We have been excited about trying out our 3D printer but we were unsure how to involve students in using this new technology. Searching online we found some worthy projects for students. Future Engineers (http://www.futureengineers.org) has several challenges a year. The most recent is a challenge to “create a digital 3D model of an object that could be used by an astronaut to maintain physical health on a 3-year mission to Mars.” There is a description of the problem and a challenge to consider the design of the item. American students can enter their design in an online contest and you can see some of their submissions and winners in the Future Engineers gallery.
Stratasys offers a white paper that describes seven 3D printing challenges including designing a game controller and creating a source of hydro power. This paper also describes “managing 3d print projects for optimal learning”. Find this paper at http://tinyurl.com/stratasyswhitepaper
Let me know if you find other great sources for 3D printing ideas and I will credit your submission and share these resources with our readers.