3D technology includes laser scanners and printers. The technology makes it possible to fabricate exact three dimensional replicas of objects in a digital file. In printing, additive processes are used to create layers until the object that is in the digital file is replicated. Although the technology is still being developed and fine tuned, many sectors are benefiting from it including manufacturing, medicine and many others. As per an article in the New York Times, it might be possible to get your next pair of shoes produced by 3D technology in the very near future. Below are lessons that can be taken from the technology.
1. Nothing is impossible with technology
Traditional methods of fabricating everything included the use of crude processes such as plastic injection molding and related processes. These were difficult to deal with and they do not produce accurate results. Besides, one had to create a prototype, spend many weeks fine tuning the mold and then go into mass production. With the 3D printer, the only thing that you need to do is create the image of the prototype that you want produced and give the command to print. The process is accurate and consumes less time.
2. Technology makes education more exciting
A study was conducted among a group of students between the ages 10 and 12. The first group was shown how to create an illustration of a plant cell using the traditional 2D technology while the second group was taught how to apply the 3D model. The first observation that was made was that a typical lesson that needs 2 lessons to be understood using 2D technology was covered in just one class when using 3D. Also, during a test that followed the teaching of the plant cell structure, the group that used 3D scored a mean of 8.33 out of 10 while the others got an average of 7. This goes to how that technology does bring the need to know back to the mundane class lessons.
3. Students understand better when abstract concepts become reality
The other benefit that comes from 3D printing is that it bridges the gap between concepts that are not tangible and reality. For instance, most students have an idea about the structure of the solar system from drawings and illustrations on TV. However, when a geography teacher decides to recreate the planets and the sun using 3D imaging, the students take a keener interest in learning, improving their understanding and hence their scores.
The lessons that have come from 3D printing are countless. What is even more exciting is that what can be achieved with this technology is absolutely limitless. As the technology grows, one can only hope that it will be assimilated in all sectors because of the endless possibilities it presents.