When the media talks about bringing 3D printers into the classroom it is often in reference to using them for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curricula. And a 3D printer is an ideal tool to use in STEM education courses: there are plenty of ways that it can add value to a classroom. Art classes can use 3D printers to create works of art or customized display stands for students work. Teachers can take complicated subjects that may be hard for students to grasp and break them down into smaller, 3D printable educational aids that help them better understand the subject matter, like parts of the body or the parts of an engine. Shop teachers can even 3D print special tools or guides that can help students learn the proper way to use the equipment.
Regardless of how they are used, 3D printers are one of the most versatile educational tools available today. So it is really no surprise that schools all over the world are so eager to bring 3D printers into their classrooms, and that so many 3D printer manufacturers are stepping up and actually developing educational materials for them. From basic lesson plans to full 3D printing curricula, schools have access to some amazing educational resources these days. But the best educational resource is always the ability to just let kids’ imaginations run wild, and nothing enables that better than a 3D printer.
While Dremel is primarily known for their highly successful line of handheld rotary tools, they were one of the first nationally recognized brand names to get into the 3D printer game. After releasing the first Dremel Idea Builder 3D Printer back in 2014, the company has just announced that they are releasing a second generation of their easy-to-use printer with a host of new features. The new model of the Idea Builder is an out-of-the-box 3D printer, with a model that was optimized specifically to be used in a classroom setting. The new printer is also going to be fully compatible with Dremel’s soon-to-be-released 3D iOS and Android mobile apps, as well as their Print Studio software that offers 3D design optimization and modification features.
“As classrooms continue to approach education through hands-on learning, the advancements we’ve made to the Dremel Idea Builder 3D40 provide an unprecedented experience with 3D printing technology. We wanted to give educators and students the ability to engage with 3D printing in a limitless capacity,” said manager of Dremel 3D Education, George Velez.
Dremel will be releasing two versions of their second-generation Idea Builder. The 3D40-01 is the retail version that will include a flash drive pre-loaded with Print Studio software, a roll of build tape for the printing bed and a spool of PLA filament. The 3D40-EDU is the educational version of the printer that will come with a few additional features not included with the retail version. It will include a USB drive loaded with 3D-specific curriculum and educational materials, an additional build plate to make printing multiple jobs faster, additional rolls of build tape and four spools of PLA in various colors.
Schools that purchase the Dremel Idea Builder 3D40-EDU will receive customer support, 3D printer training, a one-year warranty and UL safety certification. They will also have access to the full 3D printing curriculum called Dremel Dreams, which offers their 3D-specific lesson plans, teaching guides and access to all of the design software and 3D printing hardware and materials required to implement 3D printing education in the classroom. The included lesson plans will correspond with 3D model kits that are pre-loaded on the Idea Builder 3D40-EDU’s USB drive and can be 3D printed from any computer. The lessons have also been developed to align with current Common Core standards.
Here is some video of how Dremel 3D printers can be used in classrooms:
The Dremel Idea Builder 3D40-01 and the Idea Builder 3D40-EDU will be available for purchase in June 2016, however customers can pre-order one now. You can find out more about Dremel 3D printers for the classroom here, and you can learn more about the Dremel 3D printing curriculum and education materials here. Discuss further too in the Dremel Idea Builder 3D Printer forum over at 3DPB.com.