If you managed to keep track on just how many industries 3D printing and Rapid prototyping have made their mark, you would be astonished, to say the least. Markets such as aeronautics, automotive, and biomedical engineering need plastics components every single day.

There is also a particular sector where this industry can make some lasting differences, by offering learning opportunities to anyone willing to embrace it. We are talking, of course how these manufacturing methods can help people in formal education systems such as elementary schools and universities.

3D printed bottles

3D printed bottles*

Don’t let your preconceived notions about the limited presence of 3D printing and rapid prototyping in schools limit the scope of its reach. The chances are that almost 60% of the students in formal educational systems are sitting on a seat made using these manufacturing methods. Costs are no longer an issue since many schools are able to fund the hardware to make their own 3D printed prototypes.

The pursuit of knowledge on this topic will be as limited as the school programs allow. If the students show a genuine interest in learning more about this, its very likely that these institutions will set schedules and instructors to handle the learning process of those who are interested.   

3D printing and Rapid Prototyping at Schools

Any way you analyze this move, there is very little to lose here. For once let’s take into account the fact that young people are able to learn about any new form of technology way faster than older persons. Introducing this manufacturing method in the early stages of education can define the career path of a student who needs to figure out what to do after high school.

Learning the trade of 3D printing and Rapid prototyping will make him one of the many competitive faces in one of the fastest growing industries in the world. The diverse stages of development in this market can help them choose the best career path for them. Be it on engineering or as a technician. There is no losing here for anybody.

As we stated previously, the act of setting 3D printing technology is not something expensive even with limited funding. $700 can buy basic hardware to get students introduced to this world. They can take a course of a couple of hours a week to learn how to make small and functional projects. The basic tooling will lead to more complex concepts about engineering.

This can turn out to be a great jumping on point for teachers to handle the knowledge that goes over the head of many students for their lack of interest on it such as math, planning, strategy, and science. It also paints a picture on the future of students who are willing to learn a trade instead of going to college, and that is a good thing since experienced is always a plus in the manufacturing industry. 

3D printing, Rapid prototyping, and Educational Projects

Currently, there are many projects aimed at bringing more people to an industry that is growing faster than it is able to keep up given the limited human resource available. In countries like China, the workforce of the manufacturing industry is incredibly capacitated and trained by their employers, but they still need people with experience since many of these operations work 24/7.

That’s why there are educational programs in the regular educational system to bring people to the field since their early teens. Most of these programs follow the basic structure of the CREATE program created in the UK that combines 3D printing and Rapid prototyping technologies, with creative minds at their earliest stages of development to bring out the inspiration to create in all of them.

The collaborative platform offers full resources to seed innovation. This active network of people has embraced new manufacturing methods as a means to improve education. Teachers and Leading voices in the manufacturing industry face challenges and opportunities to make something unique and refine what it is in place to keep their perspective fresh. It’s one of the greatest forms of collaboration, and it’s up and running as you read this.

Closing Thoughts

Corporate efforts to have a competent workforce are leading to a sea of great opportunities for men and women who have yet to establish a career path. These are the same companies that are pushing for new curriculums in regular educational institutions since they are the best spaces to get people interested in the skillsets needed to work at their companies.

This is a no brainer and full twist on the recruiting system used by companies in the old days. It’s no longer about grades; it’s about interest, passion, imagination, and willingness to make things happen. It’s a significant turn for the small guy who holds interest in something to create something great with something he or she might regard as a hobby.  The future will say if this works out for the best.



*Image from on https://www.dezeen.com