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Innovation in education: the 3D printer

I collected some very exciting innovations and wonder whether they can be useful in education

3D printer
In my school we teach to draw and print in 3D. The first time I saw a printed 3D model, I couldn’t believe my eyes. In the meanwhile, it’s possible to print plastic, metal, wood, etc. With the newest bio-printer, it’s even possible to draw human tissues and organs. At this moment the US army uses it during war to print human skin for soldiers who burned their skin during combat. The 3D printer will not be used in all kinds of classes, but can be interesting in some cases, in some classes. Yesterday I heard on the radio (Radio1), the 4D printer already exists. This printer can print objects who change according to its context. Eg: a stent which transforms during its travel to the heart.

A few weeks later now. Meri sent me an interesting link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/shortcuts/2013/may/06/3d-printable-guns-cody-wilson, which proves the 3D printer causes also problem. The reply of the Flemish minister-president is that printing guns is illegal. http://www.hbvl.be/nieuws/binnenland/aid1389702/kris-peeters-uitprinten-3d-wapen-is-strafbaar.aspx (Dutch).

I also found out (while I was gardening), there can be other applications of 3D printers in education. The impact can also be indirectly. Eg: at this moment students learn to work with wood, iron and other materials. In the future people will print articles, which will change courses and education. Courses like woodworking may be dying breed.