bewildered. It is nearly hard to teach new approaches to such a keen mind without the use of replica systems. Consequently, 3D printing may help raise the bar for new-age education and help students quench their insatiable hunger for information.

How can students benefit from 3D printing?

This is where you should make a note. 3D printing is not just for science and technology in the classroom. It may be used to engage students from a variety of backgrounds and to bridge the gap between science and the arts. Printing cost-effective sports equipment, exhibition materials, musical instruments, sculptures, and small structures using the technology can all enhance involvement. Students can also learn to utilize 3D printers with the correct instruction, enhancing their practical understanding of sophisticated systems. For example, instead of fighting over limited resources in the schools, music students in the future will be able to 3D print their preferred musical instrument. A student who needs a different set of sports equipment for practice might construct one for themselves. Students in history might reproduce historical items to examine them in more depth. Chemistry students may design real-time molecule and atom structures. Biology students are likely to make the most use of 3D printers, as they can successfully produce models of humans, animals, independent organs, and organ systems.

All these activities will keep children informed and help them develop their creative abilities altogether. When students graduate and begin looking for work, all of their knowledge and accomplishments will assist them in obtaining lucrative job opportunities in their chosen fields.

The difficulties of bringing 3D printing into the classroom.

While incorporating 3D printers into educational institutions may be a straightforward concept, it is not without its difficulties. The most significant and most serious issue is a lack of expertise among teachers about how to assist students in using most 3D printers. Unfortunately, even large industries are short on trained and skilled people to advance the technology. As a result, skilled trainers to educate students on how to utilize sophisticated 3D printers are in short supply. It is not rocket science, though, and today's children are intelligent enough to learn on their own. They will, however, very certainly encounter hurdles that will need assistance.

The only way to overcome this obstacle is to raise awareness of the advantages of 3D printing for children's education so that instructors and even parents attempt to improve their skills. And it doesn't take long; give or take a few months. Teachers who have studied 3D printers and learned how to operate them claim that learning the subtleties of the technology and its proper use takes only a few months. To join the bandwagon, all it takes is a little encouragement and recognition of the tremendous benefits of 3D printing in education.

The second difficulty is the cost of 3D printers, which has become less of a problem in recent years. You could buy such 3D printers at a reasonable price for educational needs. However, industrial 3D printers used in prototyping and production are far more expensive than educational purpose printers. On the other hand, industrial printers are becoming more affordable as time goes on, allowing more individuals to benefit from the technology.

What are the advantages of using 3D printers in the classroom?

Many educational institutions consider that purchasing 3D printers is not necessary at this time. They are, however, incorrect. When a new technology makes significant advancements, students must learn to adapt. Otherwise, they may have difficulties later in their careers. If 3D printing is the future manufacturing technology, students should learn everything they can now while there is still time. It's possible that additive manufacturing will be limited to industrial applications, but who knows for sure? It may find its way into other industries, as it has already done so in the healthcare business.

However, 3D printing is not only about guaranteeing kids' futures. It has an immediate effect on the learning process. Students get more enthusiastic due to the technology since they have hands-on experience developing and experimenting at an early age. In the classroom, they may make items from scratch. Teachers will also find it simpler to finish the curriculum on time if they have a group of enthusiastic students rather than yawning ones.

The children's problem-solving abilities will also increase due to the approach. Most educational 3D printers are plug-and-play, so there's no need to worry about getting started without help. Furthermore, pupils may learn from their mistakes without losing enthusiasm. Enhancing children's creative abilities will expose them to new challenges and opportunities. Finally, because students and instructors can cooperate on projects, solve problems, and develop novel things together, technology will help strengthen the link between them.

What part in higher education does 3D printing play?

In higher studies, including research, additive manufacturing has a more elusive function to play. Affordable 3D printers, depending on the topic of study, can assist students in gaining a competitive advantage. The potential is larger since 3D printing can speed up the development process, improve visual and practical learning, and save time. Students can complete their studies and receive credentials much faster using sophisticated printers. Applied science, mechanics, molecular science, nuclear science, medicine, aerospace, and robotics are some of the educational sectors that might benefit from 3D printing. Students in these professions strive to make the world a better place. 3D printers can assist them in achieving this goal much more quickly than they could have imagined.