With technology indelibly intertwined into modern education, government ministries around the world are seeking to modernise by integrating computing into their curricula.
As 3D printing emerges into the mainstream, it has much to offer schools as an exciting addition to any classroom.
That’s according to Paul Francois, Product Manager at Comworth Technologies, who says the arrival of low-cost devices like the XYZ Printing Da Vinci 1.0 means every school and just about every class can afford one.
The device retails at under $900 and is practically as easy to use as a ‘standard’ printer.
“Introducing 3D printers into schools is shown to improve education and interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects,” Francois says.
“The introduction of the user-friendly plug ‘n play style Da Vinci 1.0 is great for New Zealand, delivering a level of quality and usability which makes it an ideal choice for schools.”
With this device, New Zealand schools have an opportunity to get children interested and excited in a fascinating new area of technology, he adds.
“Low cost also allows schools to have multiple printers, instead of a single one under lock and key," he adds.
"Furthermore, the consumables are also inexpensive; a 600gm cartridge retails at around $45, which equates to 9c a gram, and results in a cost for most printed models for under $3.”
Operating the Da Vinci 1.0 requires no special expertise. “Any class or teacher can operate it. Simply convert a 3D design in the printer software, plug in via the USB and press print.”
Francois points to a case study in the United Kingdom, where the Department for Education (DfE) explored the potential for use of 3D printers to enrich teaching across science, technology, engineering and mathematics and design subjects
The report explains the advantages of putting 3D printing in classrooms: "Equipping pupils to understand the application and potential of this new type of technology will be important to helping prepare them for a world in which similar technologies will be increasingly commonplace, particularly in science, technology, engineering and mathematics contexts."
What the report found, says Francois, is somewhat predictable: children love the technology, and with their active imaginations, very quickly see the potential.
“Creating a 3D printed object from scratch is an opportunity to follow the technology process from brief, through design and prototyping, to finished article,” he says.
“So any project that has that approach and needs a physical outcome may find 3D printing useful.”
Describing the XYZ Da Vinci 1.0 as ideal for schools, Francois says the printer is capable of producing models of up to 20 cubic centimetres and has a 600 gram cartridge-based consumable which is as easy to exchange as printer ink toner.
With the launch of the XYZ da Vinci, schools of any size now have the opportunity to join the future of interactive 3D learning.
View the possibilities by visiting: www.xyzprinting.co.nz