3D Printers for Mathematics Education

Rediscovering Mathematics with 3D Printing

3D printers for schools are quickly making headway in classrooms across the country, integrating with various subjects in many unique ways. Regardless of your specific scholastic discipline, a 3D printer will find its worth in any topic that you’re looking to teach.  The applications are diverse, and the impact far reaching.  Among the many other benefits, the significant integration with progressive learning methods alone is enough to ensure that 3D printers are rapidly becoming a vital classroom fixture.  In the article below, we look more closely at some of the ways in which schools are implementing 3D printers for mathematics education.

3D Printers for Mathematics Education

3D printing for mathematics offers a wide array of options for student learning. From kindergarten to graduate school, 3D printers are helping math enthusiasts represent numbers and symbols with objects in the physical world. Imagine 3D printing a giant Fibonacci spiral for students to understand its sequence. Through visualization and observation, 3D printing allows users to recreate lattice structures, hyperbolic paraboloids, and Hilbert cubes once only represented in numbers, on graph paper, or a computer screen.

Combining 3D printing with mathematics also yields artistic designs. Students are learning how to apply mathematics with 3D printing, ultimately creating art through numbers. Younger students part in 3D printing as well, creating a variety of fun shapes or toys that actually integrate mathematical learning. While receiving the basics of arithmetic, they’re also being exposed to the world of 3D printing.

Any object represented by mathematical meaning can be printed and integrated into the curriculum. For example, if a high school class takes part in 3D printing components for a Rube Goldberg machine, each group of students would be tasked with developing, manufacturing, and understanding the component’s mathematical functions which govern its operation and relationship to the rest of the machine.

Visualize Mathematic Structures

Students are using 3D printing to understand mathematics in a whole new way, visualizing everything from basic geometry to fractals.  The result is an increased understanding of the relationships between particular sets of numbers.

From Theoretical to Physical

With 3D printing, mathematical objects & concepts can be converted from theoretical models into physical ones.  The result is a better understanding by those who have the opportunity to experience that evolution.

Hands-on Learning

Teachers are developing “3D printed manipulatives” – hands on learning tools that can be manipulated to show a variety of results.  The key here is that students are able to interact with these printed toys and tools, improving their learning via a hands-on approach.

Case Study: Using 3D Printers for Mathematics Education

A high school mathematics teacher in Northern Indiana incorporates a Rostock Max 3D printer to teach Algebra, Geometry, and AP Calculus to students. It’s evolved into a summer program, teaching the basics of additive manufacturing while integrating a mathematics curriculum. For geometry, she employs 3D printing to represent and understand the concurrency of triangles. Students are tasked with 3D modelling as well as problem solving in a scenario-based environment. A complete lesson plan is also available. For more information, please visit: “A High School Math Teacher’s Experience with 3D Printing”.

3D Printers for Mathematics Education here at 3D Supply Guys

3D Supply Guys is on the cutting edge of learning, providing educational discount programs for students and teachers interested in 3D printing. We work with math teachers to understand they’re requirements, teaching strategy, and budget in order to choose the best 3D printers and accessories for their project. Our team is happy to provide the resources and guidance necessary to help get you started with 3D printing in your classroom. Our educational prices are extremely competitive, offering deals not possible in the consumer market. To learn more about our work, please contact us at sales@3DSupplyguys.com.