As is with most innovative technologies, nothing is more integral to the progress of 3D printing than proper education. For young students, the optimal way to teach them about all of the potential uses of additive manufacturing is through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education. It’s not just the educators who are fixing up a curriculum to integrate this emerging technology into their classrooms, the 3D printing companies have also been themselves getting involved as well.
From ROBO 3D, which created their own 3D printing education kit to go alongside their printers, to MakerBot’s Makeathons, which bring teachers across the United States together to redevelop their classroom projects to include 3D printing, it seems that the industry is well aware of the importance that education will have on their own future. But, although these 3D printing companies and their printers are certainly useful for STEM education, they weren’t necessarily developed solely for educational use. Cue in ULIO 3D, the Montreal-based 3D printing startup that is seeking crowdfunding to bring their accessible, STEM-driven 3D printers into classrooms across the globe.
The ULIO 3D printer kit will help teach students about CAD software, robotics, engineering, problem solving, and of course, 3D printing technology. What’s even more unique about the ULIO 3D printer kit is that it’s almost entirely composed of 3D printed parts, and comes with all the necessary parts needed to assemble a fully functional printer. This will enable students to build their ULIO 3D printer in whichever filament color they prefer, including glow in the dark. An instruction manual will be provided to help students assemble, calibrate, and utilize their 3D printers for innovative classroom activities.
“Whether it’s in your classroom or in a workshop at your school’s makerspace, ULIO is without a doubt a useful STEMazing project packed with educational value that your students will be eager to make year after year at their school,” said Joseph Issa, the founder of ULIO 3D.
The ULIO crowdfunding campaign, which was just launched on Indiegogo today, will offer the entire 3D printing kit starting at just $299 at a special early bird discount price. Their “3D printed 3D printer” was engineered to be easily built by students, but also requires a 3D printer to produce the parts, which could be considered as a nuisance for some. But, as more and more 3D printers find their way into classrooms around the world, the prospect of ULIO’s 3D printer kit becomes much more friendly and accessible. It is important to note that, although the ULIO 3D printer itself features a petite build volume of 4 x 4 x 3 inches, a 3D printer with an 8 x 8 x 8 inch build volume is needed in order to produce the components yourself.
Although the ULIO 3D printer remains in the crowdfunding shadow for now, the available pictures seem to show a high-quality printer for an extremely affordable price, two factors that are sure to get educators and schools onboard. By offering these students an accessible and hands-on introduction to 3D printing, ULIO is helping these teachers promote STEM education and classroom innovation. From printing out the machine to printing on the machine, ULIO is making sure to involve these prospective students every step of the way. Discuss further in the ULIO 3D Printer forum over at 3DPB.com.