Uses of 3D scanning in the educational sector

3D scanning is a useful, versatile educational tool, with the potential to transform the classroom environment.

It is adding a new dimension to learning, immersing students of all ages more deeply in the topics they are taught.

The potential for 3D scanning to be a transformative educational device encompasses a variety of subjects, from science and mathematics to art.

As this technology is becoming increasingly affordable, it is now becoming a realistic benefit to the modern classroom.

But how can 3D scanning change how people learn?

Learning in 3D

In a three-dimensional learning process, students first find, research or make their own three-dimensional objects.

Next, they scan them, which is itself a iterative learning process. Iterative learning involves repetition and cycles of activity. 3D scanning is perfect for this as it allow the students to experiment and to look at and analyse what they are doing as they are doing it.

3D scanning also enables students to learn about and investigate:

  • Scale
  • Proportion
  • Quantity

Scanning real-life objects, students can alter the measurements they take digitally and see what effects this has.

Deconstruction as a Learning Tool

3D scanning can also encourage students to collaborate more enthusiastically, helping them work together on investigations, understanding data, creating solutions and communicating their findings. In doing so, they are provided with with a valuable sense of accomplishment.

Another key benefit of 3D scanning is that it enables reverse engineering. This allows students to deconstruct and understand how items are made even when technical drawings are unavailable.

Models can be resized, reshaped and given a new purpose to meet a different need, empowering students and helping them get to grips with various complex but important concepts, including topics related to science, medicine, engineering, art and many more.

Just as reverse engineering is an extremely useful process for design and manufacturing, so, in education, students can learn by deconstructing ideas.

3D scanning enables this by letting students see what the elements are that go into creating something, without necessarily the use of technical drawings.

It is a powerful thing to take an object and find out for yourself exactly how it has been made.

Where Physical Meets Digital

3D scanning technology is the perfect bridge between physical and digital learning elements.

It uses digital platforms, which many students will already be familiar with the idea of through online learning. But then it demonstrates how digital activity works with actual, physical objects.

This is especially useful in demonstrating scientific concepts, by recreating three-dimensional objects in the classroom and analysing the process.

3D scanners are making it easier for students to interact with core topics, bridging the gap between the physical and digital and enhancing the quality of 3D learning. 3D scanning has become a key part of the Next Generation Science Standards learning strategy, promoting experimentation, analysis and computational thinking amongst students.

The real-life objects produced via 3D scanning allow students to gain a better understanding of scale and its relationship to structure and performance.

This creativity is also a natural fit for art, where 3D scanning in a studio environment can broaden the creative possibilities open to students.

With more and more learning involving an online element, it is important that teaching institutions retain certain physical aspects of the learning process, so that students understand the importance of applying principles and digital techniques in the real world.

As a broad subject, design and technology (D&T), can especially benefit from exploring the capabilities of 3D scanning.

3D scanning is hands-on technology that also stimulates analytical thinking.

Simplifying the Design Process

Using 3D scanners, students can learn about rapid product development (RPD), and how it shortens the whole design and development cycle.

By speeding up the design process, students have more time to experiment and explore different avenues, without eating into valuable classroom time.

It also means that there is less time laboriously building 3D classroom models, but more time to analyse how to build them, and what principles go into doing this successfully. 

Going Interactive

Learning abstract concepts can be challenging, and uninvolving for students.

3D scanning offers opportunities to make these abstract concepts far more interactive.

It enables students to experiment in life sciences areas such as topography and anatomy using accurate 3D modelling.

Versatility and Portability

The range of 3D scanning devices available means there is plenty of choice when it comes to educational applications.

These devices include high precision scanners for engineering purposes, and handheld scanners for visualisation and 3D printing.

For more information, please contact us, to see how we can help you. We also offer special, discounted classroom technology bundles, and the option to rent 3D scanning and printing equipment.

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2 Comments

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