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DfE report… 3D printers in schools: uses in the curriculum

The Department for Education in England has published a report on 3D printing in schools to enrich STEM and design subjects.

Download the document here

The document looks at the experiences of 21 schools using 3D printers for the first time in Science, Maths and D&T.

A write up on the Telegraph newspaper goes on to say thet £500K will be invested to allow 60 teaching schools to buy printers and train teachers to use them effectively.



Ever wondered how a @Cubify #3DPrinter is made?

3D printers these days are precision well engineered machines… Well that can certainly be said of the 3D Systems / Cubify CubeX.

But ever wondered how they are made? Here is a brilliant report by Fabaloo that sheds a little light on the process at the factory in Clevedon UK.

Link to the report on the Fabaloo blog



FABRICATED The new world of #3D printing

Look at what dropped through my post box today!

Really excited as I was fortunate enough to contribute towards the writing of this book…. Well at least chapter 9 “A factory in the classroom”.

I haven't yet had a chance to read the book in its entirety but dipping onto it at random I must say that Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman have certainly hit the nail on the head in their practical and imaginative insight into the question… “How will 3D printing change my life”?

To quote from the back cover of the book… “What would you create if you had a machine that could make (almost) anything? Fabricated offers you practical and imaginative insight into the question, “How will 3D printing change my life?” This book is an informative and fast-paced exploration of 3D printing technologies and the people who use them. You'll take a journey to design studios, businesses, schools, and cutting-edge research labs. Based on hundreds of hours of interviews, Fabricated explores the promise and peril of a 3D printed present and future. Businesses will be liberated from the tyrannies of economies of scale Factories and global supply chains will shrink, finding themselves closer to their customers The law, already reeling from digital media, will once again need to be redefined Our environment might breathe easier in a 3D printed economy, or it could choke on a rising tide of plastic 3D printed digital and intelligent, adaptive materials will change our relationship with the physical world If you're intrigued with new technology, business strategy, popular science, or the social impact of technology, Fabricated will fascinate you”.

So, if you are an engineer, educator, designer, or in business there is something in this book for you. The chapters covered are… 1 Everything is becoming science fiction. 2 A machine that can make almost anything. 3 Nimble manufacturing: good, fast and cheap. 4 Tomorrow's economy of printable products. 5 Printing in layers. 6 Design software, the digital canvas. 7 Bioprinting in “living ink”. 8 Digital cuisine. 9 A factory in the classroom. 10 Unleashing a new aesthetic. 11 Green, clean manufacturing. 12 Ownership, safety, and new legal frontiers. 13 Designing the future. 14 The next episode of 3D printing.

The great thing about this book is that it isn't a simple “how to use a 3D printer” publication… At the current rate of progress in 3D printing that would be obsolete before it even reached the shelves, this book seeks to explore some of the deeper implications of 3D printing…. How this technology can change our lives!

The book is available in printed and ebook formats, and here is a link to it on Amazon.


Geelong, Clevedon and 3D printing


From time to time I get requests to explain about 3D printing in schools for different publications. Well this happened a couple of weeks ago from someone in Geelong. Having never heard of Geelong I had to do a quick bit of Internet research…. It’s near Melbourne, Australia!

So I jotted down a few of my thoughts, observations and experiences and emailed them off to the guys at Barwon Copying Solutions (BCS)… And then promptly forgot everything about it. It was a very pleasant surprise when I received an email this week with a copy of the page from the Geelong Business News magazine.

And what a brilliant article they have produced, background information and lots of in depth explanations about the use of 3D printing in schools… And some great quotes from me too! It feels “really cool” that what we are doing with 3D printing using our Bits from Bytes machines here in Clevedon School is potentially having an influence on students in Oz.

With the kind permission of the BCS I have posted a copy here. Many thanks to the “guys from Geelong” Paul and Sue.


RC revolution … And a new competition!

Checking in on the Bits from Bytes blog I came across a brilliant example of a RC car designed and built by one of the BfB crew using a 3D Touch printer. All the parts (apart from electrical ones and the nuts and bolts) have been printed in ABS or PLA. Very impressive!

I couldn’t help but notice that the guys at BfB have also launched a new 3D printing competition with some fab prizes. Check out their blog http://rapmanv3.blogspot.co.uk/ … Information is inside the RC revolution post. Judging is by “likes” on their Facebook page… And as for rules… Very few, so why not send in your entry and maybe you (or your school) could be a winner.

photos courtesy of BfB


Mobile 3D Printing

Just found this from a couple of months ago….Mobile 3D printing…

Ok, not a “hot off the press” story but I love the concept.

This is a project by UNFOLD Design Studio….

“KIOSK,a project that explores a near future scenario in which digital fabricators are so ubiquitous, that we see them appear on street corners, just like fast food today is sold in NY style mobile food stalls. A place where you can quickly get a custom made fix for your broken shoe, materialise an illegal download of Starck’s Juicy Salif orange squeezer that you modified for better performance or quickly print out a present for your sisters birthday.

Unfold gathered information from various designers and labels about how they position themselves towards this scenario. During the Salone del Mobile Unfold three-dimensionally scan new objects presented by these various designers and based on the acquired data, appropriate, sample, remix, improve, up/downscale or copy new objects 3d-printed on the spot”.

More information here http://unfold.be/pages/projects/items/kiosk-design-sampler  

attached pictures and text also from UNFOLD.


Some of you may remember that UNFOLD was also involved in early experiments in 3D printing ceramics and food items. http://unfold.be/pages/projects/items/3d-printer/lab/date

Worlds smallest 3D printer

Ok so we have a RapMan and BfB 3000 printer in school… And I’m really pleased with them and what they can do…. But this is really impressive… The worlds smallest 3D printer!


Wonder how I can get my hands on one of these?
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