In a word… awesome! Since we took ownership of or Ultimaker 2 (3 years ago), the 3D printer at Sacred Heart has grabbed the interest of lots of students, we display it in a central part of school and we regularly have a group of students huddled around it discussing what it may be printing next or handling previous prints – amazed at the intricacy of the designs and what they could design when they next have the chance to use it. Our Ultimaker 2, 3D printer has made its mark mainly in design technology lessons, but has been integrated into computing, English and even RE!
We chose the Ultimaker brand of 3D printers, as they stood out as the most user friendly and reliable brands available, having tested others previously. The software that comes bundled with the printer – Cura – is easy to use and once downloaded to the computer you can be only a few clicks away from printing your design. 3D print designing is also easy, using free to download Tinkercad software, which our Year 6 pupils mastered in a couple of sessions, again not forgetting the Cura software which allows you to create 3D printable files from black and white images – we even want to get Reception involved in printing their own designs using this.
We have a lot of Primary school staff visit our school, and they are amazed that we have a 3D printer, but I tell them I am amazed that they don’t have one as the benefits to students of designing a model and then watching that design be built in front of their eyes using the 3D printer have a profound effect on the students. Pupils are able to produce prototypes and then revaluate these designs appropriately – producing an iterative design that is truly high quality and one they are extremely proud of.