The educational potential of 3D printing

While many believe that 3D printing plays an important role in what they call a medical revolution, the question we ask ourselves is: what are the educational potential of 3D printers?

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Automated English translation - (sometimes hilarious) mistakes can creep in! ;)

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Already, the medical applications of 3D printing are endless. From printing molds to make in-ear headphones to making prostheses to replace human limbs, it quickly found itself at the heart of many hopes for improving the quality of human life. Companies in the health sector are also striving to try to print human tissue. The L'Oréal company recently announced that it would test its products on 3D printed human skin. A 3D human tissue printing firm, Organovo, has already started the marketing of liver tissues for them to be subjected to toxicological studies. Soon, he will begin marketing nephrological tissue, always intended for medical studies.

Other areas of health are no exception. As much in orthopedics as in dentistry or even surgery, hopes are high: instruments, implants, modeling, prototypes, etc.


Education will not escape it!

While many believe that 3D printing plays an important role in what they qualify as medical revolution, the question we ask ourselves is the following: what are the educational potential of 3D printers?

Originally, the integration of 3D printers was part of the STEM educational model (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). The applications were mainly related to science and mathematics: using geometric formulas to better visualize complex shapes, manufacturing robotics parts or printing models related to understanding how the human body works.

The STEAM model (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) quickly enhanced the STEM model. Now, artistic applications have quickly emerged: they allow the creation of models of different works of all kinds in addition, of course, to be a new bulwark of creativity for the students. We will come back to that.

Finally, the human sciences are not left out. In geography, it has become easy to print reliefs in order to model, for example, hydrographic basins or to conceptualize the development of a district of a city. In history, it is very simple to reproduce various tools used in ancestral techniques in addition to building monuments according to various architectural characteristics ranging from mud houses of the Vikings to the great European cathedrals.


Summary of the file:

  1. Introduction: A short guide to 3D printing at school
  2. The educational potential of 3D printing
  3. 3D printing at school: where to start?
  4. 3d printing 101 ”: function and materials
  5. Five 3D printers tested for your educational activities
  6. Frequently asked questions about 3D printers


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About the Author

Marc-André Girard
Marc-André Girard holds a bachelor's degree in humanities education (1999), a master's degree in history teaching (2003) and a master's degree in educational management (2013). He is currently a doctoral student in school administration. He specializes in change management in schools as well as in educational leadership. He is also interested in 21st century skills to be developed in education. He holds a managerial position in a public primary school and gives lectures on educational leadership, pedagogical approaches, change in the school environment as well as on the professionalization of teaching. He took part in educational expeditions to France, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Morocco. In September 2014, he published the book “Le change en milieu scolaire québécois” with Éditions Reynald Goulet and, in 2019, he published a trilogy on the school of the 21st century with the same publisher. He frequently collaborates with L'École branchée on educational issues. He is very involved in everything that surrounds the professional development of teachers and school administrators as well as the integration of ICT in education. In March 2016, he received a CHAPO award from AQUOPS for his overall involvement.

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