Getting Started with 3D Prototyping



Type: News

When searching the web, we can find many articles and blogposts on the impacts of 3D Printing. 3D Printing will have a big impact on the future. How do we demonstrate this to our students?

The 3D pen is one of the most popular tools in our maker space. At its core, the 3D pen is just a 3D printer in the shape of a pen with the extruder at the tip and the filament fed in through the back end. But to our students, the 3D Pen is a way to illustrate colorful, three dimensional art or make the designs in their head come to life. Making with a 3D Pen happens in real-time, allowing students to remain engaged as they run into and correct their mistakes.

Student creations made with 3D Pens
Student creations made with 3D Pens

We expected it to be a great starting point to developing an interest in 3D Printing and prototyping but there were also a few surprises. We’ve seen our students come to recognize an understanding for three dimensional space when using the pen to draw on a flat surface, then peeling the drawing off, and holding it upright. We’ve also noticed students are more willing to take apart and fix a 3D Pen when a problem occurs, allowing them to build more confidence in deconstructing and constructing electronics. We hypothesize that the 3D Pen’s size, shape, and commonality with a normal pen make it less intimidating.

Student fixing a broken 3D Pen
Student fixing a broken 3D Pen

Looking ahead, we’re considering how 3D Printing technology could add meaning to art, science, and other subjects at ASB.