To answer this weeks essential question I think that 3D printers can change the way we think about education, but not change it in a significant way. Again, it is hard to sort through to hype to get to the substance with 3D Printers. Are they the savior of education or just another great tool that good teachers will be able to use effectively?
TJ MCcue in his article “3D Printing Will Transform Education” quotes Bre Pettis, of MakerBot Industries, “Imagine if you had a 3D printer instead of a Lego® set when you were a kid; what would life be like now, asks Mr. Pettis. You could print your own mini-figures, your own blocks, and you could iterate on new designs as quickly as your imagination (and your printer) would allow.”
What Bre Pettis is alluding to is how 3D printers can change education. Students can imagine things, come up with solutions and wild ideas and 3D printers can print models, demos and parts in a quick and relatively cheap way. This means students can imagine and design robots, print them and see if they work as designed. They can come up with wild inventions and print models to see if they work. They can come up with products, print them, sell and make money from them.
The 3D printer gives everyone a simple, easy and fairly cheap way to make an idea a tangible object. This will change education in that it make resources more easily available to students. This makes the creative process faster, leaves out the middle man and puts the student in the driver seat. I have to admit I am excited about printing 3D art projects. You can view a picture of a cool art project from Eddie Krassenstein’s article, “Why 3D Printing Needs to Take Off in Schools Around the World,” which can be found at https://3dprint.com/27743/3d-printing-benefits-schools/. I also think the printing of cloth or clothes printed to your exact measurement would be really cool. (Voo., B. 2016)
Unfortunately, this doesn’t change education in any fundamental way. It is like going from a slow computer to a faster computer. It is still a computer, but it is better. While printing a part may be cheaper and faster than ordering the actual part, it is still not always the best option. These printer are still expensive to purchase, it is expensive to purchase the medium and it takes a long time to print compared to normal printers. To assume that every child could print whatever they want, whenever they want is not reasonable or practical. The plastic that is used to print can also melt or deform under little stress or heat. As these printers get better, faster and cheaper this may change, but right now they will probably used rarely and for special projects.
Here is a picture of my daughter with a 3D chair that she printed. She created 2D and 3D plans on AutoDesk and then printed a 3D model. Our construction class will then use these plans and the model to help them actually build these chairs. This is one way that HHS is already changing how we imagine education.
Federico-O’Murchu, L. How 3-D printing will radically change the world. Retrieved on 7-1-16 at 11:00 pm. Found at https://wordpress.com/post/uas635.wordpress.com/740.
Krassenstein, E. Why 3D printing needs to take off in schools around the world. Retrieved on 7-1-16 at 11:05 pm. Found at https://3dprint.com/27743/3d-printing-benefits-schools/.
McCue, T. 3D printing will transform education. Retrieved on 7-1-16 at 11:00 pm. Found at http://www.forbes.com/sites/tjmccue/2011/11/01/3d-printing-will-transform-.education/#775c6c12b7f4.
Voo, B. 20 amazing creations you can make with 3D printing. Retrieved on 7-1-16 at 11:00 pm. found at http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/3d-printings/.