You’re up late studying for your college chemistry exam. Rather than struggling with abstract figures and two-dimensional images from that intimidatingly colossal college chem book, you have an array of 3D-printed models to cut your night short. Your desk becomes a laboratory where color-coded elements become chemical compounds.
Portuguese 3D printing company, BeeVeryCreative, in conjunction with the3dprinter, has launched a program offering a 40% discount to educational institutions. The program, aims to incorporate 3D-printing into school curricula at all levels, not only as an invaluable aid to learning, but also to provide students with training and direct experience in the use of 3D printers. The offer is open to the first 50 units sold, and all sales are at the discretion of the3dprinter.
The possibilities presented by 3D printers as learning tools are virtually infinite, argues BeeVeryCreative, citing just a handful of examples: Archaeology students can print specimens from specs provided by museums to determine the age of a fossil. Future geneticists can create DNA structures and aspiring chemists and pharmacists can print 3D models of chemical compounds. Do you dream of specializing in sports medicine? Imagine cramming for your Anatomy and Physiology exam with the help of 3D models of skeletal and muscular structures or cells and organs. Budding geologists can study detailed topographical maps, while creative types can quickly produce 3D models of complex sculptures or architectural renderings. Are you an aspiring fashion designer? Realize your designs before making a single cut in that expensive silk via 3D printing!
BeeVeryCreative emphasizes the capacity for 3D printing to change industry and manufacturing as we know it and in anticipation of the radical changes they see coming, have taken the initiative by encouraging schools to introduce this technology to students and they are offering an impressive discount as incentive. They envision, for instance, aspiring student entrepreneurs gaining direct, valuable experience with product design, beginning with identifying a need and following through with product design and market testing. In this model, however, the product isn’t hypothetical–it’s real!
BeeVeryCreative hopes its education initiative, will set a precedent for the overall Australian school curriculum. “In the near future,” says their press release, “We expect to see some…standard curriculum programs designed or adapted around 3D printing and we think it will even reinvigorate the students’ level of excitement when they come to school.”
One of the many benefits of making 3D printing technology available to students from the early years through college is that students will enter the workforce as innovators rather than interns or trainees. BeeVeryCreative also believes it has much to learn from educators and students themselves as they anticipate young innovators and creative educators will generate unforeseen, exciting new applications for this technology through this program. “Allow a student to breach the walls of standardization,” they argue, “And let’s give them a 3D printer, a tool that will help take an idea out of their minds and into their hands, allowing the to inspire all.”
The BeeTheFirst 3D printers are normally sold for $2665.00, however, the 40% discount brings the price down to $1599.00. If you are an educator, feel free to discuss this story as well as other topics pertaining to 3D printing and education, in the 3D printer education forum thread on 3DPB.com. Further details on this offer can be found here.
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