How 3D printing empowers Makers

Atmel | Bits & Pieces

Chelsea Schelly, assistant professor of social sciences at Michigan Tech, says 3D printing can be used to help empower individuals.

“When you produce something yourself instead of purchasing it, that changes your relationship to it,” Schelly explained. “You are empowered by it.”

As Dennis Walikainen of Michigan Tech News notes, the principle might sound simple at first, although its ramifications are wide ranging, especially for middle and high school educators. In fact, that’s where Schelly’s 3D printing research began – at a teacher workshop coordinated by 3D printing guru Joshua Pearce.

During the workshop, one local high school teacher designed and printed a snowblower part that typically retails for $200.

“Instead, he made it himself and saved the money. And he saved the hassle of bringing the machine to the shop to get it fixed,” said Schelly. “The early feedback from the teachers is that the students are more engaged…

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