While it’s becoming less rare to hear of schools getting involved in 3D printing and hosting competitions, inspiring and educating students about the technology, often schools have one 3D printer — if that — and there is not always a clear directive involved. With print times often spanning a number of hours, and many students wanting to get their hands on the 3D printers, it’s much more helpful to house multiple machines in one school.
3D printing is being integrated into numerous schools worldwide with the help of some of the larger 3D printing companies that realize it’s important to begin training future engineers and 3D designers in the technology. We have reported many times on how 3D printing reinforces STEM (science, technology, engineering, and manufacturing) education in the curriculum from the elementary level to graduate schools. Individuals graduating with skill sets that involve 3D design and 3D printing are garnering attention right out of school, and are more likely to get quality job offers in manufacturing, engineering, and technology
Helping kids to gain important skill sets for today and get inspired with big ideas, as well as putting their hands on 3D printers in schools, Sebastian Conran and Eaglemoss, both of London, are offering the Vector 3 printer with a complete tutorial in a full package encompassing as many as six printers, depending on the school’s size and needs. A one-printer package is also available.
The packages feature ideas for designs, and a full course in 3D design meant for the teacher to introduce the technology to the class in a comprehensive manner. A specific website area is being set up for learning institutions also. Offering a unique twist, the publishing company also offers a magazine, 3D Create and Print, which offers tips, article, and design ideas in each issue.
The Vector 3 was designed solely by Conran, director of London’s Sebastian Conran Associates (SCA). An internationally recognized, award-winning product designer, Conran works in design and development with his clients, with a wide range of variety for projects including everything from lighting to carpet design and kitchenware.
Conran is known for producing simple, elegant designs and the Vector 3 is an obvious example of his talents.
“As 3D printing technology and applications become more mainstream, 3D printers are moving from the hi-tech workshop into schools, the home and the office,” said Sebastian Conran.
To complement their partworks concept, the Vector 3 is made to be assembled by the user, part by part, and Eaglemoss explains that the 3D printing process becomes more clear as the user puts together the machine. They also offer a partworks program so that it can be built in weekly phases, again slowly integrating the education process. It’s one thing to have a 3D printer delivered to a school and put to use, but another altogether to have the students putting it together, examining each piece of the machine with curiosity and wonder. Eaglemoss will also be sponsoring a competition for students to show off their 3D printing skills in June 2015, with a Vector 3 machine as a prize, along with a financial contribution to their school’s technology budget.
Not only boasting sleek aesthetics, the 3D printer is specifically made for the classroom or home desktop at a size of 400 x 295 x 356 mm. Using either PLA or ABS, it can 3D print objects up to 140 x 140 x 135 mm, with a print speed of 10–100 cm3/h.
“3D printing allows for a new and creative approach to teach STEM and design subjects and it is great to be amongst those that are paving the way in making 3D printing available to a wider audience,” says Maggie Calmels, Senior VP at Eaglemoss.
Do you find the sleek design and partworks concept of the Vector 3 desktop 3D printer to be inviting? Is this a 3D printer you would be interested in owning, or seeing in a local school? Tell us your thoughts in the Vector 3 forum over at 3DPB.com.