Here is an excellent overview from Teachthought on what 3D Printers are and why your school should care. But that’s not all we have to offer!
Hello, I’m the 3D Librarian here to guide you step-by-step on acquiring, setting up, and using your school or library’s first 3D printer. Welcome on board, and don’t worry, I’ll try to make this as easy as possible. As a teaser, imagine your students working on projects like these in the future:
Designing such products isn’t as far off as it seems. Your students might just surprise you and be creating similar designs. After my first few weeks I was already designing and printing replacement paper cutter parts after the original broke!
This site’s resources include information on why 3D printers matter, how to fund them, where to purchase them, the different kinds, how to set up and troubleshoot them, where and how to download or create 3D files, how to advertise them to colleagues, and most importantly how to use them in the classroom. This last point includes lesson ideas and plans on most of the big subjects, from Math to Social Studies, to English and beyond! Hopefully I’ll provide everything you need!
Lets take time now to look into getting over the initial hurdles: getting a basic understanding of 3D printers & possible grant options to help fund your endeavor
3D Printers: A Basic Understanding
So, the idea of 3D printers interests you, but you want to learn more before you act. Here are some helpful sites with brief overviews and tips on learning more.
ISTE offers and in-depth 10 step to-do list to educate yourself on jumping into the world of 3D printing. Hopefully one day they’ll add to the list and suggest you visit 3D Librarian as a resource!
Edutopia has some entry-level information on how they work and different methods on getting 3D files. We’ll provide a more in-depth look at this on our 3D Resources page, check out the link on top of my page.
Funding Your Printer
Let’s face it: 3D printers can be pricey and getting one for your school can be a hassle if you don’t strategize. The good news is that there are technology grants available for teachers and schools who want the upgrade. If you know where to look, you might find you’re in luck! Here are some of the funding opportunities available online. You’ll also want to look for technology grants in your area that could support you.
TTAWEB is an absolute must-read. They detail strategies and ideas to improve your odds of grant-writing success!
Now, how about a list of possible grants to apply for?
- Positive Learning has a great list to keep handy of the different types of funding available, whether through grants, donations or fundraising.
- CPSB offers a longer reference list, here’s a collection of grants available for teachers and classrooms.
- Makerbot is a 3D printing company that has its own user friendly education grant guide.
- AET Labs has a long list of technology-specific grants and funding opportunities:
- Lastly, if you live in Maine, New Hampshire, or Vermont, my school acquired its first 3D printer with the help of Berlin City Auto’s Drive for Education Grant.