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3D Printing Inspires Future Engineers

Léman Manhattan Preparatory School in New York City has recently entered the 3D printing revolution by introducing 3D design into their science curriculum as early as first grade.  This forward thinking school has recognized the impact that this rapidly evolving technology will have on the design and manufacturing industry and with this in mind has purchased a Makerbot Replicator 2 3D printer.  Students are now able to take their original 2D design illustrations and convert them into 3D pieces in minutes. The inclusion of the technology in the curriculum will equip students with a skillset that will be essential in the 21st century.

Students have weekly group lessons during which they are able to work on the creation of objects using Cubify Draw, 123D Catch and Tinkercad.  They they watch as their work is transformed into 3D objects on the Makerbot Replicator 2.  First graders get the opportunity to work with the equipment once each week for a forty five minute session while second through fourth grade students are given access to the technology twice weekly.  The printer is also used as a component in the third grade architecture and engineering programs and fourth grade buoyancy projects.  For particularly keen students, an after school program is offered where one-on-one time working with the printer and software is available.

Léman Manhattan Preparatory School is one of a handful of prep schools in the US which has full-time use of its own 3D printer.  Lower School Science Teacher, Paul Schimtz, is hopeful that these early lessons will equip pupils for a career in engineering, fashion, design and architecture where 3D printing is rapidly becoming the way forward.

There are a number of programs currently under development which will allow children across the world to have access to CAD and 3D printing technology.  In fact, the City X Project is aiming to teach kids as young as eight all about 3D printing and how to use it. 

In conclusion

There’s currently a shortage of students considering a career in engineering, design and technology.  It’s hoped that other schools and colleges will use 3D printing as a means of generating enthusiasm for these industries as a career.




Alison Page

About Alison Page

Alison is a small business owner, freelance writer, author and dressage judge. She has degrees in Equine Science and Business Studies. Read her full story at

Alison Page

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