3DAcademy Project: Revolutionising VET with 3D Technology

The partners in the 3DAcademy project conducted a comprehensive survey to assess the current state of 3D printing, scanning, and modelling technologies in Vocational Education and Training (VET) institutions across Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. This effort supports our mission to enhance VET education through the development of a Blended Training Programme. The report based on this survey aims to understand the utilization of 3D technologies in educational settings and identify areas for improvement.

The survey aimed to evaluate the current use of 3D technologies in VET institutions, assess available materials and support, identify potential growth areas, and gather best practices and teaching methods. School principals, STEM department heads, and technical personnel from both general and VET schools participated in the online survey. They were asked a series of 20 multiple-choice, rating, and open-ended questions about their current 3D technology equipment, facilities, training programs, and challenges faced. Our comprehensive survey across these countries has unveiled key insights:

40% of participating schools are equipped with 3D printers, primarily using Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM).

🖨️ 40% of participating schools are equipped with 3D printers, primarily using Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM), highlighting that the majority of schools prefer investing in accessible, user-friendly 3D printing technology that is crucial for practical, hands-on learning experiences in technical education. 

📊 Only 14% have 3D scanning equipment, highlighting an area for potential growth. The limited adoption of 3D scanning technology suggests a need for increased resources and training, as this technology can significantly enhance precision in digital modeling and replication tasks.

🖥️ 75% of schools use 3D modelling software regularly, indicating its critical role in education. This trend underscores the importance of 3d printing in teaching essential skills such as design, spatial awareness, and problem-solving, which are vital in various technical fields.

🏫 53% of schools have their own STEM centres often equipped with advanced technological tools and serving as hubs for fostering innovation, collaborative projects, and a deeper understanding of STEM disciplines.

👩‍🏫 Challenges include inadequate staff training (28%) and limited training opportunities (18%). These challenges highlight the need for comprehensive professional development programs to ensure educators are well-equipped to integrate and utilize 3D technologies effectively in their teaching.

Despite these advancements, challenges in staff training and resource allocation remain. The 3DAcademy initiative aims to address these issues by developing innovative training solutions tailored to the evolving needs of the industry and society. The findings of the research will serve as a crucial roadmap for creating the “3D Academy – Blended Training Programme for VET Trainers/Teachers/Educators.” This programme is designed to provide comprehensive training resources and methodologies. It will be supported by the online learning platform 3DAcademy, where students, teachers, and industry newcomers can access a range of basic and advanced modules on 3D technologies.

Discover more about the 3DAcademy project’s activities and how we are empowering educators and learners through our innovative training programs and resources.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.

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