3D printers

Why some colleges and universities are restricting access to 3D technology

Results indicate 77 percent of schools will increase 3D printers; so why are some institutions restricting access?

A number of factors, including lack of guidance and management issues, are leading educators to restrict students’ access to 3D printers, according to a survey from Y Soft Corporation, an enterprise office solution provider.

Surveyed educators overwhelmingly cited motivation, creativity and use of technology with STEAM subjects as reasons their institutions use 3D printers in courses.

Forty-two percent of those surveyed said it is “very common” for students in their institution to have access to 3D printing, and 58 percent said it is “very exceptional” to have such access.

The survey asked educational 3D printer owners a broad set of questions about 3D printing use to determine how educators include 3D technology in their classrooms. Most institutions who own 3D printers own between 2 and 5 (38 percent), with 28 percent of institutions owning between 6 and 20.

Why Student Access is Difficult

Overall, 35 percent said student access to 3D printers is fairly or very difficult. Thirteen percent of those surveyed said it is very easy for students to access 3D printers and 52 percent said it is fairly easy as long as a process is followed.

(Next page: The three areas where support for 3D printers is lacking)

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Laura Ascione

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