Best 3D Printers for the K-12 Classroom
3D printing has created many exciting activities for the classroom, and teachers are itching to get their hands on one. And, who can blame them? 3D printers allow teachers to bring lessons to life in a way that students can see. Plus, kids love them! Even better, they are now much more affordable than when they first hit the market making it possible for schools to purchase them for makerspaces or individual classrooms.
Considerations When Shopping
Before you rush to buy a 3D printer for your classroom, there are some things you must consider. First, besides the cool factor and the fun factor, how do you plan to use the 3D printer in your classroom? Will the technology support the curriculum? Next, what is your budget? 3D printers range in price significantly. For example, you most likely do not need a top-of-the-line industrial-strength 3D printer that cost thousands. Instead, you want to look for an affordable, budget-friendly option. Finally, you should also pay attention to the time it takes to print. 3D printing takes much longer than standard printing, so you need to consider how you plan to use it and how much time you will need.
Here are four 3D printers that will make your students and your wallet happy:
This 3D printer is small, plug-and-play, budget-friendly, and it is ideal for classroom use. It is marketed as a 3D printer for beginners and is ready to print right out of the box. It also allows users to use a variety of filaments. It is priced below $300.
This budget-friendly option is designed for classrooms and kids to use. It is user-friendly with a simple touchpad screen. It also comes fully assembled and ready to print. It is also quiet, which makes it an excellent choice for classrooms. It is priced below $400.
Another budget-friendly 3D printer, the da Vinci mini is great for classrooms as it is easy to use and kid-friendly. XYZ Printing also produces a unique bio-compostable non-toxic PLA filament making it an environmentally-friendly option. It is priced below $300.
Designed for teachers and classrooms, the MakerBot Replicator is a terrific choice. The 3D printer uses content connected to Thingiverse Education – an online community with hundreds of free printing lessons. However, this is a high-quality, fast, reliable 3D printer, and you are going to pay for it. Prices start at $1200.
Now that you are ready to choose the 3D printer that is best for your classroom don’t forget to include space in your budget for the additional supplies you will need, such as PLA filament.