Schools and Universities are proving to be a petri dish of innovation. Where there is an existing space for experimentation and practical applications, as well as palpable enthusiasm for the technology among both teacher and student. Through the use of new software and Computer Aided Design (CAD), Educators are harnessing student’s creativity and the next generation designers, artists, scientists are being propelled in the right direction. But 3D printing is not simply a catalyst that improves the lives of fortunate children and young adults in the education system. In response to increase educational demands, CAD software has evolved dramatically in the last few years and it’s not just engineers who are using it. The demand for the technology in the classrooms has pushed companies into developing technology to suit educational needs.
As a result, there has been an explosion in the number of 3D design programs on the market; especially for the children, and this is allowing K-12 educators to make the most of the technology. Educational institutes are already using 3D printers on a middle school level allowing students to move away from old fashion posters and cardboard projects, towards more inspiring and practical 3D model experimentation. The Northern New York Robotics Academy’s Mars Colony project for example, sees children using CAD software and a 3d printer to design and build Mars rovers, shape settlers living quarters and water supply resources. Competitions such as the Edu-tech 3D challenge are helping children discover their design talents, as well as giving them the chance to showcase their work and potentially win Makerbot replicator 2 3D printing unit for their school. Students are on the front lines of tech adoption, and the way students interact with 3D printing has changed the trajectory of the industry. As they learn how to design and print materials, they are also learning that technology itself opens the doors to endless possibilities.