Nobody really talks about the risks of the 3D printer for kids. We all focus on the numerous benefits attached to exposing kids to 3D printing at an early age.
Really, what’s not to love about 3D printing? 3D printing is original - it captures objects in the most real forms ever, compared to normal printing. In addition to that, kids are presented with the opportunity to make their 3D designs and toys, and even make cool money from it! Let’s be honest, the 3D printing industry is a badass.
However, there are other factors you must consider before you purchase a 3D printer for your kids. As enticing and promising as 3D printing may sound, it might not be entirely advisable for kids, especially younger kids. In this article, you will learn about the pros and cons of 3D printers for kids, as well as every other factor you should be aware of before getting a 3D printer.
3D printing presents an amazing opportunity for kids to use technology, science, and business education. STEM education is now a requisite for kids and teenagers, especially in this digital century. Schools and other learning institutions for kids now adopt 3D methods and inventions for their students to learn the fundamentals of science, engineering, robotics, arts, design, and technology.
3D printing allows you to print 3D models using specialized equipment. 3D printing is dynamic; you can make a 3D design using paper, metal, plastic, resin, ceramic, or sandstone. Some of the amazing items you can print with a 3D printer include 3D toys, a 3D phone case, 3D household and kitchen equipment, 3D prosthetics arm and leg, a 3D toolbox for kids, and many more.
Beyond serving as a form of STEM education for kids and as a tool for printing cool 3D projects, 3D has greatly impacted the environment we live in. It has and continues to reduce manufacturing waste and aid environmental conservation.
In other words, 3D printers for kids pose countless benefits to users. It is futuristic and allows you to view objects through a 3-dimensional lens.
3D Printer Considerations
3D printing is equivalent to a normal printer with ink, the only difference is that 3D printers apply materials through an additive process. 3D printing is a modern technology that allows us to print objects in 3 dimensions, using specialized equipment.
3D is the direct opposite of subtracted manufacturing, and it enables you to produce objects in complex shapes and forms with significantly lesser material. To print a 3D object, you can either create a new 3D model or choose an existing model from the 3D library.
Additive manufacturing, also called 3D printing, helps to increase technological understanding in kids, and it also enhances creative, cognitive, and entrepreneurial abilities in kids. 3D printing is vast; its possibilities range from printing little objects to creating advanced materials for cars and even planes.
3D printers are generally safe for kids to use. However, study shows that exposing younger kids to 3D printing poses a lot of dangers to their bodies and brains. 3D printers emit tiny harmful particles that can affect the lungs.
One of the researchers, Black, claims that “some of these chemicals are resulting in changes in the biological systems that could be affecting the growth and development of the child.” Kids are fragile and unnatural chemical inflow into their bodies can result in multiple health hazards, now or in the future.
These factors, however, should not be enough reasons for kids to enjoy the benefits of 3D printing, provided parents and educators are ready to place appropriate safety measures in place. These measures include installing a local exhaust hood above your 3D printer and purchasing low-emitting 3D filaments, among others.
Just like a normal printer, there are specific types of equipment you need to get started with a 3D printer.
Duh! This has to be the most major requirement. You need an actual 3D printer to be able to print 3D objects. 3D printers have varying sizes, and print beds, coverings, and frames, so ensure you make due research before getting one for your kids.
3D filaments are thermoplastics that can be shaped in any form and size. There are several types of 3D filaments, but the most recommended one for kids is the PLA filament. It is a non-toxic bioplastic that is considered very safe for kids to use.
3D printing involves designing or replicating a model with a computer before printing. 3D is digital, and having a computer is a major requisite for 3D printing.
You need space; a lot of it! 3D printers are mostly huge and space-consuming. So, you need to seclude a special space with enough ventilation for printing.
Over the years, 3D has proven to be highly effective and problem-solving. 3D printers are used to make complex designs and structures. 3D printing has also been used to solve many health hazards. For instance, you can print 3D prosthetic arms and legs, which are considered safe and affordable to use. The 3D prosthetics arm and legs have saved billions of lives since their inception.
In addition to that, 3D offers limb prosthetics and 3D organs to aid the availability of organ transplants across the world.
3D also proffers solutions to the unbearable cost of printing. It is affordable and easy to use. You can also bring your designs to life with 3D printing, as there is no limitation to what you can achieve. The environment is not left out, as 3D reduces manufacturing waste.
Just as mentioned earlier, the benefits of a 3D printer for kids are endless. Here are the top benefits of using 3D printers for kids.
3D reduces labor costs and increases efficiency. It also offers multiple benefits across the health, educational, science, engineering, business, and technological industries, among others.
Additive manufacturing/3D printing creates multiple rooms for research purposes. There is a wide range of topics that have and can be researched. The field is interesting, futuristic, and intertwined with several fields as well, making it a top research interest.
3D allows for creativity and exploration. In 3D printing, your mind is your limit. From making mini 3D items like a toolbox for kids, 3d miniature, earbud case, zip toggle, etc., to more advanced items like the prosthetics limbs, self-watering planters, etc., the world of 3D is summed in one word- creative-exploration!
3D displays objects in 3 dimensions, which makes them appear and feel as original as the model. Businesses now have the opportunity to improve their products with 3D printers and expand their reach.
With every advantage, comes a disadvantage. Here are some of the cons of 3D printers for kids.
3D printers emit heavy heat, which could be hazardous, especially for younger kids. Without enough ventilation, kids could choke or develop other health problems. This is why I recommend situating your 3D printers in well-ventilated spaces.
The costs of buying and maintaining a 3D printer are quite high. This is why you must understand the uses of several 3D printers and the costs associated with their purchase and maintenance.
Although relatively uncommon, one can download malware on their computers through STL files. Malware is dangerous and poses a lot of dangers.
It is impossible to use a 3D printer without online access. 3D printing requires continuous active internet users, which means you’d be stuck without the internet.
Frequently Asked Questions
3D printers are safe for kids to use, provided you monitor them and employ various safety measures to keep them safe and healthy.
3D printers for kids will enhance their learning and expose them to machine learning, STEM education, and business, among others. ]
Here are several ways you can curb the risks of 3D printers for kids, according to Forbes magazine.
- Do not allow your kids to hover over the 3D printer when it is in use.
- Ensure that you use the printer in a fully ventilated space.
- Restrict kids with allergies from going near the 3D printer- it could cause them more harm.
- Install a local exhaust hood above your 3D printer.
- Purchase low-emitting filaments.
More 3D Printing Inspiration for Kids
- Why 3D Printers Make Great Gifts for Kids
- Parents Guide to 3D Printers for Kids
- Affordable 3D Printer for Kids Roundup Guide
- ToyBox 3D Printer for Kids - Honest Review
- Small Business Ideas for Kids with 3D Printers
- Useful Things Kids Can Make with 3D Printer
- 3D Printer Toys for Kids
- Why to Not Get 3D Printer for Kids
- Top 3D Accessories for Kids
- Show and Tell Ideas for Kids with 3D Printers