Now that we have had the 3D Printer in the classroom for a few weeks, I am even more convinced of its relevancy and opportuneness for any STEM Curriculum.  The alignment with several ISTE-S Standards (formerly NETS-S) is very clear, specifically Creativity and innovation, and, Technology and operations concepts.

The NMC Horizon Report 2014 Higher Education Edition lists 3D Printing in the “Time-to-Adoption Horizon at two-three years”. A recent article by Luckerson, V. (2014, Sept. 22) Too Cool for School. Time 184, 16. Indicates that “MakerBot has already placed more than 5,000 3-D printers in U.S. schools”

The upcoming  FETC Conference Workshop List includes not only a 3D Bootcamp, but also a Build Your Own 3D Printer Workshop as well.

I think it is safe to say we are well into the adoption process.

MakerBot 3D Printer in Elementary School
3D Printer © Paul Haberstroh

The excitement that this device has created with students and teachers is amazing. Watching an object being created from an iPad or computer screen image creates the need for students to desire to learn about the technology and processes.

Here is a quick photo essay on the process:

1. MakerBot has an iPad app, PrintShop which is very user friendly. If you have a BYOD or 1:1 iPad program, this is an easy way to get the students involved in the initial design phase.

MakerBot PrintShop App for iPad

2. Type the text you wish to create in 3D

3D Printing
The App adjusts the kerning and line spacing

3. Select the extrusion depth and angles

3D Text Extrusion
Extrusion depth and angle are adjustable

4. Send to 3D printer wirelessly from the iPad, (one of the features that was important to me in a 3D Printer was wireless capability).

3D Printing in process through WiFi
3D Printing in process through WiFi © Paul Haberstroh
3D additive printing process
3D additive printing process layer by layer © Paul Haberstroh
3D Printed Object
The finished 3D printed object © Paul Haberstroh

The finished object created a lot of buzz with the students, teachers and administrators. It was an excellent example that demonstrated the concept and potential of a 3D Printer.







3 Responses

  • Deborah Creel

    What an awesome piece of technology to have in a school! I’m sure the students love the hands on opportunity to work with a piece of technology that is so new and builds on the STEM curriculum. How is the school planning on using this technology in the future?

    • paulhaberstroh

      Hi Deborah, we are very fortunate to have the support for this technology at our school. The future uses are both exciting and infinite and not just limited to Science. There are numerous applications in Math, Art, and Social Studies. What better way to learn the mathematical concept of volume? For Social Studies, we can scan and replicate an object that is too rare or fragile to be handled, so students can touch and examine the duplicate. For Art, we can use the 3D App to learn perspective and then create the object. It even has marketing applications where we can create unique objects for our annual fundraising auction. I highly recommend this to any elementary or middle school!

  • maxsxm

    I love the 3D printer in the classroom. I have seen the 6th graders with pictures from the app on their lock screen.


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