Homeschool families love investing in 3D printers for many reasons. The printer can apply to many subjects like math, science, art, and more. Is there a type or brand of 3D printer that is best?
The best 3D printers for homeschooling families are Makerbot and Ender. Makerbot is user-friendly and easy to learn. Ender is more advanced, but there are many tutorials to help people learn how to use it. Prusa is difficult to learn, so it is better for adults than children to use.
3D printers are great to have when homeschooling your children, so which is the best printer and why would a homeschooling family want one?
Makerbot 3D Printers
This company makes great printers that are great for homeschooling. It is easy to learn how to learn to use their 3D printers, so it would not be difficult for you as a parent to teach your child how to use one. They have different printers that range in various prices, and the higher the price, the more efficient and detailed your prints will be.
Makerbot has 4 different types of 3D printers: the METHOD, METHOD X, METHOD X Carbon Fiber, and Metal 3D Printing. For homeschooling purposes, you probably won’t need or want the metal printing printer unless you are willing to spend more money and your child is extremely into STEM.
The materials for a metal 3D printer will cost more than plastic printing materials, so let’s look into the other printers and see what is best for your homeschooling purposes. (Source)
This printer is being sold for about $4,499 and it has a smart set-up that makes it easy to print in 30 minutes. They have a training service called MakerCare that teaches buyers all the ins and outs of the printer, making everyone an expert on how to use the product for the highest customer satisfaction.
It is expensive, but it is easy to use and has many attachments that allow you to make a variety of projects in your own home.
This model is $4,874 and is a bigger and stronger model than the one mentioned above. This 3D printer is advertised to have more strength and accuracy than the printer above, and it can use more printing materials. It can use metals, composites, polymers, and more, including materials made by other brands.
This printer is great for learning more about STEM subjects and being able to build and create projects from home that students in public school don’t have the opportunity to make. I am sure if you search for blueprints or designs to print with the printer, you will find tutorials that your kid can use to make a variety of objects.
This printer is a little more expensive than the one above, but it has improvements in efficiency and quality that make the price worth it.
METHOD X Carbon Fiber
This printer is more expensive than both of the ones above, costing $5,249. You can print in carbon fiber, and the prints are strong and heat resistant which works well to replace metal parts in your projects. Depending on the level of skill, interest, and excitement your kid is with a 3D printer, you may decide to only look at plastic printers, carbon fiber printers, or metal printers.
This printer is great because you can use carbon fiber in a wide range of projects, whereas if you can only print metal or plastic, you might have to be creative with some design solutions. But, this is an expensive printer that you should debate the use of before buying to make sure you will get used to it and it will be worth your money.
Ender 3D Printers
This company makes 3D printers that are great for families who have kids very interested in STEM. This printer will work great for eager learners who are good at understanding some more complex concepts. It is very common and is used by many people. There are many tutorials online and they can teach parents as well as kids.
Creality makes the Ender 3D printers, and they are very popular for homeschooling, creating and selling products, used for dentistry, and more. They have 5 models that have different capabilities for your specific needs, so narrowing down which one you want based on your needs is quite easy.
Ender-3 S1 3D Printer
This printer has automatic bed leveling, 16-point precise leveling, dual-screw synchronized coordination, a bendable printing sheet for easily removing projects, a quiet noise level, resume printing, and a filament sensor, and it is easy to set up in 6 steps. (Source)
With this 3D printer, you can design things that are strong and can be used for education. Kids can print out components of mechanics and put them together when using this printer.
If they do this, they would have manufactured something all by themselves, gain knowledge, and feel proud and satisfied with their work. This can be a great tool to teach them entrepreneurial skills that they can use in the future.
Ender-3 V2 3D Printer
This printer they designed is built to be fun, and practical, and it has great quality in performance and product outcome. Some notable features are its appearance, the structural design, the high precision while it prints, the glass platform, easy operation, and it heats up fast.
The 3D printer costs $259.00 and you can purchase additional add-ons to help you create specific items that will print better with a specific attachment.
Overall, this printer is easy to use, much cheaper than other printers, and is extremely compact, so it won’t take up too much space in your home. This is a very good option for homeschooling. (Source)
Ender-2 Pro 3D Printer
This 3D printer can be put together quickly, operates simply so anyone can figure out and understand how to use it, and is extremely portable.
