Additional key findings from the Trends in 3D Printing and STEAM Education report include:
century skills development continues to be an impactful factor in teaching with 3D printing. Developing creative thinking (57%) and problem-solving skills (50%) were among the top reasonings behind why respondents chose to teach with 3D printing. Using the technology to turn ideas into reality (48%) and develop critical cognitive and practical skills (45%) were also essential when integrating into class lessons.
Teaching STEAM subjects during the pandemic was not much different than prior years. Budget constraints and insufficient funding were cited as the top reasons, at 57%, while insufficient equipment (46%) and training (38%) were additional hurdles for respondents.
Respondents look for reliability and ease of use in their printers. In their 3D printer purchase decision-making process, 97% of respondents cited reliability as one of the most important factors, while 93% also said that the ease of use and easy maintenance were also important to consider.
Advancements in 3D printing have propelled its use across a range of applications in higher education. Functional prototyping (65%) and concept modeling (65%) were the top applications, while R&D projects (47%) and manufacturing aids (31%) lagged behind.
Anticipation for an exciting new school year is high. 58% of respondents cited that they were looking forward to being back in the classroom with students, while over 50% were also excited to find creative ways to teach STEAM curricula and create authentic learning experiences in the new school year. Meanwhile, 44% of respondents were looking forward to more access to the equipment in the schools.