One of the fastest-growing markets in the 3D printing industry is that of India. The country, which initially lagged a bit behind other regions in terms of adopting 3D printing technology, has certainly made up for it with rapid expansion of the technology in the healthcare, automotive, aerospace, defense and electronics industries. With all of the new jobs created through the development of 3D printing, the next step is training people to fill those jobs – and, like every other country seeing a new 3D printing-centered economy unfold, the focus is now on educating children so that they will be experts by the time they’re ready to graduate into the workforce.
One company dedicated to doing just this is 3Dexter, a Dehli-based service bureau founded last year. Unlike most 3D printing service bureaus, however, prototyping isn’t the company’s main selling point. What makes 3Dexter stand out is their educational services. By offering a unique combination of curriculum, custom printers and workshops, 3Dexter has already become one of India’s leading providers of hands-on technological education to young students, and it’s not just about teaching 3D printing as a future job skill. The technology is also a valuable tool for education in other areas of the classroom.
“3D printers serve as a revolutionising tool to aid many areas of education and provide teachers with new ways of getting their message across,” the 3Dexter team states. “Young students get bored with lots of text, making information visible helps but printing it in 3 dimensions truly captures the student’s interest. By using a 3D printer, any class will instantly be transformed in an interactive learning experience…Difficult concepts will not only be visible but also tangible. Anything normally drawn out on the black board can now be explained through models that students can touch and investigate from any angle.”
The company was started by a group of young people only a few years out of school themselves, so they’re very familiar with the Indian education system and the areas in which it is lacking. According to Marketing Director Raunak Singhi, there is a serious deficit in experiential learning, and that’s a gap 3Dexter intends to fill through the implementation of “mini factories,” in which students actively learn by doing. Creativity and experimentation are encouraged, with 3Dexter espousing the motto “Visualize Design Create.”
3Dexter’s curriculum is compatible with CBSE, IB and ICSE boards. Representatives from the company travel to schools, train students in 3D printing, and help them to set up labs. 3Dexter then continues to follow up with the students on a regular basis as they participate in projects and assessments. So far, they have implemented their curriculum in 9 schools, facilitated 17 workshops, and seen 15 projects to completion.
It’s hard to argue with 3Dexter’s vision for education after seeing the enthusiasm and engagement with which students react to active learning. It’s rare to see a young person who doesn’t light up with excitement and interest when first presented with a 3D printer and its capabilities. It’s like a new toy – one that can be used to create art, design experiments, and otherwise be used to explore just about every school subject. Learning becomes more like play, and that’s just one benefit of experiential learning, which also allows students’ minds to understand things more concretely and solve problems more actively.
“3Dexter is the first of its kind and we want to make the most of it,” 3Dexter’s Product Development Executive, Smarth Kwatra, told the Financial Express. “We offer schools a package that comprises trainers, printers, raw materials and our support round the clock. We wish to make a change in the way children learn and want to equip them with the technology of future. For all we know, we might make the most boring subject turn interesting for a kid.”
Discuss further over in the 3D Printing Curriculum in India forum at 3DPB.com.