More and more the media present the 3D printer as a real technological revolution. Let's take a closer look at the possibilities offered by three-dimensional printing.

“Three-dimensional printing makes it possible to produce a real object: an operator draws the object on a screen using a computer-aided design (CAD) tool. The 3D file obtained is sent to a specific software which cuts it into slices and sends it to the printer which deposits or solidifies the material layer by layer to obtain the final part. "

Source: Wikipedia

“Like most emerging technologies, the 3D printer arouses curiosity. Several specialists agree to say that it is not an invention like the others. It could transform the global economy and revolutionize the lifestyles of families. "

Source: Radio-Canada

The following activities will provide a better understanding of the technology of three-dimensional printing.


Goals

At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:

- Observe images of 3D printed objects and understand this new technology;
- Identify areas where 3D printing can be applied and find examples;
- Reflect on the challenges concerning 3D printing and understand the threats that this technology poses for three different areas.


Suggested Activities

ACTIVITY 1: What is 3D printing

First, follow the three links below in order to view different images of objects. Ask students if they can find what the three objects have in common.

Tell them that these objects were created using an emerging technology: three-dimensional printing. In order to understand how 3D printing works, as a whole class watch this YouTube video.

ACTIVITY 2: The fields of 3D printing

In order to understand the magnitude of the technological revolution that is 3D printing, invite students to discover the different areas that will benefit from this breakthrough.

Have them scour the web to find different areas where 3D printing is applicable. They will also have to find an example for each of the areas. Suggest that they use the following diagram to write down their ideas:

Download the source file in Inspiration (.isf) format
Download the file in PDF format (.pdf)

ACTIVITY 3: The dangers of 3D printing

First, ask students if they know of any potential dangers of three-dimensional printing. Invite them to think about the challenges of this new technology.

To do this, write the three topics below on the board and ask them to choose one, then find information on the Internet explaining the threat created by 3D printers.

- Security
- Health
- Copyright

Finally, have students write an informative text using information found on the web.


More about the magazine

3d printing
Wikipedia article

3D printing, what reality?
Futura-Sciences file

3dnatives
3D printing information site

3D makes a strong impression
Article from Liberation.fr

Véronique is a librarian at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières and a trainer in educational technology for future teachers. She also holds a teaching certificate in the social universe at the secondary level and collaborates regularly with the organization L'École branchée.