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ERIC Number: EJ1130723
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Feb
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-2158-0502
Every Day a New 3D Printing Material
Hughes, Bill; Mona, Lynn; Wilson, Greg; Seamans, Jeff; McAninch, Steve; Stout, Heath
Technology and Engineering Teacher, v76 n5 p8-13 Feb 2017
A handful of technological episodes: fire, wheel and axle, Industrial Revolution, Faraday's discovery of electromagnetic induction, the transistor, and the digital age, have historically altered humanity. We are now witnessing/participating in the next transformational technology: 3D printing. Although dating back nearly 30 years, the technology has recently come of age and burst like a supernova into the public eye. Three years ago it might have been possible to compile a list of all items produced with 3D printing/additive manufacturing technology. Today its explosive evolution would render such an endeavor an exercise in futility. Clearly 3D printing is revolutionizing all sectors of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) enterprises and propelling a flood tide of worldwide technological innovation. An imperative for viable integrative STEM curricula is keeping abreast of developing materials and making them available for student classroom experimentation. To that end, Park Forest Middle School (PFMS) in State College, Pennsylvania, integrative STEM team members conduct periodic industry searches and obtain common, developing, and exotic printing filaments to be put at the students' disposal. Ultimately, 3D printing filaments and the materials science has the potential to create a broader impact on students and society than the printers themselves. This article describes an inventory of common and exotic printing materials that students and faculty have been utilizing for both projects: inventive designs and student/instructor-led STEM inquiries. Included are an assemblage of observations the PFMS students and integrative STEM team staff have compiled in their laboratory/engineering notebooks through daily investigation during the 2015/2016 academic year. Owing to the unique characteristics of individual printers, they should only be considered as a baseline for exploration. The authors will also suggest how structural/material-testing equipment, already in classroom labs, can be re-tasked to help enlighten students about 3D printing materials' properties by quantitative measuring. The PFMS integrative STEM team community considers knowledge acquired via scientific investigation and mathematical testing a tangible pathway to genuine innovation.
International Technology and Engineering Educators Association. 1914 Association Drive Suite 201, Reston, VA 20191-1539. Tel: 703-860-2100; Fax: 703-860-0353; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A