"We were using the 3-D printers as a part of our after school STEM program. Twenty students stayed after school for five, one hour sessions, to work on a 3-D creation that they designed. We used Tinkercad to design each project and then attempted to print. Not everyone's creation printed perfectly as we learned we need to design objects that can literally be built from the ground up. We discussed why some projects did not print properly and then attempted to fix them so that they would print successfully.
We also had the opportunity to use 3-D pens, which works on the same extruder technology for the plastic in the printers, to try to build an object by hand. The students quickly observed how difficult it is to make anything by hand compared to the precision of what the printer can achieve. We had a great time and it was very interesting to see our students attempting to design things in three dimensions which was a completely new experience for them. I'm very excited to see what the future holds us for this kind of technology and I would love to see every classroom have access to 3-D printing and design."