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Becoming ready for future jobs with 3D Printing

It is well known that the current curriculum lags behind the rapid pace of the evolution of advanced technologies. The present era demands a dynamic solution for nurturing young minds who are going to be future innovators and entrepreneurs.

With an aim to develop interdisciplinary STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) skills in students, Polish EdTech Startup Skriware has created a fully integrated educational ecosystem consisting of 3D printers, modular robots, and an online e-learning platform within a span of five years since its beginning on Kickstarter.

The focus is not on replacing traditional learning completely, but on diversifying the curriculum to teach creative problem solving and critical thinking, resulting in a hands-on experience for young minds. The huge age range that includes kids and teenagers makes it necessary to adapt to different levels of knowledge on subjects like physics and biology. This alteration is done based on feedback from children.

The team first launched its user-friendly desktop 3D printer and an online 3D printing marketplace for users to browse 3D models. Later on, the new and improved version of the 3D printer, Skriware 2, was launched in 2017. The printer is capable of printing about 20,000 educational models, including brain and heart models that make it easy to remember things that seem complex. Besides a large printing area (up to 21cm×26cm×21cm), a 17.8cm (7-inch) touchscreen, and a built-in camera, there is a second extruder for dual-extrusion (and thus, dual-color) printing too. The settings can be changed remotely, if necessary.

A live camera feed is present to monitor the process, and sensors scan the printing beds to remove unevenness and ensure levelling. Supported materials include ABS, PET, nylon, HIPS, and many more. Filaments (1.75mm, 750gm) for these printers come with an automatic filament detection system for managing printing properties.

Users can easily connect to online 3D libraries for printing. They can also learn about the printing process or even build a robot (Skribot) and fulfill their curiosity. All parts of Skribots can be chosen from modular elements. The mobile app allows users to control the bot remotely and program it. The online platform is a resource hub that provides access to modular lesson plans, e-courses for teachers as well as access to digital tools. Among digital tools, the Skribot Creator design tool lets students modify their robots.

The clients are mainly public and private schools from Poland itself. Other places with demand for the company’s offerings include Germany (Europe), Saudi Arabia and Qatar (the Middle East), Singapore and Malaysia (Southeast Asia).

Last year, the company raised ¤1.4 million in growth equity from investors such as the Montis Capital fund. The startup is currently working on further expansion and increasing production. According to a study prepared by the company, at the time of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, most schools were very poor or not prepared at all to conduct classes using computer techniques at a distance. This highlights the importance of greater adoption of remote learning methods and the need to welcome new approaches in tandem with conventional ways.

—Ayushee Sharma