While there are plenty of subjects that are easily adaptable to remote learning, when it comes to more practical subjects – engineering, art and design, for instance – things can get a little bit tricky. 3D printing has been adopted by many educators, because it allows students to prototype, iterate, and prepare themselves for the future of manufacturing.
So, Covid or not, there’s still learning to be done. Students are heading back to school and perhaps now more than ever it’s vital that we practice social distancing and wear the right PPE gear, to try and keep a lid on infection rates.
But how can educators remotely manage 3D printers and stick to social distancing guidelines?
Before we dive into the solution, let’s take a look at how things have happened in the “before times” and why it’s not really a viable solution, at least not for the immediate future.
People in a room together: 3D printers are, typically, clustered together in a class, meaning not only are students and educators having to be in a room together, they might be forced within 6 feet of one another.
Now, you could maybe get around this by having students and educators interact with the 3D printers individually, but this quickly becomes impractical and time consuming. Maybe you could spread the 3D printers further around the faculty? But then that presents another set of challenges and makes managing and maintaining them less practical.
Communal surfaces: Like any practical subject, 3D printing involves a lot of touching. Touching computers for slicing and setup. Touching SD cards and handing them to one another. Touching panels and build plates on the printers themselves.
So, not only is everyone in a confined space together, they’re forced to get hands-on and touch a lot of shared surfaces. While providing every student with their own computer is certainly a viable solution to get around the risks of shared computers, providing everyone with their own 3D printer is less so. You could also enforce rigorous disinfection procedures, to make sure every surface gets cleaned between uses, but as we know, it’s perilously easy for someone to get complacent or simply forget.
Socially distant 3D printing: With a cloud-based 3D printing solution, students don’t have to be in the same room to print their projects. They don’t even need to be in the same country. Students simply log in to their dashboard, upload and prepare their designs, and when they’re ready, add them to the print queue.
An on-site print lab technician can then monitor and manage the student’s print projects. And once the print jobs are completed, the technician can retrieve the parts so they can be delivered to students or, more practically, have students come and collect them from a safe location – much like going to collect a food order from a restaurant.
This means students get the valuable, practical experience of creating designs and testing out prototypes using 3D printers, but they also get to do it from the safety of their own residence. The students themselves stay safe and educators and technicians are also protected from potential risks.
3DPrinterOS enables educators to continue guiding their students, and manage 3D print projects while keeping everyone involved safe.
To get started, all you need to do is create an account and connect your lab’s 3D printers (3DPrinterOS supports an extensive list of 3D printing hardware, but if you don’t see your hardware on there, you can request an integration).
Students can then create their accounts, while educators and admins retain full control over permissions, like print quotas for example. With their accounts setup and permissions set, students can now securely upload their designs to 3DPrinterOS. All of this can happen from any machine, anywhere in the world. Your students only need access to a web browser and an internet connection.
Once successfully uploaded, the designs are stored safe and sound ready for the next step: slicing. Again, the students don’t need to be on-site to slice and set up their prints, everything happens from the safety of the cloud, within the 3DPrinterOS dashboard.
Since 2015, 3DPrinterOS has been helping educators around the world manage large-scale 3D printing projects safely and cost effectively, by giving them powerful, simple tools to take the hassle and expense out of 3D printer management, so they can focus on doing what they do best: educating future generations of engineers, designers, and creators.
If you want to see how easily 3DPrinterOS can integrate with your faculties 3D printing lab, book a demo today and we’ll show you how to run 3D printing projects while maintaining safe, social distancing practices.
Aaron from our team had the chance to speak at and attend the Construct 3D conference this past weekend in Atlanta, GA. Here is the presentation from his talk on “How to manage students, 3d printers and data at scale“. We will be posting more content from this event over the next few days on the 3DPrinterOS blog.
On this upcoming Wednesday and Thursday, from the 18th till 19th of November, the annual 3D Printing Live 2015 sponsored by IDTechEx is being held in Santa Clara, California. Located in the heart of the Silicon Valley, this event will bring together the current and future markets and technologies of 3D Printing.
We’re proud to announce that 3DprinterOS CEO John Dogru will be sharing his vision with a speech about “Envisioning the Virtual Factory of the Future”. John’s talk starts just before the noon on Thursday, 11:40 am in Room 210. More and detailed information can be found here.
This year the conference spans over 2 consecutive days where full range of state-of-the-art technologies will be covered, including many world first announcements. With over 200 exhibitors and 3,000 attendees expected under one roof, this is the largest event on emerging technologies in additive manufacturing.
When you sit down at a restaurant and order a steaming, medium-rare New York strip, you usually expect that steak to have at one point in time actually to have been attached to an animal. The same applies to a pork chop, or fried chicken. While that might have been true in the past, things might be changing, particularly if the 3D printed food industry takes off the way some are expecting. Not sure what 3D printed food is or why someone would want to eat something that came out of a printer, rather than off the hoof or out of the ground?
HP – the name is synonymous with printing technology, although it’s also become a household name in terms of desktops, laptops and, at least to some extent, tablet computers. However, times are changing and HP has had to change with them. The significantly decreasing market share for desktops and laptops combined with HP’s inability to create a tablet that saw more than lukewarm enthusiasm from consumers has had an enormous impact on its profitability. In a recent press release, the company announced how it would handle that impact. Apparently, it will split itself into two separate firms.
This past weekend was Maker Faire 2014 in New York. Often referred to as “The Greatest Show and Tell on Earth,” this years show did not disappoint. Beyond featuring some of the most innovative companies in the 3D Printing world, Maker Faire brings together the best and the brightest makers across the world to showcase the wide variety of projects they are working on.
Here are some sights from our visit:
e-NABLE is a global community of over 1500 members collaborating to make free 3d-printed prosthetic hands available to all who need them. Many of these hands go to children, who face difficulties with traditional prosthetics, due to the fact that they are constantly outgrowing them.
Part of the fun in building 3DPrinterOS is testing our 3D Printer operating system with the many printers available in the world. Even though we are around a wide variety of 3D Printers every day, we still get excited every time a new one makes it into the office and gets tested.
Aaron picked up a MakerBot Replicator 2 yesterday and documented the unboxing to printing process at his home in New York.
1518 Pershing Drive,
APT F, CA 94129,
San Francisco, USA
49 Wyckoff Ave,
Brooklyn, NY 11237, USA
Mektory Innovation Center building
Raja 15 , Tallinn,