After a normal school day, a teacher and his two sons watch a 3-D printer like we once watched the microwave oven...with awe and wonder at this new, incredible invention! 3-D printers are not brand new, but the price of them is now going down so more people and schools are able to afford them.
3-D printing is a process where solid objects are created one layer after another from a single digital file. An individual starts the process by designing an object on a with a 3-D modeling program or downloads a modifiable 3-D template from sites such as YouMagine, CubeHero, Instructables, Cubehero, communities, etc.
Students can make speakers for ipods, learn about aerodynamics by printing original toy drag racers, learn math and 3-D visualization, and print replacement parts for robots.
3-D printing has the potential for much more! Biobots say that some computers can print human tissues. That seems hard to believe, but they have put that out there. Parts of planes are being printed by 3-D printers and in China 10 houses are being printed each day!
Our students are learning the principles of design through the use of 3-D printing. This is just the beginning for 3-D printing. In the next few years as the prices of the printers keeps going down we will see more use of them in the classroom.