Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

The Three R's in 3D: Affordable 3D Printing for the Classroom Takes Shape

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

The Three R's in 3D: Affordable 3D Printing for the Classroom Takes Shape

Article excerpt

"LAST OCTOBER, futurist David Thornburg" "wrote in THE Journal, "I am convinced that" every classroom should have a 3D printer." He went on to predict that the technology was "poised to take off in education.

Based on what I saw last week at FETC in "Orlando, 3D printing is already approaching" "cruising altitude. The CPALMS booth, which" "was full of 3D printers, was front and center in" "the exhibit hall, and was always buzzing with" educators eager to get their hands on customprinted objects--or just watch in wonder as the machines did their work. (Elsewhere in the "exhibit hall, Stratasys was showing off its line" of 3D printers for educators.

These machines have an undeniable "wow" "factor, but as with most new technology, the" barrier to widespread adoption of 3D printing has been the price. Thornburg's prediction that 3D had reached a tipping point was based partly on the affordability of a printer from "Afinia (currently listed at $1,599)."

But if you extend your definition of 3D printing beyond machines that build objects from layers of plastic to mean "hardware and software that give students the experience of watching their "ideas become objects," districts can" get into three-dimensional learning with a much smaller investment. …

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