Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to questions we're often asked
A. TERMINOLOGY & TECHNICAL QUESTIONS
What is 3D printing and how can I use it in the classroom? 3D printing is a production method used in areas as diverse as architecture, toy manufacturing, medical prosthetics and clothing manufacture. For a quick tutorial on 3D printing, how it works and its applications, take a look at our Beginners’ Guide to 3D printing short videos on YouTube.
What are the advantages of 3D printable teaching aids and models? With 3D printable teaching aids, you can print as many of the objects as you need - you don’t need to re-order or wait for delivery if you have access to the printable files. This also means that if any printed parts get lost or broken, you can simply print replacements.
Where should I put the 3D printer in my school? While 3D printing is pretty safe, it should be done under adult supervision, as the extruder nozzle of the printer gets very hot, and should be kept away from small hands. For fuller information about safety and 3D printing, take a look at our YouTube video. If safety is a priority choose a printer with an enclosed build area or a printer such as the 3D Systems Cube which has a guard around the nozzles and is certified safe for ages 8+.
Printer filament is made from biodegradable PLA. Does that mean that the prints will be useless in a year’s time? PLA is made from corn starch, and is designed to biodegrade over time, but only in the right conditions, i.e. when buried in soil. It will not start to degrade if left in normal classroom conditions or in the open air, so your prints should last for years.