Sometimes there are lessons that you learn in your journey to try new technology that you wish you would have known sooner. Here are just a few that I have learned in the last 6 months in regards to 3D printing.
Lesson 1 – Consume to Create
You need to consume in order to create. Don’t be afraid to print designs from sites like Thingiverse because it helps you to understand how your printer works. It will also lead to lessons where the print will not work which will cause you to question why. Questioning is never a bad thing.
Following a recipe isn’t a bad thing. The Invent to Learn Guide to 3D Printing in the Classroom is a great resource to start with. You need to be able to understand in order to modify and create sometimes. But make sure that you move beyond consumption and recipes to the real power of creating with the 3D printer.
Lesson 2 – Connect with your Community
One of the most powerful resources you have when learning and using new technology is the community around you. You don’t know who you have around you in your community if you don’t reach out. I found an amazing resource in Radiant Fabrication and Nathan Patterson, one of the owners of the company. By teaming with someone more knowledgeable, I was able to implement our 3D printer in ways that I wouldn’t have thought of.
Lesson 3 – Resources
You aren’t the first one to go down this path. Tapping into resources like the Invent to Learn website resources will help immensely. Connect with other educators. Follow blogs like MakerHome and Tales of a 3D Printer… you just never know what you will learn.