What is 3D Printing? Why is it Important?

What is 3D Printing?


3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a process of fabrication in which an object is created layer by layer, based on a 3D digital model. A variety of materials and technologies can be used in 3D printing; our printers use a heated extruder to deposit successive layers of plastic to create an object. 3D printing allows you to bring an idea rapidly from concept to reality. You can produce objects that can not easily be created by traditional manufacturing techniques, while maintaining low-cost and high accessibility. Check out 3D Printing Basics: The Free Beginner’s Guide, for more information about a variety of topics related to 3D printing.

Why is 3D Printing Important in Education?

3D printing has begun to revolutionize numerous industries including manufacturing, medicine, and fashion. The technology has inspired social activism. Organizations  like e-NABLE have developed around 3D printing. e-NABLE is a global network of volunteers who create free 3D printed prosthetic hands for those in need. 3D printing is also having an impact in education from primary to university level. Visualizations of complex geometries, molecules, and mathematical relations can be printed and manipulated. Accurate replicas of delicate artifacts can be produced and handled. Iterative design can be practiced with the falling cost of printing. Students exercise and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills through the rapid development of prototypes to solve real-life problems. From engineering to the liberal arts, 3D printing provides students with new opportunities to experiment, design, and be creative.

Additional Resources

Checkout the websites below for more information about 3D modeling and printing.


3D Printing Industry




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