3D printing catching on at schools, colleges

Posted by Jacqui Adams on

From Oshkosh Northwestern


Abby Daun likes running her fingers over the numbers and ridges of a small clock she designed and printed in 3D.

The seventh-grader at Webster Stanley Middle School has a knack for 3D printing, and said she chose to make a clock for her first project because the design is simple and complex at the same time.

"I can actually hold something I made," she said. "I didn't have to do much. I just designed it and it printed out like that."

Students in Oshkosh like 12-year-old Abby are becoming more familiar with 3D printing right along with businesses and hobbyists. A 3D printer has made its way into every middle and high school in Oshkosh, thanks to grants that fund the purchase of the roughly $700 machines. Higher education has also embraced the technology.

Daun's technology teacher at Webster Stanley said he uses it to teach students about the skills used in engineering careers.

"I think it's a great tool," Alex Billings said. "The kids are excited about it and we've barely even scratched the surface of what we can really do with it."

Instructors are seeing the learning opportunities the technology can bring, especially in areas like engineering, science and math. Depending on the grade level, the 3D printers might be used sparingly at some schools while at others teachers challenge students to use them for full-scale projects.


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