Shortly after his first election the President announced one of his priorities to be the bolstering of America’s education in regards to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). These are critical areas of learning in the 21st century where most of our goods are wi-fi enabled. If we’re to ever have transport tubes and replicators we’re going to have to learn our kids the good maths. In support of the Obama Administration’s efforts, Objet recently released a 3D printing package aimed at schools and universities.
The Objet30 Scholar bundles professional 3D printing with even more convenience than normally associated with the technology by including training, maintenance, and materials delivered on demand. The printer is accurate to 28 microns and comes with Rigid Blue 3D printing material (Objet RGD240); this allows sturdy pieces and moving parts. The invaluable inclusion is the training though, as hands-on tutorials for a printer of this quality are key to fully utilizing its potential. The package comes only in two- and three-year arrangements and material refills are discounted, demonstrating even a monetary commitment to improving the education experience. Students of institutions with high-definition 3D printers have a leg up in engineering, architecture, and pretty much every industry that involves physical stuff. When students can see their ideas materialized their creativity and inventiveness are strengthened, and their concepts of feasibility lose many of their current shackles. Inspiration is a useful tool of educators; if teachers can instill a confidence in their pupils of knowing that their dreams can reach tangible form then they dream bigger. Dreams are good — they hold the future.
Conventional engineering courses don’t typically include instruction on finding capital to fund the injection molding of inventions, but with a 3D printer in the lab, it becomes clear how to manifest objects as it’s part of the design process. One of the greatest barriers to innovation is not “what,” but “how.”
More recently Obama announced that the first National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) will be built in Ohio, Shapeways started planning their Factory of the Future in New York, and 3D printers are popping up in more and more places of learning across the country, so it’s becoming increasingly evident that such technologies will saturate the future of education and fabrication. These separate initiatives will have synergistic effects relating to near-term manufacturing and overall awareness, which is still a limiting factor as far as 3D printing is concerned. Objet produces some of the highest-quality printers, so their place in the classroom is only appropriate in a country looking to increase innovation.