This specific printer is perfect for DIY creations, so if your kid wants to make and sell things online, this is a great 3D printer for them to use. The printer also has a built-in power supply, so it is very reliable.
This product is a little more simple and costs $169.00. Its best applications of it include homeschooling education, designing figures, creating home objects, and other creative uses such as making art.
If you want to spend a small amount of money on a 3D printer and your kid will be satisfied with more simple builds and applications of it, then this is perfect. It is cheaper than many other 3D printers and has many applications, so your child will be able to learn and use it all on their own after some adult supervision as they learn how to use it. (Source)
Ender-3 3D Printer
This printer is more advanced than the printers above by this brand. The advertised applications for this are medical simulation prototypes, architectural design, home decor, and figurines. It can create more detailed prints and costs $189.00.
There are more parts and tools with this printer, and there are more advanced attachments for it as well. If your kid is detailed oriented and wants to create things for STEM purposes or for personal fun, this is a great printer for them. (Source)
Ender-3 S1 Pro 3D Printer
This is a newer 3D printer model and it is made for details, efficiency, and precision. The printer costs $479.00 and has features like LED lights, touch screen control, a platform handle, and the dual-gear direct extruder is made fully out of metal for smoothness when printing with different materials.
This printer is more expensive than the others made by this company, but it is still priced reasonably and is cheaper than many other 3D printers. It will work very well and it is not complicated for kids or adults to learn how to use. (Source)
Prusa 3D Printer
After having tried this printer along with the other brands above, this one is complicated. It is hard to learn and it started having issues that were too complicated to figure out how to fix. It lasted two months, and it is definitely for advanced people who care a lot about 3D printers and have used them before.
The prices range from about $800-$1,000 and there are some that cost more. If your child is older, into STEM subjects, and uses a 3D printer already, but the printer is not performing like how they want anymore, then look into 3D printers made by this brand.
However, watch some tutorials first to get an idea of how complicated and advanced it is. That way, you can tell right away if it is too advanced for your child to use or if it will be a good challenge for them.
Overall, this 3D printer is more difficult to use and more expensive than the ones listed above, and to make it worth your money, you will need to watch tutorials. Have your child watch videos and figure out if 3D printers made by this company are the best or if another brand has a 3D printer that works better for their skillset.
How to Integrate a 3D Printer into Homeschooling
A 3D printer can be used as a STEM curriculum for at-home education. So, whether you teach your kids or you pay someone to home teach your kids, a 3D printer can be a great way to add some fun to learning. (Source)
If your child enjoys creating things that move or operate mechanically, then this can be great for their engineering and science learning. They can design, build, and create a unique product from start to finish. This can be great for learning engineering skills, entrepreneurial skills, and problem-solving skills. It also allows your child to use their creativity.
After looking at the different 3D printers above, you can see how you can spend a small or large amount of money on this type of product to integrate into your child’s at-home education. You can spend under $200 or over $1,000. Either way, you can add an enriching educational tool into your lessons and teach your kids how to use the tool practically.
Some parents use a 3D printer to assist their kids in history lessons. Their child can make a 3D print of a famous country or landmark across the world, then share the history and facts about it. It can be great for adding some fun to presenting and recalling information based on previous lessons and is customizable to any time in history.
For math applications, kids can plan out an object that represents their knowledge of 3-dimensional figures. Then, they can use that to visually understand the height, width, and length of those objects, as well as understand the volume and how it all comes together to create a shape.
Think of any subject and there is some way to apply 3D printing to it. Art is easy, as you simply have to have your child design something they want to make for creative and artistic purposes. As they make their art project, they learn about math and planning at the same time. If your child likes to perform, sing, dance, act, or play an instrument, there is a creative way for them to make a tool or prop with the 3D printer.
For example, your child can make something that holds their music books open for them while they play or create a fake phone as a prop. There are so many uses for a 3D printer in your child’s homeschool learning, especially because they can be used for all subjects and outside of the classroom.
For example, if you want to use your child’s 3D printer to help them learn about the solar system, you can use it to create various planets and stars. You can even have your child put them in a small-scale model of the solar system.
There are a lot of scientific applications for a 3D printer, but being able to also use it for art, history, math, and other subjects makes it an amazing tool to add to your child’s education.