UK-based PrintLab produces a one-stop site for educators working with 3D printing with students.
The site provides a number of different functions that may be of interest to educators preparing lessons for students on 3D printing technologies.
The problem is that it’s not a simple matter: educators must not only have a lesson plan (which are available on PrintLab), but the relevant equipment, software, supplies, services and best practices. It seems that PrintLab is attempting to bring all these elements together in one place where an educator could find them easily.
PrintLab’s business model appears to be through incidental sales of products and services from participating local companies - their site is organized to operate globally. However, you are not obligated to buy anything from these partners, though they may be quite useful.
The service also provides a series of detailed tips, broken down into steps as shown here. I get the feeling they’ve specifically designed these tips to be very easy to follow, just the thing for busy educators to get through their lessons.
PrintLab provides some basic artwork that can be used in projects, but there is of course much more available elsewhere. However, I suspect they’re providing the artwork again as a way for hurried educators to get the job done quickly.
Product trials are also a feature, in which educators could quickly access discounted 3D print-related products and services. However, at the time of this writing there is only one trial available: a 14-day 3DPrinterOS Educational License. I expect more to be added as the site grows.
The lesson plans are the heart of the service, however. Currently there are four projects suitable for educators on the site:
- Design your own pavilion with CAD
- Build your own sandtimer
- Make your own measuring tape
- Design your own interactive wall graphics
Again, expect more to show up as they are developed.
For educators, not a bad option!