A lot of change has been seen in the development of 3D pens over the last few years. Early this year, on Kick starter, 3D pens were revealed as a cheap 3D printing option. The many advantages of 3D pens have triggered curiosity about whether they should be wholly integrated as teaching materials. Since newer models are more affordable, professors and teachers are slowly encouraging students to invest in these pens to help them develop their creativity and also help them identify more with science and technology.
How Does 3D Pen Work?
To understand how 3D pens work you should look at them as manual operating 3D printers. The pen has an inlet on one end where plastic-like filaments are fed into it and then heated through a heating mechanism in the pen. Molten strands of the filament are then extruded through the other end of the pen, which are then easily solidified on contact with air to make a stable structure. 3D pens also adopt the FDM technology that’s common to 3D printers.
These pens have an ergonomic design which makes it possible for students to draw different shapes on their 2D plans or to create 3D objects in air. Students can also take advantage of the 3D pens to illustrate a variety of concepts in biology, history, chemistry, design or art. With the 3D pen technology, students can stretch their thinking and explore complex ideas that they would have never thought of in the absence of the 3D pens.
Integrating 3D Pens into the Classroom
Many classrooms around the world have begun to integrate the use of 3D pens into their curriculum. The addition of these futuristic pens give a chance to students to undertake amazing projects, in addition to stimulating their thought processes and enhancing their learning. Other applications of 3D pens include:
- Assist students in following directions
- Creating Bridges
- Making geometry shapes
- Designing atomic models
- Exploring architecture
An example of 3D pen integration in mathematic class:
- Students can use 3D pens to draw all types of geometrical shapes and then try to structure their own.
- Design various shapes that they can re-shape and analyze.
- 3D pens enhance creativity of students in mathematic applications.
Teachers can also take advantage of 3D pens and use it for stimulating visual and artistic representation of projects. With 3D pens in class, students can have more fun while learning, yet still be able to fully master and understand concepts. At the same time, teachers won’t be overwhelmed by work and will achieve more satisfaction from their job.
Using 3D Pens to Enhance Creativity
A wide variety of expressive lines and gesture drawings can be taught using 3D pens. These pens can also be used in teaching sculptural techniques and in jewelry classes. Also students can take advantage of these pens to trace geometrical shapes instead of the usual paper for origami (Folding).Introduction of 3D pens in classrooms have seen students create decorative pieces of earrings and necklaces.
Introduction of 3D pens has also led to a better integration of technology in the classroom. Students are now at a better position of learning how technology works and how to generally implement it in everyday living.
It is said that science is a way of thinking. While this may be true, thinking is more productive in the presence of tangible gadgets. 3D pens in math and science classes give students an opportunity to explore and experiment with new technology. Usual math and science classes with traditional material can get really boring and students may stop paying attention to the lessons, but not when there is a 3D pen in the classroom. These pens have literally blended math, science and art and have made learning much more fun.
What Skills Do Students Obtain By Using 3D Pens?
Students are able to improve on a variety of skills through using 3D pens. Some of these skills include:
- Problem solving skills
- Hand-eye coordination
- Creative thinking skills
- Visual perception
- Creative skills
- Project planning skills
The 3D futuristic pens come with unlimited opportunities for learners. Instead of being literally fed concepts by teachers, children can use their brain more and come up with creative projects, analyze these and work on accomplishing them to perfection. Since all projects come with challenges, students will be motivated to put extra concentration and come up with solutions to these problems.
How teachers can get relief from using 3D pens
Proper use of 3D pens is not only beneficial to students; teachers also get relief from the presence of these pens. Teaching concepts with 3D pens is easier and students are able to grasp what they are taught faster. A professor can use a 3D pen to create objects that they can use in making their presentation livelier. Students will pay more attention as a result of this.
In math class sometimes it is difficult to check and correct every single geometrical drawing. However, this becomes easier when you give children a chance to create their own geometrical drawings. Even better, during such lessons you can let children compare their incomplete or complete projects with other students and to critique these.
Integrating 3D pens in the classroom will not only make children love school, it will also facilitate self-learning and discipline. The teachers are only required to monitor and direct the children and to continuously remind them of safety hazards presented by some of the pens.