Education

3D Adept: Belgium 3D Printing Magazine

Due to 3D printing being still a relatively new technology, the awareness of its potentialities and possible applications is often lacking and is bound to be an obstacle, especially in developing countries. Shweta Thapa, founder of The Art of Making Foundation, a school to empower girls and women through STEAM (Science,Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) education and, in particular, learning to design and make things with 3D printers, outlines two of her greatest daily challenges: accessibility and mindset.

“The good part about digital manufacturing is you can make designs online, from wherever you are in the world. But in countries like India they rarely have WiFi or internet access, so you have to make sure either to install that in their homes or get them the necessary facilities. And even if that is sorted, there is the mindset. Girls in India have a pressure to get married. Parents who come here want to know: if she learns 3D printing and design thinking, will she have a job? And we say yes, we are creating the avenues, we’re getting them jobs, this education will help her feed her family. Understanding one another is possible, but only through real, tangible examples.” Thapa stresses how 3D printing innovates education by making learning more engaging and hands-on and preparing learners to acquire skills for which there is an actual demand on the market. “We want women to have a livelihood. The whole idea of using 3D printing is: look at it as an industry, so you can learn an art, and tomorrow you can start
your business.”
This year, The Art of Making Foundation is launching their first MAKE IT 2021 conference, with the purpose of spreading awareness on the benefits of 3D printing-driven education.

P.S: Adopted by 3D Adept Magazine,  November 2021

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