Scots schools go for 3D design

Every secondary school in Aberdeenshire now has a 3D printer, 3D scanner and design tools for its pupils to learn and use.

The local education authority opted for an integrated package of affordable 3D tools from A1 Technologies. Each of its 13 secondary schools now has one RapMan 3D printer plus printing plastic, a David 3D scanner, and two Chameleon haptic design packages.

“The potential of this equipment is enormous,” said Keith Mullan, principal teacher of the technical department at Peterhead Academy. “3D technology is now available for all secondary and primary schools to use.

“Teaching modern design engineering is much easier when projects and learning outcomes are made tactile and visual for children. The RapMan ensures that this facility is available to all — not just the CNC specialists — from a cost base that is realistic for schools.”

The ready-built RapMan 3D printer is derived from the open-source RepRap self-replicating rapid prototyper project, and uses additive technology to build 3D objects. The David 3D scanner uses a hand-held laser and a webcam to do accurate scans – and in the process teach children how 3D scanning works. Chameleon uses a touch-enabled arm-like device as a 3D mouse for digital modelling.

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