Your principal supports STEM education, and bought you a 3D printer for your classroom. You know 3D printing is being used everywhere from manufacturing to dentistry, biology to hobbyists, gaming to television… and this is the tip of the ice berg. You are excited about the possibilities, but aren’t sure exactly where this fits into your classroom.
Don’t worry – we’re here to help!
If you are looking to incorporate 3D printing into your K-12 classroom, but aren’t sure how to go about it, we have designed quick tips for you. These resources are designed to help you successfully incorporate 3D printing into your classroom.
8 Best Practices for Classroom 3D Printing
1. Perfect for Design and Engineering Class – If you teach a CAD class, a 3D printer is a home run for your classroom. Your students will be able to apply engineering skills in a real and tangible way.
2. 3D Printing Fits in Other Classes Too! – Have you thought about the ways you could use 3D printing in math class? How about Geography, History or Art? This article by 3DPrint.com explores the ways 3D printing can be utilized in ways you may not have considered.
3. Design, Design, Design – Design programs range in power and capability. Tools like Google SketchUp and Design 1-2-3 are free programs that help you create .STL files. There are also cost-effective programs like Solidworks, an industry-recognized program that provides special educator discounts; and Maker’s Empire which is an elementary specific design program. Need help choosing the right program for the grade level you are teaching? Moss Education Specialists are available to assist.
4. Borrow Existing Designs – Resources are available from websites like Thingiverse, which has thousands of open source .STL files appropriate for your classroom.
5. Technology for All Grade Levels – 3D printing technology is appropriate for every grade level, but students at different ages approach the technology differently. Elementary students look at the fun of seeing their designs come to life, where high school students think more critically about their designs and use 3D prints as part of the design and engineering process. Same technology with age appropriate applications and reactions.
6. Hands on Skills – 3D printing helps students develop critical thinking skills as they design, print and test.
7. Curriculum is available – Structured curriculum is often the key to success. Moss partners with Pitsco Education and Maker’s Empire to provide structured curriculum designed for K-12 education. When you purchase an Afinia printer through Moss, you are also eligible to receive a copy of 3DVinci.
8. Communities are Available – From LinkedIn to Facebook, there are groups available to help you collaborate. We've linked to some of our favorite groups that spark creativity, and promote conversation.
Need more tips to get you started? Download this eBook from Afinia, which shares success stories from educators from across the nation, teaching at all levels. Have you incorporated 3D printing in your classroom? Tell us your story in the comments section.
You have questions about STEM education? You're not alone! We're here to share ideas and provide thought-provoking commentary. Let us know your thoughts!