3D Printing in Schools

Popular press

The popular press would have you think 3D printers will allow you to scan and print a replacement part for almost anything. That may be true for parts not subject to high stresses or loads and where colour isn’t a problem or when ridges on the surface don’t matter. In reality anything where strength and appearance matters is likely to be a problem and replacement parts like the broken nylon slider for a kitchen drawer or replacement glass reinforced moulding for a garage door pivot are probably a non-starter for 3D printing.

Acrylic was chosen for the reel holder, illustrated, for reasons of cost and strength. Industry developed 3D printing technology so understands the limitations of different technologies. It will take time for schools and the general public to learn about 3D printing, what it can and cannot do. Beware those who tell you 3D printers can print almost anything because that could include many parts that won’t work!

Garage door slider modelled in PTC Creo

Garage door slider modelled in PTC Creo

3D printed part Dean Hackett – University of Brighton

3D printed part Dean Hackett – University of Brighton

3D printer reel holder modelled in PTC Creo

3D printer reel holder modelled in PTC Creo

3D printed part produced by Roy Handley at King Edward VI School Lichfield

3D printed part produced by Roy Handley at King Edward VI School Lichfield


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