AMS Spring 2023

learnbylayers and Kodak Partner to Expand 3D Printing Education


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Phil Cotton

More and more, we’re seeing the positive impact that 3D printing technology has on education, and many of the industry’s heavy hitters are doing their part to get kids interested in innovative technology, as focus extends on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) subject areas. But in order to reach kids, their teachers must first know how to successfully add the technology to their curriculum.

This past November, Philip Cotton, one of the first teachers in the UK to introduce 3D printing in the classroom, launched a new 3D printing resource that he created for teachers, called learnbylayers, which initially began as a summer project to help teachers get their hands on high-quality educational resources.

“We offer a whole host of lesson plans, project ideas, assessments and more that have been designed by teachers for teachers,” Cotton told back in November. “We believe that for 3D printing to expand the content being taught in lessons has to be lead from teachers rather than 3d printing manufacturers. Many manufactures have tried to create curriculums but they have the main aim of promoting their brand of printers. Here at learnbylayers we don’t sell printers. We offer lesson resources to make the teaching of 3D printing straight forward and easy.”

learnbylayers has been growing rapidly since the launch, and announced earlier this month that it had just expanded its reseller network. Now, the site has reached a distribution agreement with a company that recently expanded to the 3D printing world.

Kodak, with global brand licensee Smart International, introduced its new dual-extruder Kodak Portrait 3D Printer this fall. We saw the Portrait’s official debut at CES 2018, along with the rest of the the imaging technology company’s professional 3D Printing Ecosystem and its Full Body 3D Scanner with brand licensee Twindom.

Kodak and learnbylayers have now finalized a partnership, and Kodak is now a global distributor of learnbylayers curriculum with its Portrait 3D printer.

“This is a truly exciting time for learnbylayers having just surpassed 10,000 students being taught the curriculum from schools around the world. This partnership with one of the most recognisable brands in the world will mean even more students will have access to a high quality standards driven curriculum,” said Cotton.

“Kodak are the first real major household brand to enter the 3D printing market and have a long history of designing great consumer products. With their launch into the 3D printing market they are set to redefine consumer/education and professional desktop 3D printing.”

Through the partnership, the learnbylayers educational curriculum will be added to the Kodak 3D Printing Ecosystem as an additional part. This will be achieved by the company offering the internationally-taught curriculum along with the Portrait 3D printer’s anticipated launch.

“The Portrait 3D printer has some pretty exciting features,” Cotton said. “The printer is fully enclosed which is a must for education, along with an end of filament sensor that allows for option continuation from the second extruder. This alone is an amazing feature reducing the end of filament waste on a spool of plastic. This will save money and help the environment through creating less waste. Also there is a built in HEPA / activated carbon filter that helps elimate any odours and microscopic particles along with an extractor fan that keeps the chamber temperature actively regulated.

“In addition the printer can be connected over wifi and has a built in camera. From a teacher’s point of view this can provide an immersive learning experience for children seeing their prints in real time over a smart phone. I personally don’t think I have seen a printer this exciting and innovative hit the education market for years. It’s actually a breath of fresh air for teachers.”

For a full ecosystem to offer end-to-end attention to detail, all the parts, like a 3D printer, software, and materials, must work together in harmony, and that’s just what Kodak’s 3D Printing Ecosystem does.

The company is looking to target professionals in a variety of fields, including architects, designers, product development engineers, and educational users, for its Portrait 3D printer and ecosystem, and its agreement with learnbylayers will help with at least one of these.

learnbylayers’ curriculum will be offered as a complete education solution – teachers will be able to purchase a 3D printer, like the Portrait, along with ready-to-use curriculum for the classroom, designed for teachers, by teachers.

“This is going to be one of the most powerful collaborations in 3D printing set to hit the education market. In all the years that I have been 3D printing in the classroom, not one manufacturer has ever offered a high quality curriculum as part of their 3D printer. This partnership will benefit teachers and students as longer will teachers have to spend countless hours trying to create projects for teaching 3D printing. Our curriculum takes the stress away and allows them to concentrate on teaching 3D printing with a high quality 3D printer that is designed for education,” said Cotton.

Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at or share your thoughts below. 

[Images provided by learnbylayers]


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