We are on the cusp of the 3D printing explosion, and the careers that today’s K-8 students choose will look very different than the careers available today. Inspire the young students in your life by sharing these possibilities for their future careers.
1. 3D Chef
Out with the knives and in with the 3D printer. Using printers loaded with the most delicious food these 3D chefs will design and produce beautiful and tasty culinary masterpieces. Don’t believe me, check out Food Ink, the first ever restaurant where everything from the food to the furniture is 3D printed.
In addition to creating a luxurious and fun experience, 3D printed food offers the possibility to bring food to places in the world where it is needed most. After a natural disaster, when food is scarce, bring in a 3D printer to create nutrition dense food on the spot. The possibilities are endless.
2. Space Architect
Onboard the International Space Station there is an Additive Manufacturing Facility where a 3D printer produces a variety of tools and parts needed on the ISS. Could the future of 3D printing in space involve more that tools, but also printing structures?
Research suggests that it may be possible to 3D print a shelter on the moon using the moon’s surface rock as the printing material. Want to design this future moon base or maybe even one on Mars? Call yourself a future space architect.
3. Body Part 3D designer and creator
Current 3D printing technology allows scientists to print skin, kidney and liver tissues, bone, and blood vessels! But, we can’t use these bio-printed tissues in humans just yet.
However, scientists researching at the cutting edge of 3D bio-printing believe the leap to human use of 3D bio-printed tissues is less than a decade away. Who will be the ones to design and create the 3D printed organs that save our lives: the K-8 students of today.
4. 3D Printing Artist
Nowhere do art and technology mix together better than in 3D printing; from armature artists to professional galleries, 3D printing technology is now a part of the art world.
And it’s just the beginning. As the technology becomes more widely available and increases in speed and capability artists will be able to visualize and create artworks that would not have been possible before 3D printing.
5. 3D Mechanic
A few cars (and buses) have already been 3D printed, but it is far from mainstream. Like the other applications of 3D printing, the automotive industry is looking to capitalize on the economic benefits of 3D printing. Now they just need 3D mechanics to design and create the cars of the future.
What about car repair or part replacement? 3D printing would allow the exact part for your exact car to be printed out, ready for your mechanic to install. What about customization? Perhaps in the future, you and the 3D design mechanic will sit down and create your perfect car in 3D design software.
We can’t be certain what the future will hold, but it is clear that 3D printing will be there.
Now it’s your turn to let your imagination run wild. For your next 3D printing class, ask your students to create a new job for themselves that uses 3D printing and then design a device to help them do that job.
Jeanette McConnell, Ph.D. is a passionate educator with a strong scientific background. She earned a bachelors degree in biochemistry at San Diego State University and went on to earn a doctoral degree in chemistry at the University of NSW. Throughout her studies, she tutored her fellow students. Her experience presenting science shows and workshops to children convinced her of the value of a hands-on education. She believes Makers Empire is the way to make learning hands-on and harness the power of 3D printing technology in education.
Makers Empire: Better learning by design
Makers Empire helps K-8 teachers teach Design Thinking, STEM and 21st-century learning skills using 3D printing. Our pioneering 3D solutions for schools include 3D modelling software, over 150 lesson plans aligned with international standards and professional development. With Makers Empire, engaged students learn how to solve real-world problems and make their world better.