Computers / Hands-on Review

Back to School: Bringing Assignments to Life with 3D Printers


3D printers are not just for hobbyists. They can also be used in schools, whether it’s for creative purposes in art classes or educational purposes in science classes. With the versatility of a 3D printer, teachers can offer students a different perspective into learning about their subjects.

Most people will think of arts and crafts when it comes to putting 3D printers in the classroom. Drawing 3D objects adds another layer for students to express their creativity. When it comes to 3D printing, you usually design in an app on the computer and then print it from a traditional 3D printer. That doesn’t sound very engaging, does it? Instead, you can invest in a 3D printing pen, like the 3Doodler Start, 3Doodler Create, or the CreoPop.

3Doodler Create 3D Printing Pen

Designed for children ages 8 and up, the 3Doodler Start does not have any hot parts. It uses bioplastic filament that doesn't leave any resin or glue. It is also battery powered so students aren't getting tangled up while they're drawing. The 3Doodler Start isn't limited to just arts and crafts. 3Doodler offers different sets so students can explore other subjects, such as architecture and robotics. 3Doodler also offers half and full EDU bundles for classrooms.

3Doodler Start Architecture Pen Set

Like the 3Doodler Start, the CreoPop doesn’t have any hot parts or extrude melting plastics. Instead, it uses photopolymers that get solidified by the built-in LEDs. This means that the students don’t have to worry about burning their hands and can focus on their designs. The CreoPop also offers unique ink packs, such as glow-in-the-dark, glittering, temperature sensitive, and aromatic.

CreoPop Temperature Sensitive Ink 3-Pack

Geared towards students age 14 and up, the 3Doodler Create extrudes heated plastic that cools into a solid, stable structure. It has two temperature and speed settings so students can have more control over the pen. Like the 3Doodler Start, the 3Doodler Create is available in half and full EDU bundles. Packed with accessories, plastic refills, and teaching aids, the EDU bundles complement STEAM subjects, such as engineering, math, or design.

3Doodler Start EDU Bundle

For a more traditional 3D printer, the Leapfrog Creatr HS fits right in with the classroom. It has dual extruders, which allow students to print two colors simultaneously. The heated build plate reduces warping on temperature-sensitive filaments, such as ABS. This 3D printer will also print larger, more detailed 3D objects thanks to its large build chamber and 20-micron resolution. Unlike 3D printing pens, you only need one Leapfrog Creatr HS in a classroom. The printer is compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux computers. It can also print from a USB flash drive, which you can access through its built-in 4” full color LCD display.

Leapfrog Creatr HS 3D Printer

There are a number of 3D printing options to include in the classroom depending on the subject and age of your students. For a full list of 3D printers, accessories, and more, please click here. Have you used 3D printers in the classroom? Add your suggestions in the comments below.