Inspiring tomorrow’s Problem Solvers with 3D printing applications

MakerBot Australia has been a proud sponsor of the Akorn Full STEaM Ahead program since 2017.This dynamic program challenges and teaches young people to use design thinking skills to solve problems.

The 2021 Full STEaM Ahead program for Year 10 girls was held at Engineers Australia headquarters in Melbourne. This years theme was: Girls Designing Assistive Devices & Technology.

In a recent World Report on Disability, it is estimated that 1 in 5 people globally has a disability. In Australia this is calculated to be 4.27 million people. Most of these people experience social exclusion, discrimination and lack of access to fully participate in society. This is due to the barriers such as built environment and negative attitudes .

Responding to this challenge in the Full STEaM Ahead program, students collaborated to generate ideas and develop assistive/enabling technologies to help overcome these barriers . Students were supported by the Akorn Educational Services team to establish the appropriate analytical framework and user centred design to come up with sustainable and viable solutions .

In order to help meet these design challenges, MakerBot provided Replicator+ 3D printers which were used by the students for their rapid prototyping. Akorn Educational Services chose the MakerBot Replicator+ as their 3d printer of choice, due to its ease of use, robustness and consistency of results.

At the end of the five day program, students presented their finished designs with a final product pitch demonstration. These included helping hand scissors, finger grip writer, and a custom designed 3d shampoo dispenser for someone that has difficulty holding and pressing a pump action dispenser.

Using MakerBot 3D printers and design thinking strategies, students were able to bring their ideas to life and learn to solve real world problems.

MakerBot Australia would like to thank Akorn Educational Services for the opportunity to participate in this program that helps to inspire and support the designers and problem solvers of the future.