Craft your vision - 3D printing

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Technique: Building a 3D object from a specific material (PLA filament) by using one of the many CAD softwares (beginner friendly), a computer slicing software that works best with that program and our MakerBot Replicator 3D printer.

Problem: We buy products designed by other manufacturers that may not always address all of our needs and by not allowing us to be active participants in the process of designing a product, they serve as a limitation to our creative ideas. Another problem is that products made by manufacturers sometimes have an error that is mostly only noticed once the product has already been finished. 3D printing brings an end to that recurrent problem, by allowing us to be the creators of our own products (clothes, furniture, jewelry, even food), so that those products are personalized and suit our needs perfectly. In case we don't want to design a model of our own, we are still left with the option of downloading a schematic of a model that’s just waiting to be printed, and this is superior to buying a product that's already made because we can arrange specifics such as color, size or material before printing. And if we find that the design is flawed, a mistake that has been made can be corrected before printing, thus bringing the possibility of making a unsatisfactory product to a minimum. 3D printing enables students to materialize their ideas in a fast and affordable way and therefore have a better insight in the quality of their ideas. If a mistake has been made they can fix it relatively quickly and have a better insight in the quality of their ideas which they can place as a finished product on the market and see whether or not those ideas can survive and achieve success. Another positive characteristic of 3D printing is that through it materials can be reused, because recycled plastic is placed as an option for a filament for 3D printers.

Goal: To teach students the abundant possibilities of 3D printing, general as well as individual and how they work, by getting to know the whole process of printing, step by step, in an educational environment that's led by an expert in the field of 3D printing.

Expected results: That the students have gained admirable knowledge and experience about 3D printing and can build a model of their own from start(that being to create a model in a CAD software) to finish(that being printing the model), from the knowledge they gained at the workshop.