The STEM Education Blog

9 SECRETS to 3D printing that are essential to every STEM classroom πŸ€«πŸ’­

Oct 7, 2019 12:00:00 PM / by Sara Siener

3D Printing

Authors, S. Torta and J. Torta, share a few of their secrets that they have acquired from years of building and remodeling 3D printers in their book, 3D printing: An Introduction. This brother and sister duo want their technological insights to help people in education and industry who desire to improve their understanding of 3D printing.

In an article in STEAM Universe Magazine, written by Dian Schaffhauser, S. Torta and J. Torta share "nine areas of 3D printing that are worth understanding when you are using it in the classroom." 

Listed below are their 9 steps but check out STEAM Universe Magazine for more ...

1     Curriculum and Project Ideas are Readily Available

2     About Choosing a 3D Printer

Jonathon discusses which printers you should keep your eye out for ...

  • Self-maintained (less than a thousand dollars) or Greater Level of Support (two thousand dollars and more)
  • Look for printers with a printing capacity of around 200 x 200 millimeters, "closer to 7.5 inches on all sides"
  • Look for printers with a heated bed

3     Design Programs are Plentiful and Free

4     File Checking is Part of the Learning

"Before an object can be printed, the digital file needs to be sliced (converted into the thin cross-sections that the printer will layer on its bed during the printing process). And then it needs to [be] checked ...  as Jonathan [explains] "to ensure it's manifold and watertight" β€” that it has a "contiguous and defined exterior and interior."

5     Supports are a Complicated Subject

Jonathan advises that when printing a 3D design downloaded from a website, to be aware that many designers do not create the design with 3D printing in mindβ€”in other words, supports will be needed during the printing process.

6     Pay Attention to Ventilation

Keep in mind that 3D printers release toxic fumes when printing! You will need a ventilation system.

7     Get Friendly with Filament

  • Jonathon highly suggests that you would be better off to look for a "dimensional accuracy between 0.02 mm and 0.05 mm. (The lower, the better.)" He goes on to suggest that, "if the filament is too large, it will jam the printer head; if it's too small, it might stop feeding altogether. The two main sizes for desktop-grade 3D printers are 1.75 mm and 3.0 mm."
  • "Make sure that the filament is properly packaged"
  • Avoid buying cheap filament
  • Fine-tune the "flow rate"
  • Don't be afraid to bump up the heat when printing

8     Keep a Journal and Make Slugs

  • Keep track of data
  • Know the "temperature information" and " identify filament type" for slugs

9     Printer Apps are the Bomb


Check out STEM Education Works' 3D printer selection and let us help you find what you need for your classroom! Click here: Sindoh's 3DWOX 1 & Sindoh's 3DWOX 2X

AND check out our products page for additional 3D printing materials here: 3D Printer Accessories 

If you liked this article, check out how to fund your classroom designs and STEM projects here: 5 edtech grants that can help you in 2019 - 2010

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Topics: STEM Curriculum Resources, Social-Conscious STEM, STEM Tools, STEM Education Tools, Promoting Interest in STEM, STEM Extracurricular Activities, Create and Maintain Your Makerspace, STEM Learning Methodologies, Education Technology

Sara Siener

Written by Sara Siener