(Guest Article by Deepak Shukla – DesignTech Systems)
Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a Revolutionary technology and also one of the best fabrication processes when we consider the Geometric freedom, Personalization and mass customization, Rapid tooling, more Iterative work in our design and development cycle. Also, one of the best uses of this technology and its products are for the human being in the medical industry, where we can replicate the anatomy model for applying a perfect approach before surgery, medical implantation, etc. to save operational time and cost of the patient. And at some levels we are also creating human prosthetics by using AM technology.
Presently, the industry has fully adapted this technology not only for prototyping work but also at some level they are also using this technology for producing end-user products. But if we consider some other fields such as education which is the backbone of our society, here use of AM is very less or sometimes negligible. In education, as we know that there is a very big void created between theoretical and practical knowledge and still we are more concentrating on rote learning instead of skill development. So AM can help us to enhance our practical knowledge by converting the student’s curiosity and imagination into a real product. It can also be useful for the students to acquire at least one skill for their life and also to serve society. We can also use AM to help us to enhance the implementation of NEP- 2020.
The New Education Policy-2020 (NEP-2020) is the third education policy of India. It is a most awaited policy and also a much-needed decision by the government of India to enhance the quality of education as well as it is aiming to enable the student to acquire at least one skill during the period of education by choosing their own path in life according to their talent and interest. NEP-2020 is also going to focus on establishing our education system mostly student-centric instead of teachers or educational institutions centric. Some objectives of the NEP-2020 are given below:
- Recognizing, identifying and fostering the unique capability of each student by sensitizing teachers and parents to promote Holistic development of the student.
- To provide a multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary liberal education to students, meaning no hard separation between Arts & Science, Vocational and Academic stream, etc. and also provide multiple entry & exit options to the student as per their requirement.
- Motivate for conceptual learning rather than Rote learning for exams, and also encourages them for creativity, critical thinking and decision making.
- To develop life skills such as communication, cooperation, teamwork and resilience, etc.
- To enhance the quality of education by using of Technology in education on teaching, learning, etc., and makes this system more accessible for the Divyang students.
Now let us see how Additive Manufacturing (AM) can enhance the implementation of different stages of New Education Policy- 2020, below:
Foundation stage: The aim of this stage is to do Holistic development of students, which includes cognitive development, social & emotional development, cultural & curiosity development, development of communication, literacy and numeracy. Children learn the concept, vocabulary and expression through a process of first engagement with the environment, objects and person. As we know that at this stage, engaging the student into the different activity is also a very big task. So we can use AM to engage and motivate the students by producing the Product to their prior knowledge and experience and current circumstances, AM can also help us to produce products with challenges in nature which will increase their competence and understanding.
As we know that there is two type of essential learning and playing material which is used in this stage,
First Indoor material: which includes different type of blocks & shape for Constructive play, Manipulate Toys material for imaginative play, Dramatic play material to develop language skill & cognitive skill and art material for creative expression of natural things etc.
Second outdoor material: which includes Sports Equipment, movable item etc. Apart from this, by AM we can show them cross-section of human body parts for better understanding, and we can also use AM to show geography of our country for understanding topography or demographics structure. And by AM we can also elaborate information about Indian culture in a better way by fabricating different types of Monuments, Caves, Forts, Tombs, Minaret, Palaces, old archaeological sites, museum statues, etc. If we will get success into Students engaging & motivating then we can Increase Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER), which is the one of the important goals of NEP-2020.
Preparatory stage: In this stage, we are going to gradually introduce the formal classroom-based learning to the student for giving deeper insight which we have learnt in the foundation stage such as human body circulatory and skeletal system, simple environmental & Science concepts, different geometrical shape pattern finding, etc. Here, AM can help us to do activity based learning Instead of only textbook based learning. We can also apply play Discovery phenomena in our educational activities, where we can show them 3D printed models instead of 2D shapes to enhance the student’s imagination and curiosity about science.
Middle school stages: As we know that in NEP-2020, coding is going to be introduced from the class 6 level and this stage is also going to focus on abstract concepts of each subject like Science, Mathematics, Arts, Social Science and Humanities. So we can use AM to promote conceptual and experimental based learning to students here, to enhance theirs concept testing and proofing Skill, communication, integration and synthesizing skill, etc., Also by combination of AM and coding language with basic knowledge of Electronics or by the help of the instructor, students can begin to develop any of their idea or imagination into the physical model.
Secondary Education stage: To provide greater flexibility & in-depth knowledge to the students, this stage is a multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary Stage, meaning with the availability of basic subjects, we can choose other subjects for learning which are arts and culture and Humanities etc. Also in this stage instead of only showcasing the 3D print parts in front of students we can encourage them to do individual or group projects, related to their curriculum such as Geographical model, Historical model, Science based model and Mathematical model etc. By these project works, students can develop their Task creating skill, Design and Development skill, Testing and Proofing skill, Conceptual learning & critical thinking skills and they can also enhance their teamwork and leadership skill etc. We can include these projects or experimental work in the Bag-less Days program of the NEP-2020.
Under graduation education stage: Also in this stage, Multidisciplinary curriculum option with multidisciplinary Educational Institute is provided to the student by which any Technical student can add non-technical subjects on their curriculum. Apart from 3 years (same as the old traditional program) there is another 4-year (one more year to do a certain amount of research work) undergraduate degree program is available, with multiple Entry and Exit options to get deeper and practical knowledge of the field according to the interest of the student. But we have to also accept that by increasing the project work our workload will also increase and Generally we have seen that during our project period we waste our lot of resources (time and money) for searching the vendor for preparing our physical model, so here AM can remove lots of unnecessary work and can play an important role by improving our efficiency to do Major, Minor & Research project work for the student. Sometimes for understanding any similar type of theoretical mechanism, they face some challenges so 3D printing can help here to bring any mechanism from our theory book to actual physical objects. Also it has been seen that in some Higher Institute there is less resources to gain practical knowledge means they have no ability of machines to do research work, so by AM and its range of material and application we can fabricate any working machine for our project work.
Post educational stage and Research stage: This stage consists of high-quality research work with the flexibility to do research work in any core subject or in the multidisciplinary subject to strengthen competence in the professional area. Here AM can help us to create an actual working model by using different types of material available in AM such as plastics, ceramics or metals, etc. Presently, AM is also used to create human prosthetics for research work and it is also a very important field for research for society. And similar to under graduation stage the AM can help us to be more iterative on our research work with minimal use of resources.
Lifelong learning: NEP-2020 emphasizes on the Passion in Education, Philosophy of Education and Purpose of Education by focusing on ‘How to think’ instead of ‘what to think’. And it motivates creativity, curiosity & commitment driven life to our youth to create an empowered society and this will give them maturity and satisfaction in their life & also Encourage them to handle any Real-life Problem. We can also use AM to solve our Real-life problem Such as in the current pandemic situation, for fabricating the mask, face Shield, ventilators, Nasal swabs, hands-free door handle and other medical equipment, we are using Additive Manufacturing Technology.
(Guest Article by Deepak Shukla – DesignTech Systems)
*Image Source: Stratasys.