3D printing is the way of the future. It works by “printing” objects–but instead of using ink, it uses materials–plastics, metal, rubber etc. The object to be printed is designed on our computers or iPads, where you decide the size/shape/design of your object. The object is then sliced into hundreds layers and printed layer by layer.
As far as how this can be used in education, it’s a matter of bringing objects out of the computer screen and into the hands of students for inspection, analysis, and other processes that can benefit from physical manipulation. In that way, 3D printers may eventually be able to bridge the gap between the physical and the digital–use a screen to find what you need, then print it into existence.
In October 2017, we got a new addition to our STEAM room. Our very own 3D printer.
The children have already created a mascot for our 3D printer, named Steamy. This was our printers first build and therefore became the symbol for our 3D printer.