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How 3D Printing Could Change The Way We Raise Our Children?


The technology of additively manufacturing parts and functional prototypes layer by layer is outdoing other technologies. It’s influencing not only the manufacturing sector by posing a fundamental question, “how much better additive manufacturing is than subtractive manufacturing?” but it’s also questioning our habits and ways which we have tamed and evolved since all these years with traditional manufacturing technologies. The way we think about education, the way we think about customization, the creative imagination, and a lot more. In such a transforming world, where every aspect of our lives are getting related to 3D printing, it wouldn’t be too much to ask the question that is mentioned in the topic of this article, would it?

Traditional manufacturing technology made us make decisions like living with standardization. They envied our kids enough that they asked for toys that their friends had. Barely could you inculcate the idea of out-of-box thinking in your kid because the manufacturing technology was such? Manufacturing more products of the same type meant cheaper products! But that’s not the case with 3D printing. It is able to go beyond the limitation of standardization and is able to mass customize toys and even other products. This would mean that the environment in which kids grew in the age of traditional manufacturing technology is completely changing. New ways of thinking are being paved, not just by kids, but also by parents.

Teach Kids About Mechanism of Machines From a Very Early Age

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This is something that was hardly possible with traditional mechanisms and machines because of their violent nature. The raw material used for manufacturing a part or functional prototype with subtractive manufacturing concept required to be larger and there were tools employed for cutting and shaping which were dangerous for kids. Also, the mechanism of machines involved in cutting and shaping were very complex. 

On the other hand, the 3D printing process is very simple. You need a 3D design file for starting with the 3D printing process. That 3D design file needs to be sliced into G or G-codes for the 3D printer to read it. After that, the 3D printer is allowed to print parts layer by layer using different 3D printing technologies. The point to note is that there is no tooling required for this complete procedure. Meaning that, if you teach your kid manufacturing his toys at a very early age using a 3D printer, he or she is not at all subjected to any danger! And this is what can give you a freedom as a parent to expose your kid to manufacturing, something that you resisted otherwise, while raising your child. If you don’t own a 3D printer, you can refer to Pick 3D printer's list of the best small budget 3D Printers under $300, choose the one that would best suit your budget, and let your kid explore.

Practically Teach Them the Virtue, “Failure Is a Part of a Successful Journey.”

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3D Printing technology requires working iteratively. There is no guarantee while working with this technology that you will succeed in one go. You get an imagination, develop a 3D design file, slice it using slicing software and get it printed. You’ll only know how much your imagination succeeded after you have the final part in your hand. In case the part or functional prototype that you have in your hand is not close to your imagination, you will have to recalculate what led to the conversion of that part into how it is. 

And this will make you very convenient with failing, till you get the required part or functional prototype right. It’s something that did take years to teach to your child while raising them up in absence of 3D printing technology. And even after all those years’ efforts you never knew whether your kid learnt it or not. But if you raise your children while giving them enough exposure to this technology, they can easily learn this virtue, not just verbally, but also practically.

Give Kids More Options to Choose From, Instead of Restricted with ‘Standardization’

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3D printing technology has made mass customization possible. One of the biggest limitations of traditional manufacturing technologies was standardization. And those jobs and education that required a single type of skills and single type of knowledge. So, we had to encourage our kids to follow the trend otherwise they would remain unnoticed, unemployed and be treated like someone who does not have knowledge of how this world works.

Because 3D printing technology does not have any such limitation of standardization, on the other hand it promotes mass customization; you can raise your kids much more freely without any pressure of trends. Your kids can survive if they do not know mathematics and have a good imagination. They can become a good designer, the ones with visionary ideas about parts and functional prototypes for odd applications.

All in all there is no such limitation that 3D printing technology has which wants the kid to learn a certain fixed set of rules which are going to help him or her do a certain set of jobs. Instead it is a much more free approach to building this world. There is immense scope for kids in designing, materials and metallurgy, mechanism, printers, etc. And the technology is yet to reveal its complete potential which means that the scope is going to increase. 

The Conclusion

These are the most basic ways in which 3D printing can influence the way we raise kids. The digitization that 3D printing brings in is very beneficial for the manufacturing sector. And the complete process of 3D printing is very transparent. Everything is dependent on the 3D design file, which is dependent on the maker’s imagination. So, the complete mentality of always being able to achieve lower efficiency levels than thought of, that subtractive manufacturing carried is no longer believed. And this is something that can have a very positive influence on your children. Exposing them to 3D printing technology is ensuring to increase their creativity. The technology is still developing and we hope to find many such ways in which it could positively change the way we raise our children.

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