Product Focus: The evolution of printing in education
Creating educational materials has taken on a whole new meaning as more schools are bringing 3D printers into classrooms. Science, technology, art and engineering classes are using this new technology to build their own lab tools and to bring sculptures to life, among other projects.
Despite this innovation, districts still need traditional paper printers for everyday memos, marketing materials and letters.
Using the free MakerBot software for PC or Mac, students can print, manage and share 3D creations with MakerBot's Replicator Mini printer.
Teachers can choose from hundreds of thousands of free, pre-designed and ready-to-print educational 3D models, including robots for STEM classes. This compact printer can fit on small desks. www.makerbot.com
Ideal for ages 8 and older, the Cube 3D printer turns ideas into tangible learning models for science, technology, engineering, art and math. The Cube can print with two popular 3D plastic materials: recyclable ABS and compostable PLA plastics. Models can be printed in up to 16 vibrant, neutral, metallic and glow-in-the-dark colors. Other features include Wi-Fi printing and 25 free 3D files that are designed by professional artists. www.3dsystems.com
uPrint SE Plus
The uPrint SE Plus 3D printer uses Fused Deposition Modeling Technology to create 3D models that are durable, stable and pinpoint-accurate to the original design. Two layers of thickness allow users to choose whether to print a 3D model 30 percent faster or at a finer resolution. The uPrint SE Plus 3D Print Pack includes a printer, startup supply of printing materials and CatalystEX software. www.stratasys.com
Color LaserJet Pro MFP M476
The HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M476 is designed for wireless printing from smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. The MFP also offers productivity and workflow solutions, such as access to Google Drive and other cloud applications. IT administrators can set user restrictions and privileges for printing, scanning, faxing and copying. www.hp.com
This wireless, all-in-one printer lets teachers and students print and scan photos or documents from mobile devices. Its 3.5-inch touchscreen lets users view, select and edit images for computer-free printing. The MG7120 also automatically powers up whenever someone sends a photo or document to be printed. www.usa.canon.com
CLX-9301NA MultiXpress Color Laser MFP
Made for K12 environments, the CLX-9301NA MultiXpress has printing and scanning capabilities. Samsung's Rendering Engine for Clean Page technology improves the overall quality and vibrancy of color printing. Teachers and students can use Samsung mobile apps to share, scan and print documents, pictures and web pages. www.samsung.com
Suited for school administrative offices, this printer’s extra-large, 10.2-inch color touch screen allows users to operate the device and preview documents through customizable shortcut icons. Users can plug in a USB drive to quickly preview, print and scan files. The printer is compatible with most printable image ﬁle formats. Users can also store frequently printed forms, marketing materials or other documents in the cloud to print them on demand. www.lexmark.com
MC770 Multi-Function Color Printer
The MC770’s access restrictions allow administrators to save paper and ink by determining who can print in color, in black and white, or not at all. The model also helps administrators control costs by delivering usage data on the volume of printing occurring, and the size and amount of paper being used. This printer also prints with HD technology to provide color depth and a high gloss finish on ordinary office paper. www.okidata.com
Pro Series MX-7500N
These color printers and copiers are suitable for any K12 print shop. Their edge-to-edge printing feature is ideal for producing in-house marketing materials, event programs and student projects. Users also can manage print jobs with the device’s control panel, eliminating the need for additional workstations or computers. These models track usage and can set limits to help control costs. www.sharpusa.com
This full-color, poster-design system was developed exclusively for schools and comes with a scanner, printer stand and educationally-relevant templates and graphics. Teachers and administrators can use the Perfecta 2400 to post academic standards, test scores, infographics, event information and academic achievements on school walls. www.variquest.com