3-D Printing: 5 Practical Applications for the Classroom


3-D printing allows educators and students to print objects, scaled models, and prototypes right in their own classrooms. In theory, this technology creates space for incredible new creativity and tactile learning.

But is 3-D printing just a gimmick, or an authentic educational tool?

Here are five practical applications for using 3-D printing in the classroom:

#1: Create prototypes for engineering students.

With an increased interest in STEM education, teachers are looking for more strategies to teach younger students practical foundations for careers in engineering.

3-D printing allows students to print out prototypes for their designs for machines, devices, and other objects. Seeing their designs three-dimensionally can help students to spot any potential problems before building the actual model.

#2: Print out small-scale items like molecules or atoms to larger size.

One of the challenges of teaching chemistry and other sciences is showing the function and build of minutely small “building blocks” of life.

With 3-D printing, educators can print out large-scale versions of atoms, molecules, and compounds, helping students to get a richer understanding of small-scale items.

#3: Provide a creative new medium for art students.

Complex sculptures, designs, and patterns can be generated with a 3-D printer, opening a whole new realm of art.

#4: Print out physical maps to teach geography.

Try printing out topography with 3-D printing, so that students can touch and feel a landscape of the city, state, province, or country that they are studying.

#5: Create artifacts or objects to bring history and the social sciences to life.

Illuminate history by printing out designs of ancient artifacts or objects. Students are more likely to remember historical facts and context if they have been able to interact with the subject in a tactile way.

3-D printing is being used across multiple subjects and grades to bring an innovative and effective new approach to learning: Giving students the ability to create, feel, and see objects come to life off the page and right into their hands.


John Stuppy, EDUMETRIX president, helps ed-tech products & services companies grow fast, dominate their market & prepare to sell.  John is a successful global ed-tech leader. He guides, mentors & drives companies to hit aggressive business and education goals using his hands-on management experience & technology savvy in rare combination with stellar academic credentials, strategic vision and sales expertise.


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