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Opinion: Maximising 3D printing’s educational benefits

3D printing is a technology that originated in additive manufacturing and lets users turn any digital file into a three-dimensional physical product. The technology for 3D printing has existed in some form since the 1980s; but for a long time it wasn’t capable or cost-effective enough for widespread adoption. Since the mid-2000s 3D printing has undergone key changes that have positively affected adoption rates. With the introduction of mid-level 3D printers, affordable, fast and high-quality printing is now available to the education sector. By integrating 3D printing systems with the wider school data network, educational institutions can maximise the benefits of 3D printing such as supporting student motivation and engagement, while managing 3D printer costs and enacting security measures for 3D prints.

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