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3D Printing Supplies for Education

Recommended 3D Printing Supplies for Education

Printers

3D printing technology is becoming increasingly popular in the educational sector. With its ability to create a wide range of objects, 3D printing can be used to teach students about engineering, design, and manufacturing. But with so many 3D printers on the market, it can be difficult to choose the right one for educational purposes. When selecting a 3D printer for education, it is important to consider ease of use, safety features, and price.

Flashforge Adventurer 4

The Flashforge Adventurer 4 3D printer is a great option for education because it is easy to use, reliable, and versatile. It has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy for students and teachers to operate, even if they don’t have previous experience with 3D printing.

The Adventurer 4 has a built-in camera, which allows students to monitor the printing process remotely and learn about the 3D printing process in real-time. It also has safety features such as an enclosed printing chamber and automatic filament feeding, which make it a safe option for use in classrooms.

The printer has a decent build volume, which means that it can print medium-sized objects, making it suitable for a wide range of projects. It can print with a variety of materials, including PLA, ABS, PETG, and others, providing a great opportunity for students to experiment with different materials and learn about their properties.

Flashforge Guider 2s

The Flashforge Guider 2S 3D printer is a good option for education because it is reliable, accurate, and produces high-quality prints. It is a larger and more advanced printer than the Adventurer 4, making it suitable for more advanced educational projects.

The Guider 2S has a sturdy metal frame and an enclosed printing chamber, which makes it safe to use in a classroom environment. It has a large build volume, which allows students to print larger objects, making it suitable for engineering, architectural, and design projects.

The printer has a dual extruder system, which allows students to print with two different materials or colors at the same time. This feature opens up a lot of possibilities for creativity and experimentation.

The Guider 2S is also easy to use, thanks to its touchscreen interface and intuitive software. It supports a wide range of materials, including PLA, ABS, PVA, and more, which allows students to experiment with different materials and learn about their properties.

Consumable Materials (Filaments)

The first material we reccomend all beginners to work with is PLA (Polylactic Acid), which is a biodegradable and environmentally friendly thermoplastic polymer. Due to it’s ease of use; PLA is relatively easy to work with and doesn’t require a heated bed or specialized 3D printer settings. PLA also has minimal warping, which means that it is less likely to warp or shrink during printing. It’s environmentally friendly as it’s derived from renewable resources like cornstarch, making it biodegradable and compostable. PLA is also non-toxic and produces no harmful fumes when printing, making it a safe material to use in a home or classroom setting. PLA is available in a wide range of colors and finishes, making it a versatile material for creating different types of prints.

Overall, PLA is a great material for beginners to start with due to its ease of use, low warping, environmental friendliness, safety, and availability in different colors and finishes. However there are more specialist materials for projects that require specific properties such as high-strength, FDA approval, esd safe among others.

PolyTerra PLA

PolyTerra PLA combines PLA with organic minerals to reduce the plastic content and produce a more environmentally friendly material. It is easy to print with, has good overhang and bridging performance, and comes in various colours. PolyTerra PLA is also a sustainable product that plants a tree for every spool sold, further increasing it’s environmental appeal. 

It has a matte finish as default and is non-toxic making it suitable for classroom use. This is our most popular range for educators as it’s good quality and we have quantity-based discounts.

eSUN PLA+

eSUN PLA+ is based on PLA but has improved properties such as strength, toughness, layer adhesion and impact resistance. It is our most popular range among hobbyists and general users. It is also an environment-friendly material that is made from starch from renewable plant resources. eSUN PLA+ is approved by FDA, which means it is safe to use. It can print functional parts with high quality and durability which reduces failure during printing or post-processing. As well as demonstrating the potential of biodegradable materials for 3D printing. Overall, this material is of good quality at a good price.

Unique & Specialist Materials

When it comes to 3D printing, there is a wide variety of materials available for different applications. While PLA is a popular beginner material, there are many variations and finishes available, such as silks, glossy, matte, and even unusual types like glow-in-the-dark and luminous. Additionally, there are composite materials that combine two or more materials, such as metal, wood, or carbon and glass fibre, to create unique properties.

Sometimes, specific properties are required for a particular project. For instance, food-safe materials are ideal for creating cookie cutters, food moulds, and containers. High-strength materials are suitable for tougher models, while ESD-safe and conductive materials are ideal for electronic projects. Overall, the range of unique and specialist materials available for 3D printing provides endless possibilities for education, design, and innovation.

Resources

As 3D printing becomes increasingly popular, educators are looking for new and innovative ways to incorporate this technology into their teaching. Two resources that have gained a lot of attention in recent years are Thingiverse and Tinkercad.

Autodesk TinkerCad

Autodesk Tinkercad is a free, web-based 3D modeling tool that is specifically designed to be user-friendly and accessible for people of all skill levels, including students and educators. Its simple and intuitive interface makes it easy to learn and use, making it an ideal tool for students to begin exploring 3D design and printing.

One of the key benefits of Tinkercad is that it provides a hands-on, interactive way for students to learn important STEM skills, such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and spatial reasoning. By allowing students to design and create their own 3D models, Tinkercad can help them to develop their creativity and imagination, as well as to better understand concepts like geometry, engineering, and physics.

In addition to being a valuable educational tool, Tinkercad is also a great way for students to express themselves and share their ideas with others. With a wide range of shapes, colors, and textures to choose from, students can create a variety of 3D models that reflect their interests, personalities, and unique perspectives. They even have dedicated student/teacher account managment.

Overall, Tinkercad is an excellent choice for educators who want to incorporate 3D design and printing into their curriculum, as it is easy to use, free, and provides an engaging and interactive way for students to learn and grow.

Thingiverse

Thingiverse is an online platform that provides a vast collection of 3D designs that can be downloaded and printed on a 3D printer. It’s is a community-driven site that allows users to share their own designs and download designs created by others. Thingiverse has become a go-to resource for 3D printing enthusiasts, educators, and hobbyists around the world.

One of the key benefits is its enormous library of 3D designs. With over two million designs available, offering an almost endless variety of printable objects, from toys and puzzles to replacement parts and functional tools. This makes it an ideal resource for educators who want to incorporate 3D printing into their curriculum, as they can find designs that are relevant to their subject matter and age group. For example, teachers can find 3D designs of cells or organs for biology classes, or 3D puzzles for math classes.

Thingiverse is also a great way for students to learn about 3D design and printing by allowing them to explore and remix existing designs. By downloading and modifying designs, students can learn about the principles of 3D design and gain hands-on experience with 3D printing. Moreover, Thingiverse provides an opportunity for students to showcase their own designs and contribute to the community by sharing their work with others.

We have many education-based customers, from schools to universities. 3D printing is leaving it’s mark on the education sector and brings many possibilities and new ways of learning. If you have any questions about 3D printing in education, feel free to use our live chat, call us on 01702 611027 or email enquiries@3dfilaprint.com. This study from the Department of Education provides valuable context on the introduction of 3D printing into schools and its success as we see more educators bring 3D printing into the classroom.

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