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3D printing, the core of Education 4.0

3D printing, the core of Education 4.0

in News

Many education leaders are wondering what the future will bring to classrooms. The short answer is: a greater focus on Education 4.0. Prior to the pandemic, the use of technology in education was rare, but as 2020 approaches, the fourth education revolution, or Education 4.0, has begun to emerge and transform Generation Z students by bringing a new era of learning.

3D printing and scanning technology have grown so rapidly that they are making waves in all sectors. The application of such technology has become so versatile and in demand that there is a growing need for people who can understand, manage, and deliver innovation through 3D printers and 3D modeling concepts. As a result, educational technologists and academics are working together to find better ways to engage, attract and retain students. The adoption of different technologies in education is the way to go. To the point that the global 3D printing market is expected to reach 15.3 million distributed 3D printers by 2028*.

The growing demand is driven by prototyping, functional component and tooling applications in various industries such as healthcare, automotive, industrial equipment, aerospace and defense, which are expected to drive the growth of the global market. To meet these future demands, 3D printing and scanning must become a key component at all levels of academic and professional research; this will prepare students for work that requires sharp critical thinking and collaborative skills.

Although 3D printing and scanning technology have not yet become the norm in higher education, their adoption by some colleges, universities, and training centers is causing a stir around the world.

With 3D printing and scanning, educators can design enriching learning experiences to deepen theoretical concepts, moving learning from computer screens to students’ hands. 3D printing and design allows medical students to print organs, chemistry students to study 3D printed molecules in detail, graphic design students to create 3D versions of their artwork, history students to print ancient artifacts, architecture students to 3D print models of their projects, engineering design students to print 3D prototypes, dental students to confidently advance their endodontic training by 3D printing teeth to practice procedures such as pulp chamber access, root canal enlargement, irrigation and root canal filling, for example.

The main driver of the boom in growth and demand in the sector is that even traditional organizations are realizing the potential of 3D printers and scanners, and interest is growing with tremendous momentum. It is already a reality today that an increasing number of job postings call for professionals who can implement 3D printing, additive manufacturing, and 3D scanning into business processes.

3D printing is taking hold in several areas and is revolutionizing traditional learning processes and ultimately job requirements. Here are some examples:


3D printers and scanners represent a rapidly progressing technology that requires engineers who can understand, maintain, and operate this equipment. Mechanical, industrial, or software engineers will best understand what is involved in producing accurate functional models and components for manufacturing and architectural designs.

Animation and design

Among the industries that use a variety of these tools is 3D animation, which is used in many areas, from web graphics to feature films. 3D design softwares are used to turn visual concepts into tangible objects. A 3D animation training course provides an understanding of the software and modeling concepts.

Biomedical technologies

The growing demand for better medical treatments is also part of the expanding market for 3D printers. Medical researchers can create functional organ models and even functional arterial implants from 3D materials. Biomedical experts can lead the development of new medical solutions with these new 3D technologies.

Software development

Today, 3D printing softwares are much less user-friendly than traditional applications, but as the technology increases, programmers will have the opportunity to develop cross-platform software, better interfaces, and more features and functionalities that will make using 3D printers and scanners easier and more productive.

How to get the most out of 3D printing in higher education:

Institutions can use 3D printing in seven different ways to create hands-on learning environments, enhance creativity, prepare students for the professional world, and develop soft skills:

Create a convenient learning environment

3D printing makes learning active, allowing students to use critical thinking skills when creating their models. Engaging students in a hands-on environment promotes different learning styles: students with tactile or visual skills benefit greatly from 3D printing.

Strengthen creativity and innovation

Creative skills are fundamental to the development of good learning. Designing models and figuring out how to optimize the 3D printing process allows students to reach new levels of creativity and stimulate innovation.

Facilitating real-world understanding

It’s important that instructors create opportunities for students to better understand how the skills they’ve learned can be applied to real-world professional work after graduation. 3D printing provides an invaluable platform for creating real-world models that allow visualization and touch, such as making root canals on 3D printed tooth model samples.

Preparing for graduate programs

The growth in the adoption of 3D printers will continue to drive the demand for 3D design skills. Research and development (R&D), consumer product design, and biology-related work from organs to prosthetics, as well as architecture and construction modeling, are just a few of the areas where students will rely heavily on 3D printing for prototyping. By learning to 3D print, your job readiness is enhanced.

Building digital engagement

3D printing involves learning skills beyond CAD design and post-processing. Students can learn about the 3D scanning process, which involves obtaining accurate measurements from a set of overlapping photos and converting them into a 3D model using a series of computer algorithms.

Improve problem-solving skills

Students learn to solve problems in the real world. It was 3D printing that solved the global shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the Covid-19 pandemic. Students learn how to go from an abstract idea to a concrete 3D printed product.

Leveraging the design concept

Collaboration is a fundamental part of design thinking. Through 3D printing, students can collaborate with their peers on projects that are assigned to them. In group projects, students learn from each other’s perspectives and different working styles. 3D printing and scanning also encourages students to improve their designs based on previous results and feedback.

3DZ, is a reseller and consultant in additive manufacturing, 3D printing and 3D scanning with more than 10 years of experience, and actively collaborates with more than 50 technological institutions and universities in Europe and more.

Universities have similar requirements for 3D printers as schools do. Teachers need fast, reliable 3D printers that focus on functionality. Examples of 3D technologies that might be better suited for educational environments could be metal additive manufacturing with Markforged’s Metal X, a machine that allows for easy production of metal parts with maximum geometric freedom, both for a single part and by printing several different parts at once. For selective laser sintering (SLS) technology, Formlabs’ Fuse 1 printer stands out for its safety, affordability, highly intuitive operation and small size compared to other options. As a cutting-edge technology, Nexa3D’s NXE400 with LSPC (Lubricant Sublayer Photo-curing), delivers high-resolution, isotropic parts with a large print volume, wide range of materials and a print speed that makes it unique.

In the field of 3D scanning, the leader in portable scanners is Artec 3D, which, with the self-contained and easy-to-use LEO 3D scanner, can capture large volumes in a minimum of time and with high accuracy.

For more detailed information on all the technologies available on the market and comprehensive advice on bringing additive manufacturing and 3D scanning into the classroom, 3DZ is one of the most experienced distributors on the market.

With the incredible growth of 3D printing in recent times, it’s no wonder that educators are clamoring to incorporate additive manufacturing into their curricula. The increase in demand for employees with additive manufacturing skills has naturally led to an increase in demand for courses offering additive manufacturing skills.

Institutions are already engaging in this massive educational transformation by introducing tools into classrooms that will help students and faculty adopt the new model as quickly as possible.

Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our experts in 3D scanning and printing, who will introduce you to all the advantages that additive manufacturing can bring to your school.

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