Having the skills required for a career can be hard when leaving school and university. Often specific skills aren’t taught in traditional education. Being able to gain skills that are applicable to a range of careers is hugely useful when exploring different avenues.

3D printing can be a great way of discovering this for a number of careers and also help develop those skills. By practicing 3D printing, students can improve range of skills that are applicable to a huge number of careers and develop passions which can stay with them throughout their lives.

Animation

Computer Aided Design (CAD) can take years to master and is widely used in the animation industry. It is also used in 3D printing to produce the printing designs. Using CAD software is a vital skill when looking at a career in animation, and 3D printing is a great way of getting children into designing as they can engage in the designing/production process from start to finish.

Used in films, video games and modelling, animation is a hugely lucrative and creative industry and contributes in excess of £1 billion to the UK economy each year according to a report from the British Film Institute (BFI). With this success and tax relief given to film and high-end TV, we have seen massive growth in the VFX industry.

Animation is an area that many children are interested and excited about. Much of the media they consume is animated and therefore inspires many to pursue it as a career path. By getting involved in 3D printing, students can begin to master the skills that will make them more employable.

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Using specifically designed curricula like the XYZprinting 3D Printing Curricula can help educate young people in the basic and advanced skills used in animation and CAD design critical for animation.

Engineering and manufacturing

Engineering is a hugely competitive market with many students applying for universities, apprenticeships and graduate programmes each year. To become an engineer, it requires several skills including creativity, logical thinking and a mathematical understanding of tolerances. These are all skills that can be experienced and improved through 3D printing.

3D printing allows students that are keen on pursuing a career in engineering to experience what it is like to design and manufacture a product. Much of engineering is theoretical and therefore taught in a classroom and from textbooks.

Being able to put these learnings into practice is a great way of inspiring students, keeping them motivated and equipping them with the required skillset for the future. There are a number of different printers, such as the da Vinci Mini, which are specifically designed to help budding manufacturers and engineers begin learning about 3D printing and design.

3D printing is fast becoming a mainstream production method for many products and something that engineers and manufacturers will need to be aware of and understand in the near future. In this sector, students that know how to design and test products using CAD software are likely to be well equipped for the future.

Filmmaking

3D Printed Bear

Like animation, filmmaking shares many skills with 3D printing. Many children dream of becoming the next Steven Spielberg, but it can be difficult to gain the necessary skills to stand out from the crowd in such a competitive space.

Added to this, a lot of filming now involves special effects and CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) involved in the production process. There is also a growing genre of films produced solely through 3D printing, such as stop-motion movie ParaNorman.

 The production team working on this movie had to create a huge number of facial emotions for the same character. This meant using 3D printers to precisely create all the expressions.

3D printing is also used in the film industry to create custom-made costumes. It was used to produce Iron Man’s suit in Iron Man 2, many costumes in Black Panther and the design and creation of the Stormtrooper helmets in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

3D printing offers students the chance to be creative and experience how the modern world of filmmaking and costume design works. This will inspire students as well as giving the necessary skills to set them apart and succeed in filmmaking and costume design.

Designer/artist

Bangles

We are seeing an increase in the use of 3D printing as an artform and it has become a very popular medium for artists to use. The reason new artists are using 3D printing is one that lies at the heart of the concept of art. Art is a constantly evolving idea that often changes with new techniques and methods convey messages.

3D printing methods are inspiring the next generation of artists and it can be a great way of kicking off the creativity within a student who aspires to be an artist or designer. Being able to use CAD software and create designs easily and inexpensively whilst learning relevant skills makes it a great way to kickstart a potential career.

The range of skills that 3D printing teaches makes it a great educational tool and enables children to learn in a fun and dynamic way. Whilst learning new skills that may inspire them to consider more career paths, it also challenges them to think logically and creatively; both great skills for future job prospects in any industry.

Cin-Yee Ho, Director of Sales & Marketing, Head of EdTech at XYZprinting

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