Photography lesson

Lesson of the day: “How an 11-foot-tall 3D printer helps build community”

6. The article states, “Almost any object can be 3D printed.” What object would you most like to see printed and why, whether for practical or playful reasons? What questions do you still have about the technology and its possibilities?

seven. Look at the photographs in the article: What do you notice and wonder about the houses? Would you like to live in a 3D printed house? Why or why not?

Option 1: Propose a 3D printed solution to a problem in your community.

Today, 3D printing is used to create cars, toys, furniture, guns, clothing, pizza, and musical instruments. The article shows how the basic need of a house can be met safely, quickly and inexpensively using 3D technology. How do you think 3D printing could address other social issues and needs?

You could start by brainstorming a list of challenges in your community. You could interview members of your family, school, or neighborhood and find out what they see as the greatest needs in our society. Then think about ways in which 3D printing technology could meet or remedy those needs. What specific, repeatable objects do you think would make a difference in people’s lives? How can production speed and, in some cases, affordability and lower costs give a 3D printer an edge over other traditional solutions?

Your proposal must include the object you want to see created with a 3D printer; the social issue, problem or need it would address; and why 3D printing is better than other approaches. If inspired, include drawings or sketches of the object. Then share your suggestions with your class.

Option 2: Learn more about how 3D printing is changing the world — and our future.

Watch this 12-minute video from VICE News about how 3D printing innovations in recent years have dramatically changed the way things are made, including auto parts and human biotissues. Or read one of the Times articles below.

Then write or discuss with a partner: What is your reaction to the film or article? What was most provocative, surprising or memorable? How does this add to your understanding of 3D printing technology? What other questions does this raise for you?

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