Feb.3, 2014

3D printers are entering schools around the world – the Japanese government announced plans to support the use of 3D printers in educational settings where students may receive hands-on experience in learning about 3D data and 3D printing technology. Japan hopes this initiative will keep them competitive with countries like the U.S. where plans to introduce 3D printing in schools have been underway since 2010.

This summer, the Japanese Economy, Trade, and Industry Ministry (METI) will choose several universities and technical schools to receive a subsidy for two-thirds of their expenses related to the introduction of 3D printing technology into their schools. The ministry's plans include a goal to reach select middle and high schools by the 2015 fiscal year.

By bringing 3D printing technology to students, they hope to provide skills and experience to their students which will allow them to become comfortable working with these tools in research and design – while also engaging their imaginations. For example, 3D printing technology may be used to create and modify robots or to allow kids and young adults to take a virtual walk around things like the human genome.

This move is unsurprising considering Japan's coverage of 3D printing in school systems in the United States. In May of 2013 following President Obama's call for increased technology in schools for job training, Japanese television news crews visited Buford Middle School in Charlottesville, North Carolina which is "a laboratory school for advanced manufacturing technologies." The Japanese media showed how 3D printing technology is being used by students in Charlottesville to realize innovative designs while preparing students for high-tech jobs.

Currently, 3D printing is being used in Japan for all sorts of applications – and, increasingly, in small and medium-sized enterprises. The Japanese economic ministry sees 3D printing technology as playing a central role in the future of cutting-edge manufacturing worldwide, and this decision to fund 3D printing in educational settings is in line with that vision.

Japan will join other countries – like Britain and Australia – that are also following the lead of the U.S. in introducing 3D printing into schools and other educational settings. Meanwhile, specific projects like "3D printer in every school" by Gadgets3D Online Store aim to make 3D printers more accessible to schools and educational institutions worldwide by offering safer, more affordable 3D printers along with educational materials.

METI included 4.5 billion yen (about 44 million US Dollars) in the year 2014 budget to support research and development to manufacture metal products using 3D printing technology. METI pointed out that Japan is lagging behind in the area of 3D printing compared with U.S. and Europe. The minister hopes the funding will foster students' design and manufacturing skills to help Japan stay on top of technological trends in and developments in 3D printing.

Posted in 3D Printing Technology



Maybe you also like:


Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to

3ders.org Feeds 3ders.org twitter 3ders.org facebook   

About 3Ders.org

3Ders.org provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive