The majority of schools and school boards who contact TriMech are new to 3D printing technology and are looking for our experience to help them get started. Our guidance, industry experience, and technical support is something you cannot get from a big box outlet or by simply ordering a 3D printer over the web. It’s easy to get a quote from these sources but you likely will not receive the advice you may need to make a successful decision.
When we are advising educators on what 3D printer they should implement, it is most important to first understand their goals and visions of integrating 3D printing technology into their student’s curriculum.
Planning Ahead for Best Results
To best help our clients succeed with their new 3D printing technology it is important for us to understand the following:
- What are your goals for 3D printing?
- What are you looking to improve in your program(s)?
- What level of education is the 3D printer going to be used? (e.g. High School or University)
- Is the 3D printer for a specific technology, arts course or for a high-skills majors program?
- Will the printer be used for after-school programs – like First Robotics or a new 3D Printing Club?
- Does the teacher have experience with 3D printers and/or 3D CAD software?
In some instances, board staff would like to have a printer in every school but they have a limited budget so they may decide to run a 3D printer at the board level as a service bureau. For this purpose, a commercial grade printer like our F123 series or J35 Pro printers would be beneficial. Alternatively, if they are looking to easily rotate printers to various schools for 4-6 week periods, our Ultimaker and MakerBot printers are best suited for this application.
Instead of purchasing a printer for every school, create a plan so that every student has access to a 3D printer. This saves the school board money while still giving students access to 3D printing technology. With our free software, GrabCAD, the queue for your F123 series or J35 Pro printer(s) can be viewed or added to by select computers so students and teachers can remotely organize their individual print jobs.
Choosing the Right 3D Printer
The more we know about your education goals, the better we are able to recommend a printer best suited to meet (or exceed!) your school’s expectations. TriMech offers many 3D printer options, including MakerBot & Stratasys 3D printers. Stratasys offers a powerful range of 3D printing materials, including clear, rubberlike and biocompatible photopolymers, and tough high-performance thermoplastics. This material variety lets you maximize the benefits of 3D printing in your school.
3D printing allows students to “fail early & fail often” – students can test their design, experiment, and try again if their results were not satisfactory. The F123 series printers are easily serviced, such as switching out printheads and print beds, which provides an excellent opportunity for students to get firsthand experience in modern manufacturing methods. These are great learning experiences that encourage persistence and teaches students to think outside the box. However, like most products, you get what you pay for – make sure your printer doesn’t “fail early & fail often” – check out our safe, reliable and robust Ultimaker, MakerBot & Stratasys 3D printers.
Want to know more? This guide breaks down all of the 3D printers and 3D printing technologies that best fit a learning environment to help narrow down your choices for consideration.