Getting Started with 3D Printing

I am the proud owner of my very own 3D printer: A Flashforge Creator Pro. I’ve improved both my printing and 3D modeling techniques a lot since I first purchased it, but I have lots of room to improve! I’m also interested in ways that printers can be applied to the curriculum!

Click here for a showcase of the things that I’ve printed so far! The gallery will be ever-growing. You can also check out my Thingiverse profile!

If you’re a teacher that’s interested in getting started with 3D printing in your classroom or school, it’s really not as easy as just buying a printer and getting started. 3D printers are still cutting-edge technologies that are finding their way in the world and progress is being made in leaps and bounds. There are a lot of factors that you need to consider before making a purchase. This section of my web page will hopefully assist you in making those decisions.

  1. Terminology – You want to make sure that you know what everything is when talking about printers.
  2. Choosing a Printer – This is arguably the biggest decision you have to make. Some people will swear by particular brands, while others won’t even deign to speak their names. There are a lot of factors here to consider.
  3. Choosing Filament – What material are you going to print with?
  4. Other Purchases – What else do you need to make your prints successful?
  5. Choosing Modeling Software – Chances are you’re going to have your student design their own things to print. That’s where all the fun is, after all! Here’s some ideas of where to start.
  6. Choosing a Slicer – This is the program that changes 3D models into printable instructions. Don’t underestimate the importance of good slicing!
  7. Making Curricular Connections – One of the biggest technological problems that we face as teachers is how to bring new technologies meaningfully into the classroom. It’s all well and good to show off a shiny new toy, but how do we make them relevant to student’s lives and the curriculum?
  8. Design Activities – How do you truly make learning meaningful? Give your students ways to apply it.