The push for 3D printing education is getting stronger lately as the realization sinks in that our next generation has to learn 3D printing skills as it goes mainstream. With concerns about how many engineers America can produce, 3D printing can already get kids into an engineering and manufacturing frame of mind for future careers. With new drives to get 3D printers into schools sooner rather than later, there's already some help to develop this education. But what about other sources like camps focusing on 3D printing technology?
One such camp exists in Huntington, West Virginia through the Robert C. Byrd Institute For Advanced Flexible Manufacturing. They've recently set up a summer camp that allows kids to spend the entire day learning about additive manufacturing and the entire 3D printing process. It's also very thorough on teaching these kids the entire process so they can have direct experience to apply in the future.
On the additive manufacturing side, kids can see exactly how materials work together to create things on 3D printers. Later, the kids have a chance to either scan something or create something original on a CAD program. Then they can watch the item being printed on a 3D printer. In the case of scanning, attendees can see just how amazing the detail is when a 3D printer prints out a copy. Someone's head, for instance, can be scanned, printed, and held as an eerie reminder of how the future is here.
Already, this is being done in some schools where kids can have a tangible learning experience studying scanned internal bodily organs, ancient artifacts, or works of art.
Based on reports in Huntington, West Virginia, the above 3D printing manufacturing camp is a success and inspiring kids toward career goals. The question is whether other cities should be doing the same thing to get everyone ready for 3D printing technology.
Will We See More 3D Printing Camps?
Despite the push to get 3D printers into schools, it's going to take more time to get them all there. Having temporary camps that focus on additive manufacturing and the 3D printing process can help fill in the gaps in the places where schools have yet to invest in 3D printers. Camps like this also provide a complete focus on the technology so kids can assimilate everything quicker.
Getting kids aware of what the future of 3D printing technology is going to look like will assure that our next generation is ready to take it on and use it to the fullest advantage. They may live in a time when there won't be any stagnation in the economy because 3D printing will provide more opportunities in careers than ever before.