3D Printing Making Its Way into International Education

Engineers, architects, car and airplane designers, and other experts and industry watchers are all paying close attention to how 3D printing will impact global manufacturing. As the technology becomes more widely available and heavily used on both the industrial and consumer levels, excitement grows over the predicted ways that it will come to be used not only in business, but in daily life as well. In educational institutions across the world, educators and businesses are already finding novel ways to combine 3D printing with all areas of education, further integrating the technology into the lives of the next generation. Here are just some of the ways 3D printing and 3D drafting are being used to innovate in international education:

Japan’s Tactile Education Experience for Visually Impaired Students

Thanks to an initiative by Yahoo Japan and the University of Tsukaba in Japan, students at Japan’s Special Needs Education School for the Visually Impaired are now getting a new level of education in learning how to identify unfamiliar substances by touch. The “Hands on Search” 3D printer that has recently been added to the school is a kiosk-sized device that allows students to enter the names of substances and materials by name or via search engine. The printer then creates a replica of whatever texture the students requested, which the students can then feel and learn to identify through touch.

By giving visually impaired students the means to identify substances they have never been able to encounter before, Hands on Search is giving students practical, life-improving experience that they will need to take into the real world. The technology is currently only available in Japan, but school officials and university researchers who developed the technology are working with Yahoo, Toyota, and other companies to further develop the printer beyond its pilot program, possibly allowing it to be used more widely in the future.

India’s Biggest Publisher Launches 3D Printing Education Initiative

India is a country with a burgeoning tech sector that is rapidly embracing the use of 3D technology. In response to expected future demand for many skilled 3D printing technicians, one of the country’s largest companies has announced a K-12 3D printing education program at the New Delhi World Book Fair 2015 that will integrate 3D printing into almost every subject in the curriculum.

MBD Group has been India’s largest publishing house for six decades, and also has interests in real estate, hospitality, paper printing, and mall management. MBD is already heavily involved in the printing of text books and other educational material, but the company’s new initiative will be the first in the country to integrate 3D printing so thoroughly into India’s K-12 educational system. While the program will at first only be available in major metro areas, MBD has already made it clear they intend to expand 3D printing education not only to rural schools, but higher education institutes as well. Given that MBD also operates in countries across the Middle East and Africa, it would not be a surprise to see them also extend these efforts into those areas in the next few years.

Looking for more info on how CAD and 3D printing are being used to innovate? Check Q-CAD’s blog for further updates, or call us at 800-700-3305 to speak with a CAD professional.

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