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.
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.
2. Type the text you wish to create in 3D
3. Select the extrusion depth and angles
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).
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.