PrintLab aims to close 3D printing skills gap with new license offering

UK-based 3D printing curriculum developer PrintLab has launched two new unlimited-use licences for schools, non-profits, consultants and training programs. Each available on an annual basis, the Site License and Instructor License extend the PrintLab Classroom offering, facilitating access to the company’s archive of dedicated lesson plans.

With more freedom of how PrintLab Classroom is used throughout educational programs, the company is doing its part to fulfill the needs of the current STEM skills gap. 3D Printing Industry speaks to Jason Yeung, Co-Founder at PrintLab, to learn more.

PrintLab Classroom Site License. Image via PrintLab

Building a 3D printing curriculum

PrintLab was founded in 2016 in order to “support the growth of 3D technologies in education by growing an ecosystem of products and resources.” For this purpose, the company has developed its PrintLab Classroom curriculum which offers lessons, teacher resources and online courses on 3D printing. As a distributor of Shining 3D printers, 3D scanners, and Innofil3D filament, the company also provides educational bundles of all the kit needed to start these projects.

“Our ultimate goal is to close the 3D printing skills gap,” explains Yeung, “to prepare students for careers where they can solve real-world problems and design a better future.”

“The way to accomplish this,” Yeung adds, “isn’t to isolate 3D printing into a single subject area, but to bridge it across the school-wide curriculum.”

At present, there are 35 cross-curricular lesson plans available through the site, including a range for humanities. Two new plans are added each month, and there is an online certified training course for educators, and a free digital 3D Printing Guide for Teachers.

“With our new unlimited licenses,” Yeung adds, “we’re giving all teachers the opportunity to learn, educate and inspire.”

A treasure trove of 3D printing activities and tools. Photo via PrintLab
PrintLab’s Educational Bundle. Photo via PrintLab

PrintLab Classroom Site and Instructor Licenses

Prior to the launch of these new licenses, PrintLab offered a 1 Year Teacher License with unlimited access to its resources for a single classroom. With the new plans added, this license will continue to be offered to clients at a price of $299.

In the first addition of the Site License, PrintLab makes the initial teacher license available across an entire school, or non-profit organization, i.e. library or makerspace. With this, the company hopes to break down some of the barriers to the current adoption of the technology, as Yeung explains, “Within a school, there currently tends to be one or two technology/computing teachers who are the key drivers for 3D printing in the classroom.”

“The site license aims to break down the silos in education and upskill teachers across all subject areas, so that they can deliver the cross-curricular learning processes that our 3D printing curriculum has to offer.”

The Instructor License, conversely, is aimed at training providers who deliver 3D printing workshops. In addition to PrintLab Classroom access, this license gives a customer a commercial license to educational materials.

PrintLab Classroom Instructor License. Image via PrintLab
PrintLab Classroom Instructor License. Image via PrintLab

“Over the past 6 months, we have been contacted by multiple companies requesting to use our curriculum to start or expand their education training businesses,” comments Yeung, “These include ICT solution providers looking to run 3D printing holiday clubs, STEM consultants looking to run teacher training sessions and technology organisations looking to host 3D printing workshops for students.”

“The instructor license is based on a yearly fee, with no additional royalty payments. This allows companies to freely use our curriculum materials for commercial purposes, with no limitations.”

The PrintLab Classroom Site License is available now through the company’s website for $999 per year. And PrintLab Classroom Instructor License is available for $1,999 per year. To celebrate the launch, PrintLab is also offering a free trail of the new licenses to any interested parties.

Yeung concludes, “[…] we truly believe this new combination of unlimited training and curriculum can become an inspiration toolkit to prepare the next generation for their future careers’.

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Featured image shows balloon powered dragster PrintLab Classroom lesson plan. Image via PrintLab