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8th January 2019

Christmas has been and gone, Big Ben has rung in the New Year - it must be almost time for the BETT Show in London, writes Box 3D printing guru Jack Dempsey.

Now that the mince pies are all gone and the tinsel is down, I'm getting excited about the first industry show of the year in the education technology landscape.

Bringing together 800+ leading companies, 103 exciting new edtech start-ups and over 34,000 attendees from the global education community, this is THE show to discuss the future of education.

What's that got to do with me, a product manager at Box? Well, the education sector has proved to be a very successful market for us when it comes to 3D printers.

Progressive teachers are looking for ways to spark interest in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics subjects.

Children of the 90s will remember the excitement when the teacher wheeled out the enormous TV and VCR. Imagine the classroom atmosphere as a 3D printer appears from the store cupboard. What better way to the capture the imagination of today's tech-savvy teens?

The great thing about 3D printing is that it incorporates so many subjects and skills. First, there is the assembly of the printer itself, which really gives the pupils and insight into how 3D printing works.

Then the youngsters can be encouraged to come up with the idea of a new product, before creating the product in CAD design.

The product then can be printed, which is an exciting process in itself, and tested to see how it might be amended and improved before being taken to market.

It's a brilliant example of real-life product development from paper and pen to a tangible object. It teaches them to think with freedom and work through problems.

It is widely accepted that Britain has a huge skills gap in many aspects of engineering - and it's deepening. We need to inspire children to think about going into these jobs when they get older, and I believe 3D printing could act as the perfect door-opener.

At Box we have a special section on our website with examples of the best 3D printers for education. Check it out: https://www.box.co.uk/products/area/bestfored

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