How 3D Printers Can Improve Classroom Learning Experiences
While 3D printers have revolutionised the world of manufacturing and engineering, that is not the only use for them. 3D printers can also be used in a classroom setting to enhance the learning experience. And here’s how.
3D Demonstrations for Better Learning
Educators can use 3D printers to show students the inner workings of an object. A case in point is a 3D printer that was used to print an anatomical model of the human heart. This demonstration aimed to show how blood is pumped to the heart and the valves within it work.
This example demonstrates that 3D printers can be used to build intricate models of objects without expensive equipment. The students clearly understand how the object is built by looking at the raw building material and other parts of the construction process.
This is an excellent addition to the learning experience because it shows students how something is put together. This is better than simply having a book or video explain it.
Help Tactile Learners
It is a well-known fact that the human brain processes visual information more efficiently than text. However, that is not the only form of information the brain processes. The brain also processes information that is felt in more tangible forms.
For some people, this is a better way of understanding something. These people are called tactile learners. These learners need to physically touch something before they can make sense of it.
3D printers are perfect for tactile learners because they make things for them to touch and experience. They can print out different versions of the same object. So, for the same amount of money, tactile learners can build a better understanding of the object in their minds.
One of the biggest uses for 3D printers in the classroom is to create prototypes of models and designs. This idea is that students can build a model of the object they are designing using the 3D printer.
If they build something that doesn’t work, they can go back to the drawing board and make a new prototype out of a different material or change the design.
Additionally, this method allows the students to get a feel for their product in the way the customer will experience it. It can point out shortcomings in the design that can be fixed before the product is mass-produced.
Test Designs in a Smaller Scale
For large objects like houses, aircraft, or cars, it would be impossible to test the design in the classroom. Even if the item could be built, it would be far too large to be a practical teaching aid. However, 3D printers allow pieces of a larger item to be printed and tested on a smaller scale.
This gives students a feel for the final product before it’s actually built. Then, the students can make changes to the design to ensure it works as planned. This is a great way to teach students about real-world applications of engineering.
As you can see, 3D printers can be used for more than just printing out trinkets and trifles. They can also be used to improve a student’s understanding of complex objects. 3D printers can make the learning experience more tactile and more fun.
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