How Can 3d Printing Be Used in Education? Why Schools Should Use Them!

3D printing has been a growing trend in the printing industry. It’s in more industries than just 3D design. 3D printing is starting to show up in education as well.

As students get into STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) classes and learn about 3d design, they are also learning how to use 3d printers.

This blog post will discuss how 3d printing can be used in education and how technology is quickly changing from chalkboards and one-sided discussions to interactive presentations and smart boards.

But before going any further, make sure to check out our post on Are 3D Printed Items Kids And Baby Safe? Potential Hazards And What Not To Do!

3D Printing Is Here To Stay

Where and how 3D printing is used in teaching and education?

3D printing has become a popular and essential tool in the learning process. It teaches students about three dimensions, geometry, math skills such as fractions or decimals, design concepts, and more such subjects.

In addition, 3D printed objects are an excellent way of fostering children’s creativity through creation with their own hands; it also helps them develop manual dexterity while teaching them how to use tools correctly.

Teachers can use different types of software to teach about 3-dimensional models. It includes Google Sketchup, where the pupils learn how to print out what they’re designing onto paper with a 3D printing pen.

In addition, it allows older and younger children to work on different parts of the project since younger children may not understand advanced instructions but still want to think up ideas for their design.

3D printing is being integrated into the education system to teach children how 3D printers work. The idea behind 3D printing in education is that it’s for more than teaching linear mathematics and geometry. The possibilities are limitless with this versatile tool.

How can 3D printers help students?

3D printers can help students in various ways by enabling them to explore concepts that would otherwise be too expensive or complicated for them. They are also excellent creative tools and promote problem-solving skills. Also check out our post on How To Explain 3D Printing To Kids & Preschoolers? Why You Should Get Them One !

In addition, printing allows educators to create inexpensive 3D printed models. 3d printers, like other innovative technologies, have been praised for their ability to encourage creativity among teachers and students alike. So it is because it provides an engaging way for children (both young and old) to learn about science and fosters critical thinking skills while making their lessons more exciting.

3D printing has made it possible for students to create 3d printed models of their designs or even print a 3D model from just an online tutorial. It means that they can make custom objects and shapes that are otherwise impossible with traditional methods, such as clay modeling or origami folding.

They are also valuable for STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) subjects because 3D printers enable them to see what the result will look like before they build something out of wood, metal, plastic, etcetera…

Finally, the cost-effectiveness of 3D printing can play a significant role in classroom settings where budgets may not allow for expensive materials or tools. It could help educators provide access without breaking the bank.

3D printing is used in education because it allows researchers and museums to create models of fossils to learn more about them without touching or damaging the original. It’s also being used in schools (especially at the elementary level) to teach students how engineering principles work.

Also not to dismiss the fact that 3D printing is increasingly becoming a big part of many industries. Being exposed at an early stage will definitely help kids build interest and confidence around the growing technology. Check out post on What Jobs Are Helped By 3D Printing? 3D Printing Career Opportunities!

Why are 3D printers good for schools?

3D printers are a great way to teach 3d concepts in the classroom. 3D printing is for projects related to 3-dimensional geometry, 3-dimensional structures, and 3-dimensional thinking. It is also possible that students will have access to their 3D printers at school.

Most schools do not yet have this technology, but it might become commonplace soon enough.

There is an argument from educators that say giving students access to 3D printers would give them the skills they need because of how widespread the use of 3d printing has become.

Professional fields especially manufacturing jobs such as architects or designers who design models, turn in their designs into physical objects with these machines, and if more people learn about this now, then when they enter those professions, there will be less of a learning curve. (Source)

The 3D printer is also superb for creating 3-dimensional representations of concepts such as trigonometry, physics, or chemistry. It can also help students better visualize the three dimensions when trying to imagine something that cannot yet exist by making them much more tangible than just pictures.

An excellent example of this is; if someone were studying different types of geometrical shapes like circles, triangles, squares, etc., having access to a 3D printer will allow them not only to see what these objects look like but also get an idea of how difficult some might be more so than others because the 3D printer can create objects in 3-dimensional space that is not two-dimensional.

What are some ways teachers can integrate this technology into their curriculum?

Teachers may also want to consider using 3D printers as part of a STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) activity where students have the opportunity to solve problems by designing objects with different materials such as plastic filament or metal wire. Teachers can use 3d printing to help children learn about everything from math, art, and science.

For example, teachers could print models of polyhedra for geometry students or create 3d projects that require computer-aided design (CAD) skills for those who are learning how to make their drawings on a computer program like Autodesk SketchUp.

Check out our post on Who Can Teach 3D Printing? ( Skill, resources and future growth)

Another way 3d printing is being used in education today is through online courses offered by companies such as Autodesk and, which provide 3D printer plans for students who want to build their 3d printers or learn how to use 3d technologies in other ways.

For example, with the help of a computer-aided design (CAD) program such as AutoDesk, any educator can teach kids about shapes by designing objects with different materials like plastic filament or metal wire on 3D printers.

What are some safety precautions teachers should put in place when using this technology?

3D printing can be useful in the educational sector, regardless of some hazards that could occur as a result of using them which could include overheating, Chemical poisoning, burns, etc.

But it is possible to avoid these hazards from happening by putting these preventive measures in place such as:

  • Ensure you wear the proper personal protective equipment when handling the 3D printers, and you should encourage the students to wear that too. These personal protective equipment include lab coats, chemical-resistant gloves, safety goggles, etc.
  • Ensure to dispose of any chemical properly as hazardous waste. Avoid pouring any chemicals down the drain.
  • When using the 3D printers ensure proper ventilation to avoid overheating.
  • Get 3D printers with an enclosed case to protect the students from the moving parts or the hot parts of the printer.
  • With this enclosed case you will help prevent the students from poking any parts of the printer moving parts while they watch the process unfold.
  • Before you use the 3D printers, inspect all parts of the printer to ensure each part is in good condition.
  • Encourage students not to overcrowding the 3D printers to prevent them from being exposed to the fumes. They should instead stand 3-5 feet away from the printers while watching the process.
  • Check all students for any form of allergy, so you would be careful on what type of chemical you need to use for printing.


The future of 3D printing in education is looking pretty bright. So many schools are finding innovative ways to integrate this technology into their classrooms, and it’s not hard to see why.

For example, with a 3D printer, students could fabricate models of what they are learning about or prototypes for projects that would be too expensive if purchased from a store.

There are so many opportunities to use these printers, and we can’t wait to see how educators continue using them in creative ways!


I am a very well experienced techie civil engineer who's extensively interested in 3D printing technology and even more captivated by the potential of 3D printing livable structures

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