How many times have we heard people point out that today’s teens and adults spend too much time looking into a screen, whether it be a smartphone, tablet, or home computer? The fact that ,most of the time, pointing this out comes in the form of comments on Facebook demonstrates that you can’t just ask people to spend more time in the “physical world”, you have to make them want to do it.
Making and digitally creating with the use of electronics and 3D printing can effectively make people want to get back to “playing with reality”. This is particularly true for students, whose early knowledge of electronic devices grants them added familiarity with the tools of digital manufacturing, both the design and operational phases. CEL Robox, a leading manufacturer of highly accessible consumer 3D printers, and Kitronik, UK-based online distributor of kits and components for electronic projects, want to incentivize the learning of digital manufacturing by partnering to assure that at least one 3D printer is present in 5,000 UK schools.
“Inspiring people to create their own electronics products, especially younger people, is a founding principle of Kitronik,” Kevin Spurr, Co-founder of Kitronik commented. “We think that creating products in the classroom through a combination of Kitronik kits & resources and Robox 3D printers can also help pupils become interested in technology, make 3D printing a practical reality for schools and motivate pupils to take their interest in technology further.”
As recently as last week, Kitronik partnered with the BBC to launch the ‘Make it Digital’ campaign. The company also cites a UK Department of Education study, dating back to October 2013, titled “3D printers in schools: Uses in the curriculum: Enriching the teaching of STEM and design subjects” (October 2013). The research found that “3D printers have significant potential as a teaching resource and can have a positive impact on pupil engagement and learning.”
Kitronik has sold over 1 million electronic projects, spanning from solar panels to E-textiles and a 3D printer is the perfect tool to bring all these different interests together. Kevin Spurr is quite familiar with the scholastic environment as the company already works with over 3,000 schools providing both electronic parts for projects and resources.
He pointed out that the Robox 3D printer offers several features which make it a perfect fit for the classroom, including an affordable price of £833 (+VAT), fast print speeds of up to 300 mm/s, and a pause and resume function. In particular, the machine’s lid locks into place for added safety. Here is a video made by Kitronik on the 3D printers main features.
“We wanted to work with Kitronik as they have always impressed us with their enthusiasm for inspiring young people to become interested in electronics and design and technology,” Chris Elsworthy, managing director of CEL Robox, commented. “The company has a fantastic resource base and range of projects available which is why they are so popular with schools across the UK. Pooling our resources and products together will enable people to express their creativity and develop really interesting 3D printed projects.”
There is no doubt that having a 3D printer to make any prototype into something real and functional makes playing with Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Crafts and conductive materials all the more fun (and educational). It also makes it considerably more fun than checking the last social media update.