Please forgive me but my continuing fascination and passion for 3D printing continues to grow as the technology expands and continues to push the boundaries of innovation and design. I always think that this can be a great inspiration to students – as it really starts to enable everyone including students to be able to produce their own highly complex prototypes. It is the perfect example of technology push – where a specific technology leads to great innovation. If you are lucky enough to have a 3D printer in school – then make sure to maximise its use within all levels of IB Design Technology. Below are a few areas which you can show to Diploma students for inspiration or ideas of creative areas for projects :-
- A great ethical discussion once the ideas of 3D printing have been introduced can be had around the thoughts about 3D printed guns. There are many articles out there -so what does this mean for 3D printing. Is there a wider discussion about design and technology and that all innovation can be used for bad and good – or should 3D printers be banned?
- The fascination of 3D printing is that it can be scaled either way – from printing buildings and architecture through to 3D Nanoscale Printers – http://www.materialicious.com/2013/07/3d-nanoscale-printers.html. This shows how much innovation is waiting and will happen in the future…
- The perfect example of technology push – comes from Cubify and 3D Printed Shoes becoming a reality where the shape, design and complexity could not have been produced before – http://cubify.com/store/creation.aspx?reference=f48TGauCpS5H. These shoes you can download and print for $25.
- A Great introduction to 3D printing – maybe lower down at the school or too introduce students to how it works – is creating a 3D printed cookie cutter. Thingiverse has a specific tool that means no CAD is really needed to produce the file necessary to print a cookie cutter. Also show students this Etsy shop – where someone is making good business from something simple and innovative as 3D printed cookie cutters!
If you have any other impressive links related to 3D printers please add to comments. And do remember even if your school does not have a 3D printer – there are now many services that will print your CAD files for you including Shapeways and i.Materialise.