Manufacturing a Healthy Future: 3D Printing for primary school teachers 

'Manufacturing a Healthy Future' is a European project funded by EIT-Manufacturing and brought to you by Stryker and I-Form (University College Dublin) in Ireland; Arts et Metier Institute of Technology in France; and University of Tartu in Estonia. 

The project ran very successfully in 2021 and 2022 and is continuing in 2023 with an expansion into Hungary and Lithuania. 

Over two years of the project, highlights to date include:

  • 116 primary school teachers across three countries have been trained on how to design and print using a 3D printer.
  • 3,000 primary school children in three countries have taken part in a design challenge.
  • In Ireland, 47 teachers and 1,000 pupils have taken part in the programme.

The project offers primary school teachers a free, 3.5 day, hands-on exploration of 3D design and printing in manufacturing. After the course teachers are invited to run a 3D printing challenge with a sustainability theme in the classroom, with support from local partners. Participating teachers who are committed to running the classroom challenge are provided with access to a 3D printer for their school. 

3D printing (known in industry as additive manufacturing) is a key enabling technology of Industry 4.0 – a term used to signify the new era of industrial production, encompassing advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, and the Internet of Things. ‘Manufacturing a Healthy Future’ is an innovative programme that recognises that teachers are key influencers of the next generation but sometimes lack access to information and technology around the newest areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and manufacturing.

In 2023, the Irish teacher training programme will be held in Dublin in July. More details will be released in spring 2023. 

Check out the Irish winners of the 2022 Sustainability Challenge

 

 

 

Learning objectives of the project

After the 3D printing training course, teachers have:

  • Learned about the different components that make up a 3D printer
  • Learned how to calibrate, troubleshoot, maintain and be safe with a 3D printer
  • Experienced the Design Thinking process and learned how to implement it in the classroom
  • Hands-on experience using design software and printing in 3D
  • Learned about different printing filaments and their application
  • Learned about design for manufacturing with our industry partner Stryker 
  • Explored 3D design lesson plans designed for primary education settings 
  • Been invited to run a ‘sustainability challenge’ in the classroom, with support from industry and research partners

 

Previous participants said:

“I was nervous at first, but the step-by-step instructions, in a supportive environment, gave me the confidence to get up and running with this exciting technology.”

“The possibilities for the children are endless – it’s important to introduce them to the technologies they could be working with in the future, and to give them an enjoyable, self-directed experience.”

“The trainer and the I-Form and Stryker teams were so supportive and always available to answer any questions and help us on our 3D printing journey.”