Think of a future where all things are created without any waste, with personalised design and with a machine that could be in everybody’s home. Buy an item on the internet. You receive a drawing that you can adapt to your own requirements or build the item by yourself from the ground up. Then use your 3D-printer, start it up. This is not manufacturing. It should be termed building and construction. Where you receive the item in your hand after the process has finished. No distribution cost, no waste-material and an item that fully meet your preferences.
The passive customer of the 20th Century develops into an active creator of its own products. The fact that Microsoft added the application 3D builder within the launch of Windows 10 where you can create models for 3D-printing is one part of this trend. However, how is this technology used in practice today? How can you use 3D-printing in education?
Authentic Learning with 3D-printing in Education
Think of what installing a 3D-printing in the classroom education can do for e.g. teaching geometry. First, the calculation of the form. Then get the model into the 3D-printer that produce the item. Then you can measure if your calculation was right. The prospects for hands on teaching and learning are very exciting within e.g. S.T.E.A.M (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics). Where the innovation is that 3D-printing of things turn theories into learning by doing practice. In a society where people go from being passive customers on a mass-market to become active creators of their own items, learning with help of 3D-printing has more dimensions than just to activate STEAM theories. Since it is also developing skills for the makerspace the future product-market is becoming.