If You Can Think It, You Can Print It

Jewelry can be made using 3D printing.

You have probably heard about 3D shapes like spheres and cylinders in math class, but have you ever heard of 3D printing?

A regular printer prints flat, two-dimensional images on paper. 3D stands for “three-dimensional.” An object is 3D if it has length, width, and height. A circle is 2D. A sphere, like a bowling ball, is 3D. Look around you. What 3D objects do you see?

This special type of printing can be used to make almost anything. People use 3D printing to make shoes, jewelry, and even airplane parts! Look around you. What 3D objects do you see?

The orange band of this face shield was made using a 3D printer.

People use 3D printers to make things for fun. They also use them to help people. These amazing printers can be used to make important medical equipment. This equipment is called personal protective equipment, or “PPE” for short. Healthcare workers need items such as masks, face shields, and gloves to protect them from germs.  Due to COVID-19, some hospitals don’t have enough PPE to protect everyone. People who own 3D printers are helping. They are making make face shields with 3D printing machines. They are donating these items to local hospitals.

What Can You Do? What is something you can do to help people in your community?

Photo Credit: (t)Marlon Lopez MMG1 Design/Shutterstock, (b)Lucie Peclova/Shutterstock