3D Printing in Schools – Health & Safety FAQ Continued

Article by Paul Sesto updated January 23, 2017


Earlier this month we posted part two of our three-part blog series covering 3D Printing Health & Safety in schools. We will now answer the remaining FAQ that educators have about 3D printing.

Health and safety (H&S) considerations and the successful implementation of 3D Printers are very important to Javelin, Stratasys and MakerBot. Our MakerBot & Stratasys 3D Printers are a mainstay in education at all levels. As Javelin is often asked by school boards to respond to a series of H&S concerns, I have created these H&S FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) to address various concerns.

3d printer faq

3D Printer Health & Safety FAQ

Our school board only wants to use materials obtained from board approved suppliers. What do you recommend?

We understand that filament supply is an important concern, especially in the PLA market where cheap no-name brand filaments are available and suppliers low bid each other on the cheapest cost per kilogram. These filaments can possibly damage your printer extruder. They also may pose a health & safety risk, as there can be uncertainty about what is actually in the filament. Both MakerBot & Stratasys recommend using only their proprietary filaments. MakerBot & Stratasys have Material Safety Data Sheets for all printer consumables. This ensures the best quality parts from their respective printers as it controls the quality of the materials in the 3D printing process. Javelin can supply these materials to our customers.

3d printer faq

Where should we install our 3D Printer?

It is recommended that printers be installed in a well-ventilated room. Javelin can be consulted for its recommendations in your particular school. We have found that schools typically install printers in technical shop areas, large classrooms, the library or learning commons. It is common for the library to hold the printer as it has become a hub of many school’s general IT technology resources. The library also garners general exposure and interest from the school body, teachers and parents. Any room with a fume hood could also be used, if so required by the school board.

3d printer faq

Which 3D Printer is right for our school?

Javelin considers all of our MakerBot & Stratasys 3D Printers to be safe, reliable and robust products. Here are some points to consider:

  1. If your school has a modest budget and is looking for an entry level PLA printer, the MakerBot Replicator+ is a great value. If deemed necessary, a Javelin-MakerBot safety screen can be easily & economically constructed and installed for either a Replicator+ or Mini+
  2. We recommend the MakerBot Mini+ for elementary schools with a limited budget
  3. If your school has the budget and a higher-level need, such as technology courses or FIRST Robotics, consider a Stratasys Mojo, uPrint SE or uPrint SE Plus for strong functional ABSplus material parts. These printers are fully enclosed with electromechanical locks
  4. An alternate option: Board Level Service Bureaus

As we’ve seen at some school boards, instead of trying to place a printer in every school, get every student access to a 3D Printer! This can be achieved by operating a 3D Printing service bureau at the board IT level with a MakerBot Z-18. High school 3D Printers can also be used as a feeder service to the local public schools.

Remember: To be successful in schools you need two components…

  1. Safe, reliable & robust 3D Printer, such as Javelin’s industry leading MakerBot & Stratasys 3D Printers
  2. A learning curriculum integrated into your STEM or STEAM program. We encourage you to contact Javelin for a series of teacher resources from MakerBot and Stratasys. These materials will help you with lesson plans, and will offer ideas and assistance in learning 3D CAD. This includes the free e-book: MakerBot in the Classroom.

Please contact us if you have any questions that were not mentioned here, or if you would like more information on the 3D Printers that we offer.

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Paul Sesto