3D printers are becoming more common in classrooms around the world, and that’s an encouraging sign. It’s widely agreed that children in school today will need to have at least a working knowledge of 3D printing in order to be able to fill the growing number of jobs that involve the technology, and the more skilled they are in it the better. Not long ago, however, 3D printers were expensive enough that seeing one in a classroom – particularly in elementary and high schools – was rare.
That has changed as the price of desktop 3D printers has gone down overall in the last couple of years, and as many 3D printer manufacturers have made targeted efforts to develop printers specifically geared toward education. There are several characteristics that a good educational 3D printer needs to have: it needs to be easy enough for kids to use, it needs to be safe and sturdy, and it needs to be affordable, just to name a few.
The Super Helper 3D printer from Winbo Smart Tech Co., Ltd. has all of those characteristics (and it comes in multiple kid-pleasing bright colors, as a bonus). The Super Helper hit the market in October of 2016, along with its multifunctional counterpart, the Super Helper 3-in-1, which includes a laser cutter and laser engraver. The affordable, user-friendly 3D printer has been met with enthusiasm by customers, and while the Super Helper is designed to appeal to all ages, Winbo has lately been focusing on its suitability for the classroom.
According to Winbo, the Super Helper has already become quite popular among schools, with orders coming from educational institutions in multiple countries including Spain, France, the Philippines, Turkey, Russia, and of course its native China. The 3D printer has found a home in every variety of educational setting, including primary and secondary schools as well as universities and vocational and technical colleges, plus maker spaces and design centers.
The Super Helper comes preassembled and ready to use, and it’s compact and lightweight at only about 9 pounds, or 3.6 kg. The filament spool holder doubles as a handle, making the printer easy to transport around the classroom. It’s energy-efficient, keeping usage costs low, and it’s extremely simple to use, making it well-suited to classrooms with even very young children. Its features include an easy-to-remove build plate and an LCD touch screen for quick and simple operation.
Winbo provides presale and aftersales services directly to schools, and also offers an OEM service to both schools and companies so that they have the option of having their own personally branded 3D printers. That’s a nice option for added personalization; plus, it comes in so many colors that schools can likely choose a printer in one of their own school colors. It may seem like a small thing, but when it comes to appealing to students, sometimes it’s those little things that make a big difference.
The Super Helper is affordable enough for most schools, as well, priced at only $199. Winbo is currently looking to partner with resellers in countries around the world; if you’re interested, you can find out more here.
Winbo also offers its Smart Micro-Factory as a venue for students and teachers to visit and study, and has a large online library of free downloadable 3D models to help users get started with 3D printing. In addition, Winbo offers a large selection of highly affordable 3D printing materials, including PLA, which the Super Helper utilizes.
It can be intimidating to begin 3D printing for the first time, and even more intimidating to try introducing it to children. The last thing an educator needs when beginning to implement 3D printing in the classroom is to worry about cost and difficulty of use, but Winbo is one of the companies working to make it so that those worries aren’t an issue. Discuss in the Super Helper forum at 3DPB.com.[Images courtesy of Winbo]