3D Printing – DT IB Diploma and Continued Technology Push

Hi Students,

Summer is coming – and for DP1 first year DT students this is usually a time to start bringing together ideas for their Major Project noting that these days a major part of this project is the Commercial Production unit and an understanding of how to mass produce your project idea. So here to get your pulses racing is some of the latest developments in 3D printing which are not only supporting designers but in many ways changing the face of design and actual manufacture (check out the 3D printed sundial – how else could this have been produced?)

Have fun over summer – but remember to keep on reading the lifeblood of designers is the amount of inspiration and reading they get from their everyday lives!

  • Dave Ardley
    July 18, 2016

    Another good blog post Alan. I panicked a bit when I discovered that 3D printing has in fact been around for almost 20 years, and at least a decade in schools (costs being the main prohibiting factor). My first 3D printer purchase in school was in 2007 and was a massive powder based thing. Fantastic bit of kit but the Phaff of having to paint each model with a hardener afterwards was irksome. Fast forward a decade a couple of makerbots and a scanner do the job (or send large files to be outsourced).

    As long as schools use 3D printing as a component part of manufacture, not simply use it to produce everything like some schools do with a laser cutter, then things should be ok. I hope!


    • Alan Perkins
      December 26, 2016

      Hi Dave,
      Hi Dave,

      Absolutely – as with everything there is a simple phrase to always remind students “The right tool for the right job”. Phrase comes from IT mainly – as often students feel they have to use a certain tool when inherently they do not – and the education is for them to be able to make a decision whether to use a pencil, a PPT or construct a PHP webserver and build a website! Same in DT – sometimes a piece of cardboard and some scissors can be the best prototyping material/tool, sometimes the 3D printer … and simply the job of the teacher to ensure that students become intelligent and thoughtful decision makers when choosing the tool and material.


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