Are your pupils ready for Industry 4.0?

The skills young people need to be workplace-ready are rapidly changing

The world’s economies are gearing towards the next industrial revolution – the rapid economic change driven by dramatic progress in science and technology – termed Industry 4.0 by the World Economic Forum.

Estimates from the World Economic Forum indicate that 65% of children who entered primary school in 2016 will end up working in jobs that don’t yet exist. To keep up with the changing skills that businesses require, schools need to update their approach to learning and development.

Although relatively new to most of us, 3D printing is a well-established industrial technology and some of its most advanced applications, such as the 3D printing of bone, living tissue and organs, are changing the world we live in.

3D printing in schools

Schools that aren’t already familiarising their students with this technology are not equipping them to meet the needs of the 21st-century workplace.

Our hope is that with 3D printing becoming increasingly common in schools, tomorrow’s employees will come ready with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in Industry 4.0.

The good news is 3D printing has become much more school-friendly in recent years.

As the speed, scale and range of applications of 3D printing has expanded, so has the accessibility of the technology.

The Dremel DigiLab printers are designed specifically with students in mind. They combine simplicity of use and reliability with the capacity to produce advanced designs at a price that schools can afford. Easy to use and with advanced safety features, Dremel 3D printers come with a Cura-based slicing software and are compatible with many others that are specifically created to match different skill levels of students.

Unlike other 3D printers, the 3D45 has been tailored for use in schools to allow pupils to bring creative visions to life. Turn on the 3D45 and it is ready to go, with intuitive instructions and a construction that can cope with hours of continuous use.

The 3D45’s unique, fully enclosed see-through chamber means that young people can safely watch as their design takes shape. Meanwhile two integrated filter systems protect users from dust and fumes released during the printing process.

Importantly, the 3D printer can also use four different types of filament that work for beginners through to more advanced users, including an environmentally friendly, plant-based plastic, PLA. The 3D printer’s integrated camera means students and tutors can monitor multiple printers from anywhere.

Paul Woodward, Head of Creative Art at Queen Ethelburga’s School, said: “3D printers are going to be an invaluable tool for design students in the new GCSE and A-level syllabus because of the benefits rapid prototyping will bring to the non-examination assessment.”

“We have been thoroughly impressed by the speed and accuracy of the Dremel 3D45 which is why we bought two of these over competitor models costing the same amount, and sometimes much more. As the 3D45s are able to run remotely, students can quickly realise their concepts while they concentrate on developing further iterations; a critical element of the new D&T syllabus. Given the focus on prototype outcomes, schools would undoubtedly benefit from investing in 3D printing.”


3D printers are a vital learning tool for students studying everything from engineering, architecture, and design, through to science and maths.

They serve a dual function helping young people develop the skills they will need in the modern world, where 3D printing is a tool used in many industries from engineering to healthcare, and as a teaching aid to help bring lessons to life.

Schools and students have the opportunity to make a difference with Dremel.

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